Cambridge in Dorchester County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Jazz on Pine Street
In the first half of the 20th century, Pine Street in Cambridge pulsed to the music of the world's greatest jazz and blues musicians. The neighborhood was then a stop on the "Chitlin' Circuit," the network of nightclubs and theaters traveled by African-American performers during the days of segregation.
Fans from all over the Eastern Shore flocked to Pine Street to see concerts at venues as Greene's Opera House, Green's Savoy, and the Elks Home. There, they danced to the sound of Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Count Basie, Cab Calloway, and Billy Eckstine. William C. Handy, considered "Father of the Blues," performed here. So did bandleaders Duke Ellington and Noble Sissle and clarinetist Sidney Bechet. Later, Cambridge rocked to the rhythms of Lloyd Price, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Larry Williams, Bill Doggett, and James Brown, among others.
This musical legacy is one chapter in the larger story that makes the Pine Street community a historical treasure. The first free black to move onto Pine Street did so when Thomas Jefferson was president, making this one of Maryland's continuously occupied African-American
One of the nation's most popular female jazz singers
Big-band leader who helped shape the swing era in the 1930s and 1940s
Jazz singer and bandleader whose orchestra was a regular at Harlem's Cotton Club in the 1930s
Bandleader and vocalist who influenced modern jazz especially bebop, in the 1940s
Erected by Cambridge, Maryland; Department of Housing and Community Developoment.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #03 Thomas Jefferson series list.
Location. 38° 33.982′ N, 76° 4.813′ W. Marker is in Cambridge, Maryland, in Dorchester County. Marker is on Pine Street just north of Cedar Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 618 Pine Street, Cambridge MD 21613, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Up Pine Street: Muir to Cedar Street (a few steps from this marker); Empowering the People (a few steps from this marker); Bethel Church (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Thomas Holliday Hicks (approx. ¼ mile away); a different marker also named Thomas Holliday Hicks (approx. 0.3 miles away); Welcome to the Richardson Maritime Museum (approx. 0.3 miles away); Zion United Methodist Church (approx. 0.4 miles away); John Barth (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cambridge.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 25, 2019. It was originally submitted on August 25, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 46 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 25, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.