Kansas City was once known as a jazz paradise, and a “Paris of the plains” because of its many boulevards. But at the same time, under the leadership of political boss Tom Pendergast, undesirable results such as booze, prostitution and gambling crept in and flourished.
Although Kansas City was an ideal breeding ground for great music where the likes of Count Basie, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Big Joe Turner and Jimmy Rushing all played the blues, organized crime was also rampant.
Pendergast’s corrupt political machine fell in 1939 when he had serious health problems and he pleaded guilty to tax evasion, but some say Tom Pendergast’s ghost is still alive in Kansas City. The average citizen, however, goes about his business and is not aware of the city’s criminal connections. It must have been like that for many citizens when in 1933 “Pretty Boy” Floyd and his partners began raising havoc at Union Station and carnage followed.
Even today, with so many improvements, all big cities still have their problems. Kansas City is no exception to the rule, but in the scope of things, Kansas City, the City of Fountains, is a good place to live. The metropolitan area has many great communities to live in and raise your children.
Churches, sports complexes, historical sites, museums, great schools, benevolent people, and good food are plentiful. Festivals, music, and folklore are always in the mix too. The Heart of America, the crossroads for Native Americans and the pioneers, is full of tradition, industry and opportunity for all.
Put skepticism aside, listen to your favorite Marilyn Maye songs, and try to keep cool in this heat.
The weather will change, you know, it always does in Kansas City – our kind of town.