Columbia College Chicago

Research Collections

Sue Cassidy Clark Papers

Funding from the Grammy Foundation has made possible the digital preservation of taped interviews in the collection of Sue Cassidy Clark, a music journalist and photographer who specialized in soul, gospel, and rock music in the late 1960s and 1970s. She is the author of Rock: A World Bold as Love (Cowles, 1970) and The Superstars: In Their Own Words (Music Sales, 1972), and she contributed articles and record reviews to several periodicals, including Billboard, Black Stars, Creem, Hit Parader, Rolling Stone, Rock, Soul Illustrated, and Soul Sounds. Her collection contains files on a number of popular musicians that include promotional materials and clippings, typescripts of her articles, photographs, and taped interviews. The taped interviews in the collection have been preserved in digital form and logged. Artists who have agreed to the research use of their interviews in the collection include Inez Andrews, Jerry Butler, Al Green, Tootie Heath, B. B. King, Patti La Belle, Chaka Khan, The O'Jays, Wilson Pickett, Martha Reeves, Nina Simone, The Spinners, Mavis and Cleotha Staples, and the estates of David Ruffin and Johnnie Taylor.

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Bilby Collection of Jamaican studio musicians oral histories

Foundations of Jamaican Popular Music

The Kenneth Bilby oral history collection on Foundations of Jamaican music consists of 142 audio cassettes containing 194 hours of in-depth interviews with 100 important Jamaican studio musicians, arrangers, and vocalists. The interviews feature the individuals who created the genres of ska, rocksteady, and reggae during the 1960s and 1970s, and reveal in great detail how these new forms actually emerged, and what their creators thought about the creative process. Those who actually created these sounds—the studio musicians of Kingston during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s—have been largely bypassed in the writing of the history of these musics. Yet it is precisely in the memories of these pioneers, most of whom have yet to receive the credit they deserve, that the deeper cultural significance and more personal meanings of this history reside.

The bulk of this collection was assembled during 2004–2005 as part of an oral history project on Jamaican music funded by a Guggenheim fellowship. The interviews were designed to elicit not only factual information (e.g., who composed and played on what, and when and where), but also a culturally-informed sense of the social contexts in which they played, arranged, and recorded music, as well as an experiential account of what this music meant to them personally. Among the interviewees are a number of GRAMMY award recipients and several “stars” such as Toots Hibbert, Prince Buster, and Sly & Robbie, but the collection also includes most of the leading studio guitarists, bass players, keyboardists, drummers, and percussionists during the periods when critical stylistic shifts took place. For example, 5 of the 6 session guitarists most responsible for the transition from rocksteady to reggae-style guitar are represented in this collection—Ranny Bop, Hux Brown, Dougie Bryan, Alva Lewis, and Ernie Ranglin. The interviews are unique in that they were conducted by Bilby himself, a trained ethnographer and ethnomusicologist whose professional involvement with Jamaican culture spans more than 35 years. Bilby’s expertise in both the rural grassroots music and urban popular music of Jamaica put him in a unique position to carry out the ethnographically-informed interviews of studio musicians. The CBMR preservation and access project was funded in part with a grant from The GRAMMY Foundation.

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David Dargie Publications & Instruments
Dargie, David, 1978-1998

Materials including 5 self-published booklets, 5 sound cassettes from his African Sunday series, and a videocassette concerning music of South Africa, primarily music of the Xhosa.
Dominique-René De Lerma papers
De Lerma, Dominique-René

Papers, circa 1960 to 1993 and undated, including correspondence and research files, records from his employment at Indiana University, Morgan State University, and Columbia College Chicago and materials from his consulting work with the Afro-American Music Opportunities Association (AAMOA). There are also photographs and sound recordings in the collection. De Lerma's sizable donation of books is incorporated into the general library holdings.

33 boxes, plus 2 boxes magnetic media, 1 binder, 622 volumes, 786 analog sound discs (primarily LPs, some 78s)

Donated by Dominique-René de Lerma, 1990–1992.

Biographical note:

Dominique-René de Lerma (1928– ) is a prominent, pioneering scholar in black music research. After a career as a performing oboist, de Lerma received a PhD in musicology from Indiana University in 1958. Subsequently he taught at Indiana University (1963–1976), at Morgan State University (1976–1990), and at Peabody Conservatory (1983–1990). He served as Director of the Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College Chicago from 1990 to 1993. Currently, he teaches at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. De Lerma is the author of several books, including the four-volume Bibliography of Black Music(Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1981).

