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John and Devra Hall Levy Collection

Performer:
Lincoln, Abbey, 1930 -  Search this
Adderly, Nat, 1931-  Search this
Wilson, Nancy, 1937-  Search this
Mbulu, Letta  Search this
Adderley, Cannonball  Search this
Montgomery, Wes, 1925-1968  Search this
Horn, Shirley, 1934-  Search this
Donor:
Levy, Devra Hall  Search this
Creator:
Levy, John, 1912-2012  Search this
Extent:
23.6 Cubic feet (96 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Financial records
Interviews
Press releases
Schedules
Contracts
Correspondence
Itineraries
Articles
Scrapbooks
Business records
Videotapes
Audiotapes
Professional papers
Photographs
Date:
1916-2010, undated
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents Levy's short career as a musician, his longer career as a manager, and the careers of some of his clients. The client most well represented in the collection is Nancy Wilson, with recordings, photographs, correspondence, financial statements, and contracts included. Papers relating to other clients include business records such as ledgers, scheduling information, itineraries, and contracts; publicity materials such as articles, press kits, photographs, and videotapes; personal correspondence; photographs; oral history interviews; scrapbook pages; recordings, some commercial and some non-commercial; and miscellany. The non-commercial recordings feature artists including Nancy Wilson, Cannonball Adderley, Nat Adderly, Abbey Lincoln, Wes Montgomery, Shirley Horn, Letta Mbulu, and others. Also included are some of Wes Montgomery's music manuscripts.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into six series.

Series 1: Personal Papers, 1916-2010, undated

Series 2: Business Records, 1957-2007, undated Series 3: Photographic Materials, 1963-2002, undated

Series 4: Artist Files, 1942-2001-05-12

Series 5: Joe Williams, 1962-2007, undated

Series 6: Nancy Wilson, 1959-2008, undated
Biographical / Historical:
John Levy was a renowned leading representative of jazz musicians and was the first African American to work in the music industry as a personal manager. Born in 1912 in New Orleans, Louisiana his family moved to Chicago when he was six. By the early 1940s he had begun playing bass in jazz bands around town. In 1944, Levy left Chicago with the Stuff Smith Trio to play an extended engagement at the Onyx Club on New York City's 52nd Street. Over the next years, he played and recorded with many jazz notables, including Ben Webster, Buddy Rich, Errol Garner, Rex Stewart, Milt Jackson, and Billy Taylor, as well as with Billie Holiday at her comeback performance at Carnegie Hall in 1948. In 1949, blind pianist George Shearing hired Levy for his own group and as they toured the country, Levy gradually took on the role of road manager. By 1951, Levy stopped performing to become the group's full-time manager, making history as the first African American manager of a major musical group, and establishing the career he would continue for the next fifty years.

Levy's client roster included many major artists, including Nat and Cannonball Adderley, Betty Carter, Roberta Flack, Herbie Hancock, Shirley Horn, Freddie Hubbard, Ahmad Jamal, Ramsey Lewis, Abbey Lincoln, Herbie Mann, Wes Montgomery, Carol Sloane, Joe Williams, and Nancy Wilson, as well as Arsenio Hall (the only comedian he has managed among some one hundred entertainers). In recognition of his achievements, Levy has received numerous awards, including induction into the International Jazz Hall of Fame (1997), receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Jazz Society (2002), and being named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master (2006). His autobiography, Men, Women, and Girl Singers: My Life as a Musician Turned Talent Manager, written with his wife Devra Hall, was published in 2001 and expanded into a photograph book, Strollin': A Jazz Life through John Levy's Personal Lens, released in 2008 on the occasion of his 96th birthday. Levy died in 2012 at the age of ninety-nine in Altadena, California.
Related Materials:
Bobby Short Papers
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives Center in 2011 by Devra Hall Levy.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
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.
Topic:
Musicians -- United States  Search this
Jazz musicians -- United States  Search this
Music trade -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Music -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Jazz -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
African American musicians  Search this
Sound recordings -- Album covers  Search this
Sound recordings -- Jazz -- 1930-1990 -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Financial records -- 20th century
Interviews
Press releases
Schedules
Contracts
Correspondence -- 20th century
Itineraries
Articles
Scrapbooks
Business records -- 20th century
Videotapes
Audiotapes
Professional papers -- 20th century
Photographs -- 20th century
Citation:
John and Devra Hall Levy Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1221
See more items in:
John and Devra Hall Levy Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1221

