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Joel Dorn Papers

Dorn, Joel, 1942-2007  Search this
Atlantic Recording Corporation  Search this
8 Cubic feet (17 boxes)
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Account books
Black-and-white photographic prints
Recording session logs, correspondence, newsclippings, photographs, and accounting sheets and ledger documenting Dorn's career as a producer for Atlantic Records.
Scope and Contents:
The Dorn Papers consist of correspondence, publicity files, and session reports. The correspondence includes letters, memoranda, contracts, lyrics, and demo records/tapes documenting the personal and business interactions between Dorn and the artists. The publicity files include press packets, black and white photos, and newspaper and magazine articles. The session reports include receipts for studio and equipment rental. Also included in the collection are the financial records, accounting ledgers, royalty statements, and bills from Dorn's two production companies, The Masked Announcer and Please and Thank You Music. The papers are arranged alphabetically by either the performers last name or the name of the music group. Oversized materials have been placed at the end of the collection but are listed alphabetically.

The papers document Joel Dorn's career as a producer between 1966 and 1982. During this period his work with several important artists stands out: Roberta Flack, Eddie Harris, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Yusef Lateef, Les McCann, Bette Midler, Charlie Mingus, David "Fathead" Newman, Leon Redbone, and Max Roach.

Of special interest are Dorn's production files for the soundtrack to the film "Boardwalk" and for the play "The Me Nobody Knows". The Best of Series Notes contains song lists and memos regarding several "Best of..." albums, including Rahsaan Roland Kirk, David Newman, and Yusef Lateef. In addition there is the Commodore Series containing information on various compilations of classic artists on the Commodore label, and a catalog of Rahsaan Roland Kirk recordings that survived the Longbranch fire of 1979.
The collection is arranged into one series.
Biographical / Historical:
Joel Dorn began his career in 1961 as a disc jockey for WHAT FM, a Philadelphia jazz station. His tenure at WHAT FM lasted until 1967 when he joined Atlantic Records as an assistant for Nesuhi Ertegun, one of the founders of Atlantic. Dorn remained at Atlantic until 1974, eventually rising to the position of Vice President His accomplishments at Atlantic included the discovery and signing of Roberta Flack and Bette Midler, and the production of their early recordings. Dorn produced many other records for Atlantic, including recordings from notable artists such as Les McCann, Eddie Harris, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Max Roach, Herbie Mann, Yusef Lateef, and David (Fathead) Newman.

Joel Dorn won four Grammy's while at Atlantic: two Records Of The Year for "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and "Killing Me Softly" by Roberta Flack, Jazz Record Of The Year for AKeith Jarrett and Gary Burton", and Best Original Cast Album for "The Me Nobody Knows." Dorn left Atlantic Records in 1974 and continued to produce recordings through his two production companies, The Masked Announcer and Please And Thank You Music. Over the next eight years Dorn produced recordings for Leon Redbone, Peter Allen, and the group Asleep At The Wheel. During this period Dorn was awarded Best Country and Western Instrumental for, "One O'clock Jump" by Asleep At The Wheel and two Gold albums for his Leon Redbone recordings.

In 1982 Dorn took a two-year sabbatical from the recording industry. After this sabbatical he briefly promoted music for the World Wrestling Federation. In 1986 Dorn began work on a compilation of unreleased live recordings from various American musicians. In 1989 he established Night Records, a label dedicated to live jazz, and released albums by Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Les McCann, and Eddie Harris. Dorn is currently a full time consultant for Rhino Records, and has been working on re-releasing the classic Atlantic Records jazz catalog. Dorn's other recent projects include: a seven CD history of John Coltrane's Atlantic years and a series devoted to Coltrane's live European performances, a series of five CD's and five videos from the Montreux Jazz Festival archives, a three CD history of classic performances at the Newport Jazz Festival, a four CD history of Ella Fitzgerald's Decca years, a new album by Charles Lloyd ,an album by Cuban guitarist Rene Toledo, and releases of rare performances by Horace Silver with Joe Henderson, and Mose Allison.
Mr. Joel Dorn, Gift, 9/8/1995.
Collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Music -- Publishing  Search this
Music -- 20th century  Search this
Jazz musicians -- United States  Search this
Jazz musicians  Search this
African American musicians  Search this
Musicians  Search this
Musicians -- Salaries, etc  Search this
Account books -- 20th century
Black-and-white photographic prints -- Silver gelatin -- 1950-2000
Correspondence -- 1930-1950
Joel Dorn Papers, 1967-1982, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
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Joel Dorn Papers
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