Scope note:

The de Lerma papers reflect the interests, research, and activities he pursued in his career as musicologist, educator and administrator in higher education and nonprofit musical organizations. Excluding the large book collection, which is cataloged and shelved with the regular library holdings, the materials are divided into seven series, as follows.

I. Vertical files (by subjects, names)
II. Institutional files (by place of work)
III. Miscellaneous files, photographs
IV. Scores by black composers
V. Afro-American Music Opportunities Association (AAMOA)
VI. Sound recordings
VII. Annotated books, single issue publications

Dominique-René de Lerma corresponded with composers, performers, and other scholars and kept subject files about them as well. His original filing system, combining correspondence and subject files, has been retained. In addition, de Lerma kept newspaper and magazine clippings, concert programs, promotional materials, and other ephemera. These “vertical files” are Series I, which forms the bulk of the collection.

Correspondence, records, and other materials from his employment at three institutions make up Series II, filed chronologically and by subject. Series III consists of miscellaneous materials, including grant proposals and photographs.

De Lerma's files on the Afro-American Music Opportunities Association (AAMOA) comprise Series V, and include correspondence and other papers dated 1970–1978.

The de Lerma files are very broad in their scope, covering classical music, a topic of most of the correspondence with scholars, composers, and performers, but also encompassing popular and traditional music forms and jazz. With the papers were received a substantial collection of scores by black composers, which are arranged as Series IV.

The sound recordings received with the collection are shelved separately as Series VI, and organized according to De Lerma's own filing system, which has been retained to facilitate access and retrieval. Books received with the collection are incorporated into the general library holdings with the exception of one box of annotated volumes and presentation copies arranged as Series VII. There is also a box of single issues and newsletters in this series.

Dena J. Epstein papers

Epstein, Dena J. Polacheck, 1916–

Papers, dated 1947 to 2005, with the bulk of the materials dated 1955–1998, consisting of files, notes, correspondence and other materials relating to her research on African-American folk music before the Civil War.

28 boxes, circa 11 linear feet

Donated by Dena J. Epstein, 2002–2005. Additional donations expected.

This collection was processed with funding provided through a Preservation and Access Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical note:

Dena J. Epstein is a music librarian and musicologist. She earned a BA from the University of Chicago (1937) and BS and MS degrees in library science from the University of Illinois (1939, 1943). She held library positions at several libraries, including the Library of Congress, before becoming Assistant Music Librarian at the University of Chicago in 1964, retiring in 1986.

Scope note:

The papers consists of files, correspondence, and notes, a personal oral history transcript and other biographical information spanning Epstein's nearly 60 year career as music librarian and historian. Correspondents of particular interest include scholars, publishers, and personal family members, as well as several descendants of the abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. Among her correspondents are African-American historian Henry Louis Gates Jr., founding director of the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College Margaret Storrs Grierson, noted American music historian H. Wiley Hitchcock, musicologist Eileen Southern, composer, historian and author Helen Walker-Hill, CBMR founder and musicologist Samuel Floyd Jr., and other noted scholars.

Reference and research notes, illustration photographs and other materials for her book Sinful Tunes and Spirituals: Black Folk Music to the Civil War (Urbana and Chicago, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 1977) make up a large portion of the papers, in addition to the correspondence. Also included are notes and correspondence concerning her other publications and writings, including information and correspondence about the origins of the banjo.

Charles Hamm papers and sound recordings

Papers, dated 1956 to 1994 and undated, with the bulk of the original research materials from the mid-1980s, consisting of notes, clippings, and other materials on South African popular music and South African radio, including the manuscript of an unfinished book on township jive.

5 boxes, plus 110 analog sound discs (LPs and 45s)

Donated by Charles Hamm, 1999.

The collection of sound recordings of South African music is available for listening onsite.

Biographical note:

Charles E. Hamm (born in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1925) is a musicologist, composer, author, and educator. He is the author of numerous books and articles on popular and art music, most notably the landmark books Music in the New World (New York: Norton, 1983) andYesterdays: Popular Song in America (New York: Norton, 1979), which helped to pioneer the academic study of popular music. Professor Hamm was one of the founding organizers of The International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM). He is a former president of the American Musicological Society and has contributed major entries on John Cage, “Manuscript Sources of Renaissance Music,” and “Popular Music” to the New Grove Dictionary of Music. In 2002, he was awarded a lifetime achievement award from the Society for American Music. Currently, Hamm serves as Professor Emeritus of Music at Dartmouth College.

