First Take

Frank Masi/HBO

When we first think of the blues the images that first come to mind are either the Mississippi delta men with acoustic guitars like Robert Johnson and Son House or alternately the electrified version advanced by Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and urbanized in the likes of Jr. Wells and Buddy Guy among many others. However, lost in our understanding of history is the fact that in the beginning, the most famous of early blues musicians were women. They sold the most records and commanded the most attention although apart from only a few their names have largely been forgotten.

“It’s Only a Paper Moon” | Stories of Standards

May 19, 2015

Harold Arlen’s “It’s Only a Paper Moon” was originally titled “If You Believed in Me” and debuted in the 1932 Broadway show, The Great Magoo.

Tune in to First Take with Chavis and Lando - weekdays from 6-9 am MT - for Stories of Standards to hear our favorite versions of this song all week long!

The Yoga Mat

Dr. Desiré Anastasia, a professor at MSU Denver's Sociology and Criminology department, joined First Take with Lando and Chavis to talk about her work bringing the spiritual practice of yoga to underserved populations such as inmates and veterans as part of her work with the Give Back Yoga Foundation

Kara Pearson Gwinn

Real-estate reporter Margaret Jackson found herself seriously reflecting on the way gentrification has affected Denver after her dog groomer jokingly claimed to be the "last black man standing" in Whittier (east Five Points).; Information and text from

Written in 1957 by composer, arranger and trumpeter Neal Hefti, “Li’l Darlin’” was arranged for the Count Basie band, who  introduced the song.

In Visions of Jazz: The First Century, Gary Giddins said, “In the enduring ‘Li’l Darlin’,’ [Hefti] tested the band’s temporal mastery with a slow and simple theme that dies if it isn’t played at exactly the right tempo. Basie never flinched.”