Felix Grant Collection, [sound recordings]

Creator:
Grant, Felix, 1918-1993  Search this
Ellington, Duke, 1899-1974  Search this
Extent:
4.3 Cubic feet (6 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Phonograph records
Sound recordings
Date:
1935-1985
Summary:
Collection consists of 128 albums featuring the music of Duke Ellington, spanning some 50 years of Ellington-based releases.
Scope and Contents:
The Felix Grant collection consists of commercially produced Duke Ellington phonograph recordings that were collected by Grant during his career as a premier disc jockey. The recordings are arranged alphabetically by title. In addition, there are miscellaneous newspaper clippings and correspondence, consisting of press releases, that were removed from some of the album sleeves, and book abstracts from books and dissertations about Ellington. This material is arranged alphabetically, and is located at the end of the collection. The record company label, catalog number, and release date are included in the container list. Many of the albums are promotional copies which Grant obtained at radio stations where he worked. Of special interest are "...and his mother called him Bill' and "Anatomy of a Murder", two albums that are considered to be among Ellington's best. Also of note are a Japanese pressing of "Ella at Duke's Place" and a 1986 pressing of "Money Jungle" that features tracks not on the original release, as well as a program order from an Army Blues salute to Ellington included in the second series.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into one series, alphabetically.
Biographical/Historical note:
Felix Grant (February 22, 1918-October 13, 1993), a renowned jazz disk jockey dubbed Washington, D.C.'s "Mr. Music" and recipient of the U.S. Navy Commendation Medal for his service during WWII, was born in New York and developed a deep passion for America's jazz as a young man listening to local radio broadcasts and visiting Manhattan's numerous jazz nightclubs. He attended LaSalle Academy and first worked for a New York advertising agency as a messenger. Near the end of the war Grant was transferred to Washington D.C.'s Coast Guard headquarters and in 1945 took an announcing job at WWDC-AM.

Grant eventually became a fixture of Washington, D.C. radio, working for such stations as WMAL-AM, WRC-AM, and WDCU-FM. During the 1950s and 60s his WMAL radio show called "The Album Sound" gained popularity in the D.C. area for its unique mix of jazz, blues, and Latin music. Grant's diverse play list helped him gain listeners from all different races long before the end of segregation in Washington, D.C. Native Washingtonian, Duke Ellington, was a particular favorite of Grant's and his music was often featured during Grant's shows. In 1953 Grant took a position at WMAL and in 1984 joined WDCU where he remained until his death. In January of 1996 the University of the District of Columbia opened the Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives, a collection of audiotape and archival records documenting Felix Grant's life and career.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Mr. Felix Grant on April 9, 1991.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Copyright restrictions. Contact staff for information.
Topic:
Jazz  Search this
Sound recordings -- Jazz -- 1930-1990 -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Phonograph records
Sound recordings -- 1930-1990
Citation:
Felix Grant Collection, 1935-1985, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0410
See more items in:
Felix Grant Collection, [sound recordings]
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0410

We'll Meet Again: The Love Songs of World War II [sound recording]

Physical description:
1 sound disc : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Culture:
Americans  Search this
Type:
Musical sound recordings
Place:
United States
Date:
1993
Topic:
United States--History  Search this
Popular music  Search this
Jazz  Search this
Clarinet  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Local number:
Smithsonian Collection of Recordings RD 100
Restrictions & Rights:
Restrictions on access. No duplication allowed listening and viewing for research purposes only
Data Source:
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_345659

Smithsonian/Folkways American Roots Collection [sound recording]

