The Real Book: An Historical Look!

Hello Jazz Guitar Life readers. I stumbled upon this wonderfully informative and entertaining historical look at The Real Book in both text and as a podcast by the fine people over at 99percentinvisible! If you have the time (42:23 minutes), listen to the podcast as there is much more info, interviews – Steve Swallow included – and musical examples.

I bought mine out of a trunk of a car at a local University near my place back around 1980. There was little a small notice tacked to the community board in the music department providing a day, time and location where “some guy” would be selling them. I bought it and then headed to a friend’s house. Later that evening I went to see Tal Farlow perform at a small club and he was gracious enough to autograph it for me! I still have it but the spiral binding has long been gone! A very fond memory for me ?

Did you ever have, or still have, one of the original Real Books? I’d love to hear your thoughts so feel free to leave a comment below. I won’t tell 🙂

Check out the text and podcast over at

About Lyle Robinson 350 Articles
Lyle Robinson is the owner/creator/publisher and editor of Jazz Guitar Life, an online magazine dedicated to the Jazz Guitar and its community of fine players worldwide.

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