J[A-Z]Z / p1ck ( Whispering | Paul Whiteman and His Ambassador Orchestra, 1920

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Illustration by Wesley Raymond De Lappe (1887–1952)
“Whispering” was most famously recorded by Paul Whiteman and his Ambassador
Orchestra on August 23, 1920
Whiteman — Denver-born, ex-navy, and self-acclaimed “King of Jazz” — flourished
in popularity from a series of hits beginning in 1920 with his release of “Whispering”,
 an eleven-week U.S. No. 1 hit, which stayed 20 weeks in the charts and sold in excess
of two million copies.

Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra – Whispering (1920)
John Schonberger / Malvin Schonberger


Whiteman never referred to himself as “King of Jazz” but was billed as such by managers
 and record producers much as Benny Goodman later would be called the “King of Swing“.
Both Whiteman and Goodman openly acknowledged their debt to the earlier
African-American musicians and each employed Black Americans as composers,
arrangers and in Goodman’s case being one of the first to have a mixed stage band.

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Paul Whiteman and His Ambassador Orchestra, Whispering, 1920

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