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1969 New Orleans Jazz Festival, "One at a Time Blues"
"One at a Time Blues," featuring multiple soloists at the 1969 New Orleans Jazz Festival.
Aristo Theater of the Air, Part 2, October 21, 1945
Mark Austad (later known as Mark Evans) hosts the second part of Aristo Theater of the Air, with selections from June Havoc (There Must Be Someone for Me); Wilbur Evans (Girls), a war bonds advertisement, and Corinna Mura (Carlotta_/
Aura Rully with Duke Ellington at the 1972 Newport Jazz Festival
Aura Rully (Urziceanu) performs with Duke Ellington at the 1972 Newport Jazz Festival.
Ben Grauer interviews Willis Conover
Recording of the raw audio of an interview with Willis Conover by Ben Grauer. Grauer mentions that Conover has hosted his program on the Voice of America for the past 20 years, placing the date around 1975. This interview is about Conover's book Lovecraft at Last. There are frequent interjections from someone off-microphone. This audio was used in an episode of the VOA program "New York, New York with Ben Grauer."
Bill Berry's New York Band in rehearsal with Bill Watrous
A recording of a rehearsal of Bill Berry's New York Band with trombonist Bill Watrous
Bill Evans at the Village Vanguard
Bill Evans with Chuck Israels on bass, and Larry Bunker on drums at the Village Vanguard. The reel-to-reel tape container indicates that titles performed include "Slow Dance" and "A Song for Now."
Biography in Rhythm
A 1955 radio program presenting an account of the history of jazz. Willis Conover later adapted this program's introduction for use in the Jazz at the Smithsonian television programs which he hosted.
Bob Dixon, WCBS, July 5, 1962
Bob Dixon's program on WBCS for July 5, 1962, with several guest speakers on poet Robert Frost. A segment by Ralph Story is interpolated near the beginning.
Bob LaPlante interview with Don Byas; unidentified recording
In the first track, Bob LaPlante interviews Don Byas in 1965. The second track, from the other side of the tape reel, is an unidentified jazz ensemble for roughly the first half. The ensemble in the second half is identified at 27:05 as the Ole Dixon Trio.
Chicago Theater of the Air: Yma Sumac
A recording found in Willis Conover's collection of reel-to-reel tapes: Yma Sumac performs at the 22nd annual Chicagoland Music Festival, at Soldier Field.
Crescent Club Advertisements; Meet Your Congress
Tracks 1 through 5 correspond to side 1 of the disc, which contains five advertisements for the Crescent Club (1338 New York Ave, corner of 14th and New York Avenue) recorded by Al Cummings. The advertisement notes the club's status as a music venue, with nightly performances by the Beach Johnson band. Track 6 corresponds to side 2, which contains an episode of Meet Your Congress, hosted by Blair Moody. This episode features a debate between four United States senators, members of the Senate Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, on the Taft-Hartley Act
Dizzy Gillespie at Birdland
A French-language program featuring Dizzy Gillespie performing at Birdland, along with an interview with John Hammond.
Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, and Billy Taylor discuss jazz and Africa
A recording of a discussion on jazz and Africa by Billy Taylor, Quincy Jones, and Dizzy Gillespie, apparently made for use in Music USA #2352-B.
Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, and Billy Taylor discuss jazz and Africa (with examples)
A longer-form discussion of jazz and its potential antecedents in the music and culture of western Africa between Conover and pianist Billy Taylor, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, and bandleader and composer Quincy Jones. This version of the discussion includes examples. This material may have been used in Music USA #2352-B.
Duke Ellington at the piano, April 21, 1946, 2:05-2:35 a.m.
Recording of Duke Ellington playing solo piano, following a late-night interview with Willis Conover at radio station WWDC.
Duke Ellington at the White House - insert for NBC Monitor
An excerpt from the recording of Duke Ellington's 70th birthday party at the White House on April 29, 1969, for use on the NBC radio program Monitor.
Duke Ellington Cavalcade, Parts 1 and 3
In Part 1, Willis Conover's Saturday Night Dance Party program begins with Artie Shaw's "Just Kiddin' Around." Conover then discusses the rarity of some of the records he will play during this program, which is dedicated to the music of Duke Ellington, with selections "Animal Crackers," (sound drops briefly) "Bugle Call Rag," Freeze and Melt," and "Black and Tan Fantasy." In Part 3, Conover and Emerson Parker, an Ellington expert, record collector, and broadcaster at station WQQW, introduce selections including "Black Beauty" and "I've Got the World on a String."
