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Catalog Data

Herman, Woody, 1913-1987  Search this
Siefert, Jack William, 1918-  Search this
16 Cubic feet
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scope and Contents:
Sound recordings, business records, photographs, correspondence, and concert posters documenting the career of Woodrow Charles "Woody" Herman.
The Jack Siefert/Woody Herman Collection includes manuscript materials, photographs, open-reel audio tapes, cassettes, CDs, audio discs and videos documenting the career of Woody Herman. The collection is organized into six series as follows: Series 1: Correspondence, 1969-1988 Includes a few letters to Woody Herman, but the bulk of the correspondence is to or from Jack Siefert. Series 2: Photographs, circa 1920 - 1987 The photographs are divided into 5 subseries (family, in performance, friends and colleagues, publicity, and miscellaneous) and arranged chronologically within each subseries. This series includes original and copy prints. Series 3: Business Records, circa 1946 – 1990 Consists of 3 subseries (Misc. Business Papers, Publicity and Programs, and Itineraries) with the bulk of the materials documenting performance schedules and itineraries. The post-1987 materials include programs and announcements for tributes to Woody Herman. Series 4: Clippings, 1945 – 1990s Magazine and newspaper articles about Woody Herman and his various bands. Series 5: Ephemera Includes several cartoons and Herman's entry in 'Who's Who in America." Also Jack Siefert's log to the audio materials titled Musical History of Woody Herman. Series 6: Audio-Visual Materials Commercial audio disc recordings, reference recordings and transcription discs, ¼" open-reel audio tapes, audio cassettes, CDs and videos.
Divided into 6 series. Chronologically arranged.
Biographical / Historical:
Woodrow Charles "Woody" Herman was born in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 16, 1913. He became involved with music at an early age, working in vaudeville and becoming a professional saxophone player at 15. He joined Isham Jones in 1934 and then when Jones' group disbanded in 1936, Herman used several former Jones musicians to form the core for Herman's first band, the Woody Herman Orchestra. This group was known for…. Renamed Woody Herman and his Herd in 1943, the group was heavily influenced by Duke Ellington. The first Herd's music was admired for its swinging arrangements. Herman disbanded this group in 1946 for family reasons, but reformed the band in 1947 as the Second Herd. Although considered an excellent musician, Herman's talent as a organizer ensured his place in the history of American popular music. He had a rare ability to assemble musicians to create bands with distinctive and, ultimately, popular sounds.
Collection donated by J. William Siefert, August 13, 1998.
Collection is open for research but a portion of the collection is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at or 202-633-3270.
Copyright restrictions. Contact staff for information.
Jazz -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Musicians -- 20th century  Search this
Posters -- 20th century
Correspondence -- 20th century
Photographs -- 20th century
Jack Siefert Woody Herman Collection, 1913-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Jack Siefert Woody Herman Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History