Hot cornet player Buddy Bolden is born in uptown New Orleans, La. in 1868. Buddy is considered by many to be the first person to play the Blues form of New Orleans Jazz.
The handcranked phonograph is demonstrated by Thomas Edison on November 29, 1877. The phonograph will eventually allow the spread of popular music.
Cornetist Joe "King" Oliver is born on a plantation near Abend, LA on May 11, 1885.
Pianist and composer Jelly Roll Morton (Ferdinand La Menthe) is born in Gulfport, LA. on September 20, 1885. Jelly Roll learns harmonica at age 5 and is proficient on guitar at age 7.
Blues singer Ma Rainey (Gertrude Malissa Nix Pridgett) is born on April 26, 1886 in Columbus, Ga.
Thomas Edison invents the first motor-driven phonograph. Phonographs are improving but are still a long way away from being commercial.
Stride piano player Willie "The Lion" Smith is born in 1893.
Stride piano great James P. Johnson is born on February 1, 1891 in New Brunswick, N.J.
Blues singer Mamie Smith (believed to be the first black to make a record) is born on September 16, 1890 in Cincinnati, OH.
First use of the word Ragtime appears in the song title "Ma Ragtime Baby" by Fred Stone in 1893.
Blues singer Bessie Smith is born on April 15, 1894 in Chattanooga, TN.
Band leader Benny Moten is born on November, 13, 1894 in Kansas City, MO.
Boogie Woogie piano player Jimmy Yancey is born in 1894.
Stride piano player Luckyeth "Lucky" Roberts is born on August 7, 1895 in Philadelphia, PA.
Clarinetist Jimmie Noone born in New Orleans, LA.
Disclaimer: Though we have checked our facts, this timeline may contain erroneous information. If you discover errors or omissions, please bring them to our attention.