Elizabeth Spencer

Denver, 1871–1930

Spencer, the stepdaughter of the first governor of Colorado Territory, took to the radio in its infancy and performed on Thomas Edison’s traveling show in the early 1900s.

Billy Murray

Denver, 1877–1954

This turn-of-the-century singer recorded the hit “Yankee Doodle Boy” in 1905.

Paul Whiteman

Denver, 1890–1967

In the 1920s and 1930s, the bandleader and son of the music director for Denver Public Schools was known nationally as the “King of Jazz.”

Glenn Miller

Fort Morgan, 1904–1944

The big-band musician, bandleader, and composer’s jazz tune “Chattanooga Choo Choo” sold more than a million copies and became the first gold record in 1942.

Max Morath

Colorado Springs, 1926–present

“Mr. Ragtime” banged the piano keys in Cripple Creek’s Gold Bar Room. He went on to write educational music programming for what’s now PBS and star in a one-man off-Broadway show.

—Photo courtesy of Rocky Mountain PBS