Scope note:

The present papers are the result of Charles Hamm's research trips to South Africa in the early 1980s. The papers center around an unfinished book on the history of jive and contain the majority of his working sources including the following: South African newspaper clippings, South African political journals and magazines, articles and offprints by other authors, a range of information on South African radio, South African popular music magazines, including full issues of Drum, a number of notes and papers concerning music publishing and popular music appreciation in South Africa, and detailed notes on several dozen pieces of music.

Of particular note are Hamm's notebooks, drafts, articles, and offprints that include the monograph Afro-American Music, South Africa, and Apartheid (Brooklyn, NY: Institute for Studies in American Music, Conservatory of Music, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, 1988) and his article “Rock n Roll in a Very Strange Society” (Popular Music 5, 1985), as well as a series of lectures delivered at Brooklyn College of Music in the fall of 1986.

Collection of Gerhard Kubik and Moya Malamusi papers
Kubik, Gerhard, 1934–
Malamusi, Moya Aliya

Materials related to writings and field research, dated 1962–1999, including offprints of articles and reviews, video footage of music and dance events in southern Africa, and photographs.

2 boxes, including 6 videocassettes, and 1 DAT tape plus 2 musical bows from Malawi

Donated by Gerhard Kubik, 1997, with further additions of recordings and publications in 1998 and 1999.

Biographical note:

Gerhard Kubik (born in 1934) is an ethnomusicologist specializing in the music of Africa and the worldwide African diaspora. He is currently a musicology professor at the University of Vienna. Through fieldwork spanning more than thirty-five years in eighteen countries, Kubik has amassed the largest collection of African traditional music worldwide. His publications include several important books in the field, among themTheory of African Music (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2010) and Africa and the Blues (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1999).

Moya Aliya Malamusi and Kubik enjoy a longstanding collaborative relationship. Both scholars are also performers and have appeared with Donald Kachamba's Heritage Jazzband.

Moya Aliya Malamusi (born in 1959) is also an ethnomusicologist and professor at the University of Vienna. In addition to his projects with Kubik, Malamusi has done extensive research into guitar styles and techniques in southern Africa. Malamusi published a selection of his field recordings on a CD titled From Lake Malawi to the Zambezi (Frankfurt, 1999).

Scope note:

This collection is simply a small sampling of the field research of both Kubik and Malamusi, including photographs, sound recordings, and publications documenting their work. Of particular interest are the videotaped recordings of African dance and music and the small collection of photographs taken primarily in the 1960s in Angola, Cameroon, and Mozambique, among other locations. There is a typescript for an essay titled “African Elements in Jazz,” in addition to other writings. Kubik's donated books and recordings about the music and culture of southern Africa are shelved with the library collections.

Alice Rosalee Marshall collection of gospel-related materials
Paul Eduard Miller papers
Miller, Paul Eduard, 1903–

Papers, dated mainly between 1934 and 1950, and undated, consisting primarily of typescripts of his published and unpublished writings including radio scripts, critical writings, and two versions of his unpublished book “The Best Jazz.” There are also his collection of books and periodicals, photographs (dated circa 1907 to 1955), and sound recordings, including limited edition recordings of Sidney Bechet performing during a visit to Chicago.

10 boxes, 1 volume

Donated by his daughter, Bonnie Miller Barnes, 1995 and 2009. Additional donations are possible.

Biographical note:

Paul Eduard Miller (1902–1972) was a jazz critic and journalist. He began writing for Down Beat in the 1930s, eventually becoming a contributing editor. He also edited their jazz yearbook in 1939. From 1944 to 1947, he was the jazz editor of Esquire and edited Esquire's immensely popular jazz yearbooks, publishing his own Yearbook of Popular Music in 1943. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, he hosted a radio show on WXRT-FM in Chicago called This is Jazz.

Miller seems to have preferred traditional jazz and had great respect for New Orleans jazzman Sidney Bechet in particular. He repeatedly named the reed player to his all-star roster in Esquire's Jazz Book, and in 1946 and 1947 Miller presented Bechet in a series of concerts in Chicago. He also entertained Bechet at his home on several occasions during the 1940s.

Miller wrote an ambitious critical study titled “The Best Jazz,” which was never published.