Duke Ellington Cavalcade, Parts 2 and 4
In Part 2, Conover introduces Emerson Parker, an Ellington expert, record collector, and broadcaster at station WQQW, who introduces "Take It Easy," "Mood Indigo," "Sweet Mama," and "Hot and Bothered." In Part 4, Conover and Parker introduce "I've Got to Be a Rug Cutter," "Ebony Rhapsody," "Stompy Jones," and "In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree" (the end of the introduction and the tune are in part 5). Gil Lilly is credited as working in the control room.
Duke Ellington Cavalcade, Parts 5 and 7
In Part 5, Emerson Parker's introduction of "In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree" concludes, followed by the tune, along with "Solitude," "Clarinet Lament," "Ring Dem Bells," and "Hodge Podge" (introduction only, tune is in part 6). In Part 7, after station identification, Conover notes that Jerry Rhea will be joining the discussion soon, and reminisces about broadcasting during a stay at Walter Reed Army Medical Center while in military service; Conover also asks listeners to send comments on the program. Parker and Conover introduce "Tootin' Through the Roof," "Pitter Panther Patter," "Warm Valley," and "Do Nothing 'Til You Hear from Me."
Duke Ellington Cavalcade, Parts 6 and 8
In Part 6, "Hodge Podge" is followed by Willis Conover and Emerson Parker introducing, "Braggin' in Brass," "Boy Meets Horn," "Mobile Bay, and "Night Song." In Part 8, "Do Nothing 'Til You Hear from Me" is followed by Cottontail, and Conover and Parker discussing "Take the A-Train," and "Just A-Sittin' and A-Rockin'." Conover talks about seeing Ellington live for the first time just a few months before, at Turner's Arena.
Duke Ellington Cavalcade, Parts 9 and 11
In Part 9, Conover introduces Duke Ellington himself, along with Billy Strayhorn, to Emerson Parker, and interviews Ellington about his personnel, travel plans, and early recordings. In Part 11, the interview continues after selections from Ellington's Black, Brown & Beige Suite.
Duke Ellington Cavalcade, Parts 10 and 12
In Part 10, the interview with Duke Ellington continues, up to the introduction of the Black, Brown & Beige Suite. In Part 12, the interview continues further, including discussion of Mercer Ellington. Conover speaks more about his stay at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, along with fellow broadcaster Mark Austad (later known as Mark Evans). Jerry Rhea also speaks. Conover credits Frank Turner as the photographer for the evening (images are also in this collection), and notes that those in attendance included Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Jerry Rhea with his wife and sister, Oscar Pettiford, and Emerson Parker. The recording closes with "Ring Dem Bells."
Duke Ellington, final interview with Willis Conover
Willis Conover's last interview with Duke Ellington, with Ellington also playing the piano.
EnBee Jamboree
Willis Conover hosts a program advertising local record store EnBee Records.
EnBee Jamboree
Willis Conover hosts a program advertising the holdings of EnBee Record Sales, at 1016 7th St NW in Washington, D.C. The theme song is Stan Kenton's "Machito,"and other selections include Sonny Terry, "All Alone Blues"; Ike Carpenter, "Things Ain’t What They Used to Be"; Sister Katie Marie, "When I Come to the End of My Journey"; and Coleman Hawkins, "Body and Soul."
EnBee Jamboree, August 22, 1947
Willis Conover hosts a program advertising the holdings of EnBee Records, at 1016 7th St NW in Washington, D.C. The theme song is Stan Kenton's "Machito,"and other selections include Francis Craig, "Near You"; The Beale Street Boys, "Lights Out"; the signoff theme from Sunday spirituals show, “God Be With You”; and the King Cole Trio, "I Miss You So."
