Deep Deuce, Oklahoma City
The Deep Deuce District, located just north of Bricktown was the heartbeat of Oklahoma City’s African American community during the 1920s and 1930s. The district’s exceptional jazz music scene was a hallmark of that time. Deep Deuce was home to music legends Charlie Christian and Jimmy Rushing.
Rushing was a skilled singer and pianist. But his time as a featured singer in Count Basie’s orchestra from 1935-1948 earned him national recognition. Charlie Christian’s influence spanned far beyond jazz and swing. In 1990, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Charlie Christian into its ranks for his contributions and early influence on the genre. Take a walk to Bricktown while exploring Deep Deuce to visit Charlie Christian Avenue. This avenue was dedicated to the musician in 2006.
The district continued to see creativity, but this time it was through the written word. Invisible Man author Ralph Ellison was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1914. He called Deep Deuce his home until he moved to Alabama, in 1933. Ellison grew up in the area and was exposed to the vibrant musical scene before he became interested in the literary world.