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Mississippi Moments Podcast

Since 1971, the Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage has been preserving the memories of Mississippians from all walks of life. Our collection of over 4,000 interviews and counting has proven an invaluable resource for teachers, writers, researchers, and museums. While our collection has a recognized strength in the history of the civil rights movement and veterans' histories, the Center has collected broadly. The topics covered within the collection encompass the breadth of the state’s history.   Mississippi Moments began in early 2005 as a weekly series of radio spots broadcast statewide on Mississippi Public Broadcasting with funding provided by the Mississippi Humanities Council. Each episode features stories gleaned from hours of research, edited for time and clarity and narrated by Mississippi broadcast veteran, Bill Ellison. These stories range in topic and tone, but war stories and the struggle for civil rights receive the most attention. MSMO is not a History series. History frequently comes along for the ride, but Story drives the narrative. In 2009, the Mississippi Moments Podcast was launched as a way to make past and future episodes available online and searchable by subject. The podcast format allows us to greatly expand on the broadcast version and bonus content is a given. So give us a listen. With over 600 episodes available and new ones added each month, you are certain to find some amazing, moving stories about the diverse and colorful people who call Mississippi home.
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Now displaying: Page 1
Oct 17, 2016
MSM 501 Art Cissell - The Big Band Era

Art Cissell became a professional drummer in St. Louis during the Big Band Era.  In this episode, he remembers the St. Louis music scene of the 1930s & 40s.  Cissell began drumming at the age of five when his father gave him a real snare drum to pass the time while quarantined with the measles.  He joined his first Big Band in 1936 at the age of 16.  Cissell describes working full time during the day and playing the drums, nights and weekends.

Even though the country was racially segregated during the Big Band Era, musicians often crossed color lines to play together. Cissell recalls sitting in with some of the most famous musicians of the day and playing the St. Louis Harlem Club until the sun came up.

After years of playing in Big Bands, Cissell took a job at Keesler Air Force Base as an electronics instructor.  He recounts how he and other Gulf Coast musicians formed The Star Dusters in 1968.

 

Photo: Cab Calloway, FSU World Music Online.

1 Comments
  • almost four years ago
    Marianne Cissell Thomas
    Dad's comments about being a Big Band drummer.
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