Kansas City Jazz Oral History Collection (KC0012)
Howard Litwak and Nathan Pearson first discussed, in 1975, the possibility of doing a jazz oral history project with musicians who played in Kansas City during the "Golden Age of Jazz". They wrote a proposal, and in 1976 were awarded a Youth Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to begin work on "Kansas City--The Oral History of a Jazz Scene, 1924-1942." Oral interviews by Litwak and Pearson were conducted in Kansas City, New York, and other locations in Missouri and the Southwest. The persons interviewed were musicians, dancers, civic leaders, politicians, band managers, and night club owners important to the Kansas City jazz scene. The interviewers sought information regarding the interviewee's family background, early music experiences, and reminiscences of Kansas City during the jazz period. The transcriptions contain, therefore, considerable information on such subjects as drug and alcohol use among musicians; racial discrimination; the musicians union; traveling circuits for musicians; the numerous speakeasies, night clubs and dance halls in Kansas City where jazz was played; and the various personalities among musicians, politicians, and others who contributed to the Kansas City jazz scene. 1976-1980.
2 cubic feet.
© State Historical Society of Missouri
Monday, February 07, 2011
State Historical Society of Missouri Research Center-Kansas City
(816) 235-1543 WHMCKC@umkc.edu