Liner notes:
Seeger, Anthony  Search this
Performer:
Williams, Mary Lou 1910-1981  Search this
Guthrie, Woody 1912-1967  Search this
Leadbelly 1885-1949  Search this
Seeger, Pete 1919-2014  Search this
Hopkins, Lightnin' 1912-1982  Search this
Ashley, Clarence 1895-1967  Search this
Watson, Doc  Search this
Houston, Cisco  Search this
Johnson, Lonnie  Search this
McGhee, Brownie 1915-1996  Search this
Terry, Sonny  Search this
Cohen, John 1932-  Search this
Seeger, Mike 1933-2009  Search this
Monroe, Bill 1911-1996  Search this
Cotten, Elizabeth  Search this
Ochs, Phil  Search this
Williams, Lucinda  Search this
Seeger, Peggy 1935-  Search this
Van Ronk, Dave  Search this
White, Josh  Search this
Lanchester, Michelle  Search this
Wallin, Doug 1919-2000  Search this
Wallin, Jack 1932-2005  Search this
Williams, Big Joe 1903-1982  Search this
Sykes, Roosevelt  Search this
Country Gentlemen (Musical group)  Search this
New Lost City Ramblers  Search this
Sweet Honey in the Rock (Musical group)  Search this
Creator:
Davis, Gary 1896-1972  Search this
Physical description:
1 sound disc : digital ; 4 3/4 in
Culture:
Americans  Search this
Anglo-American  Search this
African American  Search this
Type:
Musical sound recordings
Place:
United States
New York
Texas
North Carolina
Oklahoma
Louisiana
Mississippi
Houston (Tex.)
Tennessee
Virginia
Kentucky
Washington (D.C.)
Ohio
Austin (Tex.)
England
Great Britian
Sodom (N.C.)
Illinois
Chicago (Ill.)
Missouri
Date:
1996
Topic:
Folk songs  Search this
Folksong revival  Search this
Blues (Music)  Search this
Gospel music  Search this
Appalachian Region, Southern--Songs and music  Search this
String band  Search this
Bluegrass music  Search this
Topical songs  Search this
Singer-Songwriters  Search this
British Isles--Songs and music  Search this
Ballads  Search this
Jazz  Search this
Guitar  Search this
Banjo  Search this
Mandolin  Search this
Harmonica  Search this
Violin  Search this
Piano  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Labor unions  Search this
Labor  Search this
Struggle  Search this
Sacco-Vanzetti Trial, Dedham, Mass., 1921  Search this
Local number:
FW-COMM-CD-40061
Smithsonian Folkways 40061
Restrictions & Rights:
Restrictions on access. No duplication allowed listening and viewing for research purposes only; No Duplication
See more items in:
Moses and Frances Asch Collection, 1939-1986 228428
Data Source:
Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_347002

The victory collection [sound recording] / compilation by the Smithsonian Institution Press ; produced in association with ... RCA Special Products

Title:
Smithsonian remembers when America went to war
Author:
Smithsonian Institution Press  Search this
Physical description:
3 sound cassettes : analog, mono. & stereo., Dolby processed
Type:
Sound recordings
Songs and music
Sources
Place:
United States
Date:
1995
P1995
1941-1950
1931-1940
1933-1945
Topic:
Popular music  Search this
Radio programs  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
History  Search this
Call number:
ptp 000153
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_604301

The victory collection [sound recording] : the Smithsonian remembers when American went to war / compilation by the Smithsonian Institution Press ; produced in association with ... RCA Special Products

Title:
Smithsonian remembers when American went to war
Author:
Talbot, Bruce  Search this
Tarnow, David  Search this
Smithsonian Institution Press  Search this
Physical description:
3 sound discs : digital, mono., stereo. ; 4 3/4 in
Type:
Sound recordings
Songs and music
Sources
Place:
United States
Date:
1995
P1995
1931-1940
1941-1950
1933-1945
Topic:
Popular music  Search this
Radio programs  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
History  Search this
Call number:
disc 000304
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_633609

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