Young Charlie Parker


“All you need is one person in your whole life to really be listening.” i

Young Charlie Parker
Lester Young, Charlie Parker
Chu Berry, berry, young Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker from Kansas City
The swingiest, stompingest this land’s city
Shoot’em up cowboy city
Gangster city
Nighttime city
Charlie original
Charlie natural
And they once laughed him off the bandstand
And that broke his heart
But he hoboed out
In the last years of the Great Depression
Boxcar ride
Chicago to the Apple
And made it to the home of happy feet
The hopping Savoy
Put the pots on
And then some ii

i  The Rolling Stone Book of the Beats: The Beat Generation and American Culture. Ed. Holly George-Warren. (New
York: Hyperion, 1999), “This Song’s for You, Jack: Collaborating with Kerouac” by David Amram. p. 123.
ii  Crouch, Stanley. Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker. (New York: Harper Collins, 2013).

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GK Stritch


GK Stritch is a contributor to Beatdom and the author of CBGB Was My High School. The book is available at the St. Mark's Bookshop, New York City, and and

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