Collection consists of original cassettes, open-reel master, and reference cassette audiotapes of two oral history interviews about the life and career of Duke Ellington. Leonard Feather's oral history interview has a transcript.
In separate interviews jazz critic Leonard Feather and Sam Woodyard discuss their relationships with and knowledge of Ellington and his music.
Scope and Contents:
Audiotape interviews with jazz critic Leonard Feather and drummer Sam Woodyard about their relationships with Duke Ellington and the Ellington Orchestra. John Hasse interviewed Leonard Feather on June 10, 1990. Patricia Willard interviewed Sam Woodyeard on May 30, 1998 and May 31, 1988. The interviews were recorded on audio cassette.
Collection organized into one series.
Series 1, Jazz Oral History Collection, 1988-1990
Subseries 1.1: Leonard Feather
Subseries 1.2: Sam Woodyard
Biographical / Historical:
The Jazz Oral History Collection comprises two oral history interviews about Duke Ellington and his Orchestra.
One interview is with Leonard Feather (1914-1994), noted jazz critic, record producer, and composer. Born in England, Feather became an ardent fan of jazz by listening to recordings. The first time he saw Ellington perform live was in 1933 at the Palladium in London. Feather made his first trip to the United States in 1935 and through music critic and record producer John Hammond he met many of the leading musicians, producers, and concert promoters active in the American jazz scene. Feather was hired by Ellington in 1942 to do publicity and became part of what Feather referred to as "the Ellington family." Feather worked with Mercer Ellington as well and throughout the years he maintained an active involvement and friendship with Ellington.
A shorter interview with drummer Sam Woodyard (1925-1988) is poorly recorded and consequently it is difficult to hear and understand Woodyard's responses to the questions. Sam Woodyard was a drummer with the Ellington Orchestra from 1955 through 1966.
Made for the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
The collection is open for research.
No release forms exist. Collection items are available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply.