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Watch: A Brief History of Kansas City Barbecue

What makes Kansas City's barbecue great?

Great barbecue is one of America's finest achievements, and regional styles are protected and fought over in cities throughout the South. In Kansas City, the history of barbecue is woven along with the city's legendary history of jazz. The town's music scene thrived on barbecue in the 1930s. Count Bassie, Mary Lou Williams, and Charlie Parker were fans of "the father of KC barbecue" Henry Perry's smoked meats. But subsequent generations of pitmasters have developed their own loyal followings, and competition is fierce. Even President Obama, when visiting Kansas City in 2014, refused to comment on the best 'cue in town. Unlike other cities, KC smokes all kinds of meat, from pork and beef to chicken and fish. Apparently, you can go to a different barbecue restaurant in Kansas City every day for over three months straight. Here now is a brief history and family tree of Kansas City's favorite barbecue joints.

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