Marr | Frank Driggs Jazz Oral History Collection

see also: A-Z list by name at right, below


Related Collections By Name

- Jay McShann
- Eugene G. Ramey, Sr.
- Joe Thomas
- Claude "Fiddler" Williams

Related Collections By Topic

- Music
- Music: Jazz & Big Band
- Music: Kansas City Jazz


Related External Resources

- Jazz At Lincoln Center
     Home of the Frank Driggs Photo Collection

Scope and Content of Collection

The Frank Driggs Jazz Oral Histories Collection was gifted by Driggs to the Marr Sound Archives in 2002. The 300+ oral histories, conducted from 1956 to 1986, capture the truths of the development of jazz as related by a host of musicians and band leaders who defined the tradition. All aspects of the jazz experience are captured in the interviews, ranging from musical triumphs to hardships on the road during the Great Depression. Reflecting Driggs' interest in the development of Southwestern and Kansas City jazz, the collection is rich in oral histories of the bandleaders and musicians who defined those traditions, including Andy Kirk, Buster Smith, Gene Ramey, Thamon Hayes, Jesse Stone and Ed Lewis. Many of the oral histories in the Driggs collection survive as the only known record of a musician’s experiences and voice.

Biographical Sketch

A child of the Great Depression, author and music historian Frank Driggs first became enamored with jazz and swing while listening to late night broadcasts from hotels and ballrooms. After graduating from Princeton in 1952, Driggs moved to Manhattan where he joined with Marshall Stearns and other jazz scholars in documenting the history of jazz. Realizing the importance of preserving the eyewitness accounts of those who pioneered the jazz tradition, Driggs began recording oral histories of early jazz musicians. The musicians interviewed often gave or lent Driggs scrapbooks, photos and memorabilia, which he lovingly archived. Driggs was found dead of natural causes in his Manhattan home on September 20, 2011. He was 81.


The 300+ oral histories in the collection are listed below alphabetically by interviewee/performer's last name. The link for each name leads to the UMKC Library Catalog (MERLIN). Please request an item by the call number shown in MERLIN. For more information contact Chuck Haddix.

- A - | - B - | - C - | - D - | - E - | - F - | - G - | - H - | - I - | - J - | - K - | - L - | - M -
- N - | - O - | - P - | - Q - | - R - | - S - | - T - | - U - | - V - | - W - | - X - | - Y - | - Z -