Scope note:

Paul Eduard Miller's surviving papers consist of typescripts of his published and unpublished writings, including Down Beat's Yearbook of Swing (1938), his own Miller's Yearbook of Popular Music (1943), and theEsquire Jazz Books for 1944 and 1946. In addition there are versions of Miller's attempts to write a canon-defining book on jazz: “Testimonial to Jazz,” (1936) and a later undated typescript “The Best Jazz,” in which Miller discusses and rates musicians and recordings. Also present are radio scripts for his radio program “This Is Jazz” on WXRT-FM for the year 1948 and playlists for “This Is Jazz” and “Classics of Jazz” for January–June 1950.

Other materials donated include photographs, sound recordings, a small amount of early twentieth-century sheet music, copies of his publications, and jazz record catalogs and discographies.

The collection of photographs is fairly substantial, dating from 1907(?) to 1955, and undated, with the bulk dated from the mid-1940s. Analog sound recordings focus on earlier jazz performers; of particular interest are the 1946–1947 Bechet recordings.

Jeannie Gayle Pool Collection on Zenobia Powell Perry

Perry, Zenobia Powell, 1908-2004.

Collection, 1910-2003, consisting primarily of photocopies of biographical materials and of programs and some correspondence concerning Perry’s career as a composer, plus an oral history interview with Perry conducted by Jeannie Gayle  Pool in Yellow Springs, Ohio, July 1993. An inventory for the collection can be found in Pool’s biography of Perry,American Composer Zenobia Powell Perry: Race and Gender in the 20th Century (Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press, 2009).

2 letter boxes + 3 sound discs (9 linear inches)

Donated by Jeannie G. Pool, 2004

Paul Robeson Centennial Committee Records

The collection consists of research materials, articles, books and publications, photographs, recordings, and other materials donated by the Paul Robeson Centennial Committee at Columbia College Chicago. The Centennial Committee's extensive subject files, newspaper articles and other records document the life and contributions of Paul Robeson (1898-1976), a world-renowned actor, singer, and speaker, who was also active in the early labor movement in the United States.

Included in the collection are 1.25 linear feet of copies of declassified FBI files on Robeson, office files for the activities of the committee planning honorary activities locally, as well as information and promotional materials on centennial events held around the world.

Eileen Southern papers

Southern, Eileen

Papers, 1974–1997 including research files, correspondence, sheet music, photographs, and other materials from her numerous publications and her academic career.

51 boxes

Donated by Joseph Southern, 2003.

This collection was processed with funding provided through a Preservation and Access Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical note:

Eileen Southern (1920–2002) was a musicologist, teacher, author, editor, and publisher. She trained and performed as a concert pianist but earned BA and MA degrees in musicology from the University of Chicago (1940, 1941) and a PhD from New York University (1961). She taught at several institutions, becoming the first black female tenured professor at Harvard (1976), where she chaired the Afro-American Studies Department during 1975–1979. She retired from teaching in 1987. Her numerous published works include writings on early music in addition toThe Music of Black Americans (3rd edition, W.W. Norton, 1997). First published in 1971, it was a pioneering work in the field of black music. She followed it with reference works, including the Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American and African Musicians (Greenwood Press, 1982) and African-American Traditions in Song, Sermon, Tale, and Dance, 1600s–1920 (Greenwood Press, 1990) compiled with Josephine Wright. From 1973 to 1990, with her husband Joseph Southern, she edited and published The Black Perspective in Music (BPiM), which, for the first seven years of its existence, was the only scholarly journal on the subject. She died in Florida in 2002.

Scope note:

The collection contains files on a number of musicians and composers, often including correspondence, which Southern used mainly to compile her biographical dictionary; files from her tenure at Harvard; miscellaneous academic and professional correspondence arranged by name of correspondent and then by date; files of materials concerning the Hyers Sisters and early African-American drama used for her editions of Out of Bondage and Peculiar Sam, Or, The Underground Railroad published as volume 9 of the series Nineteenth-Century American Music Theater (Garland Publishing, 1994); a collection of historical photographs used to compile her book Images: Iconography of Music in African-American Culture, co-authored with Josephine Wright (Garland Publishing, 2000); a collection of photographs of musicians and performers for publication in BPiM; photographs taken during trips to Africa; a collection of recorded interviews, some of which were published in BPiM, and a file of letters from composer, bandleader and publisher W. C. Handy to composer William Grant Still (1935–1958), also published inBPiM; a collection of sheet music by African-American composers including photocopies of nineteenth-century published music.

