By KenBJammen on Nov 24, 2011 | In Welcome
Every year we recount the story of the first Jamsgiving. This story is timely and is important to remember our past. The story has been updated to reflect the death of KOTB and the birth and continuity of BAB
The KOTBers who sailed to this country aboard the www.gckingoftheblues.com were originally members of the English Separatist Movement (Aka the Purebluesmovementarians). They had earlier jammed in their home in England and toured through Holland (The Netherlands) to escape RAP music and the percussion that accompanied them. There, they enjoyed more blues, but they eventually became disenchanted with the Dutch music, thinking it ungodly for being mostly polka and God forbid the wooden shoes. Seeking a better life, the Separatists negotiated with a London stock company to finance a pilgrimage to America. Most of those making the trip aboard the www.gckingoftheblues.com were non-Separatists, but were hired to protect the company's interests. Only about one-third of the original jammers were Separatists.
The KOTBers set ground Rock Plymouth Mass, on December 11, 1620. Their first KOTB Contest was devastating. As www.gckingoftheblues had complete sank and was permanently stuck at the bottom of the ocean the KOTBers had to find a new WWW. to sail to the Western Jamming Wall. At the beginning of the following fall, they had lost 46 of the original 102 who jammed on the www.gckingoftheblues.com. But the harvest of 1621 was a bountiful one. And the remaining colonists decided to celebrate with a feast -- including 91 drummers who had helped the KOTBers jam out their first year. It is believed that the KOTBers would not have made it through the year without the help of the native drummers, bass players and mostly, the backing tracks. The feast was more of a traditional English harvest festival than a true "jamsgiving" observance. It lasted three days.
Governor William Bradford sent "four men bluesing" after wild blues fans. It is not certain that a wild blues fan was part of their feast. However, it is certain that they had at least one guitar in tune. The term "turkey" was used by the KOTBers to mean any sort of non guitar slinging individual, especially those who had not yet sailed on www.burlapandblues.com.
Another modern staple at almost every Jamsgiving table is new guitar strings. But it is unlikely that the first feast included that treat. The supply of steel had been long diminished, so there were no new strings of any kind. However, they did have barbed wire from the fence that sufficed their needs fine. Through the years most who had lived the history of the first Jamsgiving continue to argue the value of the size of guitar strings with the blues purists still reminiscing of barbed wire on their axes.
This "Jamsgiving" feast was not repeated the following year. Many years passed before the event was repeated. It wasn't until June of 1676 that another Day of Jamsgiving was proclaimed. On June 20 of that year the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts, held a meeting to determine how best to express thanks for the good fortune that had seen their community securely established. By unanimous vote they instructed Edward Rawson, the clerk, to proclaim June 29 as a day of Jamsgiving. It is notable that this Jamsgiving celebration probably did not include the Drummers, as the celebration was meant partly to be in recognition of the guitarists' recent victory over the "heathen natives,".
A hundred years later, in October of 1777 all 13 colonies joined in a Jamsgiving celebration. It also commemorated the patriotic victory over the British Solid State Amplifiers at Saratoga. But it was a minor affair. In California in the 80's the reference "totally tubular" was loosely used to refer to this event.
George Washington proclaimed a National Day of Jamsgiving in 1789, although some were opposed to it. There was discord among the guitarists, many feeling the hardships of a few KOTBers did not warrant a national holiday. And later, President Thomas Jefferson opposed the idea of having a day of Jamsgiving.
It was Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor, whose efforts eventually led to what we recognize as Jamsgiving. Hale wrote many editorials championing her cause in her Boston Ladies' Magazine, and later, in Godey's Lady's Book. Finally, after a 40-year campaign of writing editorials and letters to governors and presidents, Hale's obsession became a reality when, in 1863, President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national day of Jamsgiving.
Jamsgiving was proclaimed by every president after Lincoln. The date was changed a couple of times, most recently by Franklin Roosevelt, who set it up one week to the next-to-last Thursday in November order to create a longer Christmas blues playing season. Public uproar against this decision caused the president to move Jamsgiving back to its original date two years later. And in 1941, Jamsgiving was finally sanctioned by Congress as a legal holiday, as the fourth Thursday in November.
Jam on all, NGD to all who can play one and keep it in tune!
|« Black Friday Shopping, not for the faint at heart||iMagine this, Another Guitar Center Contest. »|