From The New York Daily News:
Okay Toni Morrison lovers. We have a trivia question for you: What’s the link between Morrison’s fiction, Okeh records and the Daily News?
Anyone who has read the Nobel Prize-winning author’s fiction is bound to remember her reference to the record label, which appears near the end of her novel, “Jazz.” Okeh’s appearance typifies the importance of music in the novel’s plot, which hinges on the power of music to make sane people do crazy things. (Photo: Frank Polich for Getty)
Okeh was a real record company started by Otto K. E. Heinemann–from whom the label got its name–in 1918.
The company became most well known for its recordings of African-American blues singers, which came to be called “race records.” Okeh recorded famed singers such as Mamie Smith, Cab Calloway, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Louis Armstrong, Ida Cox and “Texas” Alexander.
Though the label is retired today, the Daily News has record of the company’s prevalence in New York in the form of the ad pictured here, from the June 8, 1923 issue of the paper.
Morrison’s “Jazz” chronicles the tangled story of an affair between Joe, a middle-aged husband, with Dorcas, an eighteen-year-old girl.
Continue reading the rest of the story on The New York Daily News