Long before American Idol and America’s Got Talent, and television or radio for that matter, American musicians gained popularity through events called 'cutting contests.' They were informal, but a really big deal in the 1920’s. In a way they were like unscripted town hall meetings where each musician would try to outplay the other, often times playing music suggested by the audience. The Takeaway talks to Terrance McKnight, host of WNYC’s Evening Music, about one classic cutting contest that took place on March 3, 1880.
Guest: Terrance McKnight, WNYC music host