Phil Schaap Jazz

Buddy Bolden

The March 28, 1906 New Orleans Daily States adds a published contemporaneous document to the precious few, almost all about this arrest, that surfaced in Buddy Bolden’s lifetime. It is one of three newspaper accounts about a pivotal event that led to confinement and seems the beginning to Charles “Buddy” Bolden being committed to an institution in 1907. This arrest was recorded by the police as having occurred on March 27, 1906. Note that this arrest was published on the actual date by both the New Orleans Daily Picayune and the New Orleans Item. It should be pointed out that Buddy Bolden’s outburst on March 27, 1906 caused him to strike his Mother-in-Law, Ida Bass, and not his mother, Alice Harris Bolden; Alice Bolden was either 51 or 50 at that time (b. 1855 or 1856 – d. August 11, 1931.) Subsequent to this March 27, 1906 occurrence, Bolden was arrested on September 9, 1906 and, again, on March 13, 1907. Buddy Bolden was committed June 1, 1907 and admitted on June 5, 1907 (there were proceedings in April 1907.) The 3/27/1906, 9/9/1906 and 3/13/1907 specific dates – from police ledgers, with 3/27/1906 being the actual date of the confinement documented in the New Orleans Daily States of 3/28/1906 – the commitment dates, the age of Bolden’s mother in 1906, and that it was Mother-in-Law Ida Bass and not Buddy’s Mother, Alice Harris Bolden, who was hit with an ice-water pitcher on 3/27/1906  are appended here to the new find of the 3/28/1906 press account in the New Orleans Daily States. An historic account in the newspaper New Orleans Daily State documenting jazz legend Buddy Bolden’s mental decline, stating alcohol abuse as cause for his mental health problems ( New Orleans Times-Picayune ). -Phil Schaap