Don Albert

Allegretto Alexander

Fletcher Allen

Jap Allen

Sam Allen

Lou Alter

Ken Anderson

Bob Anthony

Lloyd Armon

Leo Arnaud

Willie Austin


Ilomay Bailey

Hal Baker

Paul Banks

Eddie Barefield

Bud Bascomb

Mrs. Batchman

Isaac "Ike" Bell

Harley Berg

Clyde Bernhardt

Buster Berry

Druie Bess

Maceo Birch

Eubie Blake

Andrew Blakeney

Bobby Booker

Chester Boone

Lester Boone

Wallace Boviland

John Henry Bragg

Henry Bridges

Arthur Briggs

Ted Brinson

John Brown

Willard Brown

Scoville Browne

Carol Bruce

Franz Bruce

Elwood Buchanan

Lou Busch


Happy Caldwell

Jack Caldwell

Mrs. Genevieve Calhoun

Floyd Campbell

Joe Candullo

George Carhart

Howard Carlson

Jess Carneol

Eddie Carson

Leonard Chadwick

Tommy Chase

Doc Cheatham

Chester Clark

Pete Collins

Russ Columbo

Leslie "Les" Corley

Doc D. Crawford

Eugene Crooke

Elmer Crumbley

Raby Cummings


Joe Darensbourg

Julian Dash

Charlie Davis

Leo (McCoy) Davis

Dolly Dawn

Garfield Dawson

Harold "Duke" Dejan

Rudy DeJulius

Mrs. Beatrice Dent-Williams

Lawrence Denton

Wilbur DeParis

Harry Dial

Kimble "Cabbage" Dial

Bill Dillard

Buss Dillon

Tommy Douglas

Merrill "Poochie" Doyle

Melvin Draper

Eddie Durham


Bob Eberle

Jack Echols

Billy Eckstine

Joan Edwards

Charlie Elgar

Cecil "Snaps" Elliott
aka C.J. Elliott

Pee Wee Erwin

Floyd Estep

Ruth Etting


Freddie Falensby

Bill Farrell

Herb Flemming

Lorenzo Flennoy

Curtyse Foster

Jack Free


Ed Garland

Joe Garland

Red Garland

[Erroll?] Garner

Sid Gary

Tommy Gonsoulin

Benny Goodman

Charles "Crook" Goodwin
aka Chas Goodwin

Herbert Goodwin

Peanuts Goodwin

Russ Goudey

Perry Gray

Thomas "Tick" Gray

Henry Tucker Green

Johnny Green

William Griffin

Tiny Grimes

Duke Groner

Billy Gussak


Billy Hadnott

Bob Hall

Herb Hall

Rene Hall

Cliff Halliburton

Chuck Hamilton

John Hammond

Earl Hatch

Erskine Hawkins

Thamon Hayes

Dick Haymes

Haywood Henry

Eddie Heywood

Joy Hodges

Mrs. Hoeneman

Charlie Holmes

Harold Holmes

R. H. Horton

William C. Houston

Tommy Howell

George Hudson

Speedy Huggins

Eddie Hunter

Curtis Hurt



Ray Ice



Preston Jackson

Zaidee Jackson

George James

Ralph James

Leslie Johnakins

Eddie Johnson

J.C. Johnson

Clyde "Rusty" Jones

Jimmy Jones

Pete Jones

Jimmy Joy


Gene Kardos

Kenny Kersey

I. Khalil

Clifford King

Leon King

Chet Kingsbury

Andy Kirk

Herb Kurtin


Peg La Centra

Jimmy Lamare

Milt Larkin

R. Leatherwood

Jack Leonard

Ed Lewis

L. T. Lewis

Sammy Long

Clarence Love

Preston Love

Sammy Lowe

Nick Lucas


Richard Mackie

Jim Maher

Joe Mares, Jr.

Don Martone

Edgar Mason

George Matthews

Hank McCarty

Percy McDavid

Nat "Monk" McFay

Howard McGhee

Ray McKinley

Jimmy McLin

Teddy McRae

Jay McShann

Kenny "Sticks" McVey

Ray Meadow

Gene Mikell

Irving Miller

Baker Millian

Dan Minor

Orville "Piggy" Minor

Jimmie Mitchell

Gerry Moore

Alton "Slim" Moore

Horace Moore

Chauncey Morehouse

Snub Mosley

Larman Mundy

Spud Murphy

Ralph Muzzillo



Joey Nash

Freeman Northcutt



Ray O'Brien

Francis "Cork" O'Keefe

Abe Olman

John "Bones" Orange

George Orendorff

Gilbert O'Shaughnessy


Singleton Palmer

Ted Parrino

Hal Peppie

Leonard Phillips

Hayes Pillars

Ed Plotkin

Earres Prince

Gene Prince

Pete Pumiglio


Gene Ramey

Willie Randall

Eddie Randle

Irving Randolph

Zilner T. Randolph
aka Z.T. Randolph

Don Redman

Reuben Reeves

Leon Rene

Joe Reynolds

Claude Rhodes

Kenny Rickman

Albert Riding

Roy Riley

Ikey Robinson

Mrs. Willie Rollins

James Ross

Lanny Ross

Jimmy Rushing

Pee Wee Russell

Kenneth A. Roane

Charlie Ryan


Bill Saunders

Eddie Saunders

Gertrude Saunders

Vertna Saunders

Theodore Saville

Bernie Scherer

Dave Schulze

Bob Scobey

Sylvester Scott

Bill Searcy

B. Seeley

Ben Selvin

Elijah Shaw

Leslie Sheffield

Bob Shoffner

Phil Silverman

Lee Sims

Freddie Skerritt

Marlin Skiles

Mary Small

Ben Smith

Buster Smith

Joe Smith

Perry "Stony" Smith

Van Smith

Wesley Smith

The Smoothies
see also: Charlie Ryan

Joe Sodja

Harold Solomon

Bill Sorrentino

Eddie South

Lew Spence

B. F. "Reb" Spikes

Bobby Stafford

Aileen Stanley

Tommy Starks

Benny Starks

Luke Stewart

Bernie Stinson

Jesse Stone

Cyrus Stoner

Keith Stowell

Pete Suggs

Ed Swan


Buddy Tate

Arcima Taylor

Myra Taylor

Norma Teagarden

James Telphy

Gene Thomas

Joe Thomas

Liz Tilton

Martha Tilton

Dick Todd

Oliver Todd

Jasper Tompkins

Mrs. Ruth Towles

Lee Trammel



Sam Utterback




Rudy Vallee

Irvin Verret



Herman Walder

Herman Waldman

Haywood Walker

Greeley Walton

Bob Warren

Booker Washington

Elida Webb

Sammy Weiss

Jerry Westbrook

Crawford Wethington

Tom Whaley

Harold Wheeler

Loyce Whiteman

Margaret Whiting

Claude Williams

Fess Williams

Francis Williams

Frank Williams

John Williams

Lew Williams

Nat Williams

Hugo Winterhalter

Irvin "Broz" Woods



Ben Young



Contact | Hours/Directions | Donations | Requests/Services | About
Stuart Hinds, Asst. Dean for Special Collections & Archives
Chuck Haddix, Director of Marr Sound Archives

chat loading...