Doin' The Charleston – Black Roots of American Popular Music & The Jenkins Orphanage Legacy

Doin' The Charleston
348 Pages
ISBN 978-0615852034


For the first time, here is the stirring story of the Jenkins Orphanage Band and its role in American popular music. From slavery to freedom, follow the inspirational rags-to-riches story of some of America’s greatest jazz musicians brought together by the determination of one man, a freed black slave named Rev. Daniel Jenkins. His Jazz Nursery revolutionized the music world!

One cold December day in 1891, Rev. Jenkins discovered four black children huddled together in a railroad car. He had more than 500 children in his care. To support the Orphanage, Jenkins organized a brass band which performed on the Charleston streets for hand-outs. Ten years later, the Jenkins Band appeared in London, played for President Teddy Roosevelt and premiered on Broadway. Members of the Jenkins Band played with Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Louis Armstrong.

Then, tragically in 1919, one of the Jenkins’ musicians committed a brutal murder which shocked America! During the next decade, the Roaring 20s, America underwent a tumultuous change in which everybody was soon DOIN’ THE CHARLESTON!


Mark R. Jones

About Mark R. Jones (Charleston, South Carolina Author)

Mark R. Jones

Mark R. Jones is an eighth-generation South Carolinian and quite possibly his own second cousin. He is an author, historian and licensed tour guide for the city of Charleston, SC. His most recent books are the CHARLESTON ALMANAC and CHARLESTON FIRSTS. He is also the author of the first complete history of the Jenkins Orphanage Band, DOIN' THE CHARLESTON: BLACK ROOTS OF AMERICAN POPULAR MUSIC & THE JENKINS ORPHANAGE LEGACY. Jones considers the story of the Jenkins Band to be "one of the greatest unknown stories in American musical history."

His first two books (WICKED CHARLESTON and WICKED CHARLESTON, VOL. II) explore the dark side of the Holy City, sex, murder and sin. He is also the author of two true crime collections of South Carolina - PALMETTO PREDATORS and SOUTH CAROLINA KILLERS. Jones was recently featured on Investigation Discovery Channel's "A Crime To Remember."