Paris of the Plains: Kansas City from Doughboys to Expressways

Paris of the Plains: Kansas City from Doughboys to Expressways

by John Simonson
     
 

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From the end of the Great War to the final years of the 1950s, Kansas Citians lived in a manner worthy of a place called Paris of the Plains. The title did more than nod to the perfumed ladies who shopped at Harzfeld's Parisian or the one-thousand-foot television antenna nicknamed the Eye-full Tower." It spoke to the character of a town that worked for Boss Tom

Overview


From the end of the Great War to the final years of the 1950s, Kansas Citians lived in a manner worthy of a place called Paris of the Plains. The title did more than nod to the perfumed ladies who shopped at Harzfeld's Parisian or the one-thousand-foot television antenna nicknamed the Eye-full Tower." It spoke to the character of a town that worked for Boss Tom and danced for Count Basie but transcended both the Pendergast era and the Jazz Age. Author John Simonson introduces readers to a town of vaudeville shows and screened-in porches, where fleets of cream-and-black streetcars passed beneath a canopy of elms. This is a history that smells equally of lilacs and stockyards and bursts with the clamor of gunshots, radio baseball and the distant whistle of a night train."

Editorial Reviews

"I was standing in the middle of Highland Avenue last Saturday afternoon, admiring the pink-stucco façade of an old union hall, when I heard the voice of Count Basie. 'I am a union man,' the Count said, speaking across time from late January 1947. 'I will never cross a picket line to play for anyone.'" John Simonson's history of Kansas City jazz reverberates with big band style and lively prose improvisations. Readers of his "Paris of the Plains" column will enjoy its riffs.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781609490621
Publisher:
History Press, The
Publication date:
11/02/2010
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
688,359
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author


John Simonson is an independent writer and editor. His work has appeared in local newspapers, magazines, websites, corporate publications, museum exhibits, jazz recordings and beyond. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri.

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