Charles Joseph “Buddy” Bolden was a cornetist and regarded as one of the key figures in the development of the New Orleans rag-time music, or jazz.
Bolden was born on September 6, 1877, in New Orleans to Westmore Bolden, who worked as a driver for his former master and Alice Harris. His father died when he as six and leaving him to be raised by his mother and other family members. There is very little information on his childhood.
Bolden became known as ‘King Bolden,’ he along with the members of his band were extremely popular in New Orleans between 1900 and 1907. The group’s music and style were mainly caught the attention of younger musicians. Many early musicians credited Bolden and his band with being the originals of jazz, which was not termed until after the era of Bolden. Legend has it Bolden made a few records, however, they have disappeared.
In 1907, Bolden suffered an episode which was called acute alcoholic psychosis at the age of 30. He later had a full diagnosis of dementia praecox and was admitted to the Louisiana State Insane Asylum in Jackson where he spent the rest of his life.