Theodore Charles Stone papers
Theodore Charles Stone was a Chicago-based performer and journalist who also served for several years as the president of the National Association of Negro Musicians. His extensive files, dating from the 1950s to the 1990s, include programs and information about concerts and music events, music, and an extensive collection of photographs. There are also series on African-American organizations in Chicago, churches, biographical files, and a file of funeral programs that contain biographical information about Chicago musicians and public figures. The collection also contains an extensive photograph collection and a box of sheet music by black composers. 
Helen Walker-Hill papers

Walker-Hill, Helen

Papers, dated 1887 to 2001 (with most dated from 1987 to 1998), consisting of research materials on black women composers, including notes and biographical files, correspondence, recorded interviews, and a large number of music scores.

43 boxes, circa 22 linear feet

Gift of Helen Walker-Hill, 1995.

This collection was processed with funding provided through a Preservation and Access Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Biographical note:

Helen Walker-Hill (born in 1936 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) is a scholar, editor and performer specializing in the music of black women composers. She has a BA degree from the University of Toledo in Ohio (1957), an MA in musicology from Smith College (1965), and a DMA in piano performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder (1981). She has written several books and articles and has edited a number of scores for publication. With her son, violinist Gregory Walker, she produced and performed on a compact disc of music by black women composers entitled Kaleidoscope: Music by African-American Women(Leonarda LE 339) issued in 1995.

Scope note:

Helen Walker-Hill's papers include a variety of materials concerning black women composers: correspondence and research files, over 800 music scores, photographs, and recorded interviews chiefly created during research for her book, From Spirituals to Symphonies: African-American Women Composers and Their Music (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002), and her published editions of music by black women composers.

Of particular note is Walker-Hill's correspondence with Undine Smith Moore, Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Tania Léon. Newspaper clippings include articles from late nineteenth-century issues of The Indianapolis Freeman and early twentieth-century papers such as The Chicago Defender, The Crisis, and The Interstate Tattler.

The oral history interviews, completed 1989–1991, 1995, and 1998, comprised 56 cassette tapes, which have been dubbed to CD for research access. Interview subjects include Djane Richardson (Margaret Bonds' daughter), noted Chicago composers Regina Harris Baiocchi and Lena McLin, Joyce Solomon Moorman, Dorothy Rudd Moore, and Theodore Charles Stone (discussing Florence Price and Margaret Bonds).

Martin Williams papers

Williams, Martin T.

Papers, dated 1945 to 1992, including published articles, unpublished manuscripts, files and correspondence, and music scores of jazz compositions.

7 boxes, plus books and analog sound discs (LPs, 78s, 45s)

Bequest of Martin Williams; received 1992.

Biographical note:

Martin Williams (1924–1992) was born in Richmond, Virginia, and educated at the University of Virginia (BA, 1948), the University of Pennsylvania (MA, 1950) and Columbia University. He was a nationally known critic, specializing in jazz and American popular culture. He wrote for major jazz periodicals, especially Down Beat, and co-founded The Jazz Review. Williams wrote numerous books on jazz, including The Jazz Tradition, 2nd rev. ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), which won the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award for excellence in music criticism in 1973. During 1971–1981, he directed the Jazz and American Culture Programs at the Smithsonian Institution, where he compiled two widely respected collections of recordings, The Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz and The Smithsonian Collection of Big Band Jazz. His liner notes for the latter won a Grammy Award.

Scope note:

Martin Williams preferred to retain his writings in their published form: there are many clipped articles but few manuscript drafts of published materials in his files. Neither did he usually retain correspondence after a project was completed. Nevertheless, the one foot of papers received after his death contains interesting documentation of his dealings with his publishers and with other critics and scholars. There are also uncompleted and unpublished articles and reviews. The collection is arranged in seven series, as follows:

Series I: Papers
Series II: Single published articles
Series III: Printed music and music manuscripts
Series IV: Periodicals (series)
Series V: Periodicals (single issues) and programs
Series VI: Books
Series VII: Sound recordings

The files in Series I were retained in their original order with their original file headings. Series II contains clipped articles by Williams. The music in Series III, consisting mainly of stock arrangements of Jelly Roll Morton tunes, was collected for an intended project on Morton. In Series IV, periodical runs are arranged alphabetically by title then by date; in most cases, Williams kept only issues containing his writings or issues in which he had some particular interest. Series V consists of individual periodicals with articles by Williams, arranged by title.

Williams donated all of his jazz-related materials to the CBMR, including his books, most of which have been shelved and cataloged with the regular library holdings. His sizable collection of recordings, many donated before his death, is shelved separately and is available for listening onsite.