Blesh, Rudi [Rudolph] (Pickett)
- John Edward Hasse
(b Guthrie, OK, Jan 21, 1899; d Gilmanton, NH, Aug 25, 1985). American writer on music. He attended Dartmouth College and earned the BS in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. In the 1940s he served as jazz critic for the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Herald Tribune. He wrote a pioneering serious history of jazz, Shining Trumpets (1946), and with Harriet Janis was co-author of the first history of ragtime, They All Played Ragtime (1950). The latter work established him as the leading authority in this field, and eventually prompted a revival of the music. Also with Janis, he founded Circle Records, a small but significant jazz label which became the first to issue the Library of Congress recordings of Jelly Roll Morton. In 1953 they sold Circle Records – apart from the Morton recordings – to Jazzology Records. From 1947 to 1950...