EnBee Jamboree, June 14, 1947; labor dispute arbitration
On side 1, Willis Conover hosts a program advertising the holdings of EnBee Record Sales, at 1016 7th St NW in Washington, D.C. The theme song is Stan Kenton's "Machito,"and other selections include Roy Milton's "Camille's Boogie"; Duke Ellington, "Minnehaha Part 2"; Reverend Utah Smith, "God's Mighty Hand;" and Herb Jeffries, "When I Write My Song." Side 2 contains a labor arbitration hearing between the Bakery and Confectionary Union Local 350 AFL, an employer (Mr. C), and a former employee (Mr. A). Arbitrators include Dr. Jane Emmel Gorman of Hunter College, and John A. Zellers, former president of the New York Board of Trade.
EnBee Jamborees
Willis Conover hosts two programs advertising the holdings of EnBee Records, at 1016 7th St NW in Washington, D.C. The theme song is Stan Kenton's "Machito." The first program, dated June 27, features the Mills Brothers' "Put Another Chair at the Table"; Deacon Tom Foger And his Congregation, “Working on the Building”; Bob Crosby, "Big Noise from Winnetka"; and Sonny Boy Williamson, "Hoodoo Hoodoo." The second program features the theme played in full, Ike Carpenter's "Jeep Blues," and the Mills Brothers' "Put Another Chair at the Table." The second recording ends just after ten minutes, and may have been a rejected take.
Excerpt of speech by Harry S Truman, March 17, 1948: “Special message to the Congress on the threat to the freedom of Europe”
Recording of President Harry S. Truman's speech, “Special message to the Congress on the threat to the freedom of Europe,” followed by announcer Mark Austad (later known as Mark Evans) interviewing Senator Glen H. Taylor of Idaho and Rep. Dewey Short of Missouri.
Gerry Mulligan, Moscow Jam Session, 1967, Part I
The first of two recordings from which selections for Music USA #4618-B were taken, featuring Gerry Mulligan playing a borrowed alto saxophone in a jam session at Moscow's Molodezhnoe (Youth) Café.
Gerry Mulligan, Moscow Jam Session, 1967, Part II
The second of two recordings from which selections for Music USA #4618-B were taken, featuring Gerry Mulligan playing a borrowed alto saxophone in a jam session at Moscow's Molodezhnoe (Youth) Café.
Groggy's Mambo and other selections
A live recording of mambo selections. The title "Groggy's Mambo" appears to refer to Maurice "Groggy" Gervitsch, the proprietor of the Cairo Hotel in Washington, D.C., where Gervitsch organized mambo dances in 1954. The group may have been led by Buddy Rowell.
Hall of Hits, Part 1
Willis Conover hosts this episode of Hall of Hits, based on the top 5 tunes identified by Billboard Magazine. The program was sponsored by Cafe Parisien, at 1120 Connecticut Ave. The four additional tracks may have been used as stock music for other programs.
Hazel and Harold
Recording of a radio comedy, Hazel and Harold, featuring Willis Conover as Harold. The program is reminiscent of the early Ethel and Albert programs he did with Peg Lynch at WTBO in Cumberland, Maryland, before the Second World War.
Hazel and Harold, April 21, 1946
Recording of a radio comedy, Hazel and Harold, featuring Willis Conover as Harold and Nathalie Sherman as Hazel. The program is reminiscent of the early Ethel and Albert programs he did with Peg Lynch at WTBO in Cumberland, Maryland, before the Second World War.
Hazel and Harold, April 28, 1946
Recording of a radio comedy, Hazel and Harold, featuring Willis Conover as Harold and Nathalie Sherman as Hazel. The program is reminiscent of the early Ethel and Albert programs he did with Peg Lynch at WTBO in Cumberland, Maryland, before the Second World War.
Hazel and Harold, February 10, 1946
Recording of a radio comedy, Hazel and Harold, featuring Willis Conover as Harold and Nathalie Sherman as Hazel. The program is reminiscent of the early Ethel and Albert programs he did with Peg Lynch at WTBO in Cumberland, Maryland, before the Second World War.
Hazel and Harold, January 6, 1946
Recording of a radio comedy, Hazel and Harold, featuring Willis Conover as Harold and Nathalie Sherman as Hazel. The program is reminiscent of the early Ethel and Albert programs he did with Peg Lynch at WTBO in Cumberland, Maryland, before the Second World War.
Hazel and Harold, March 3, 1946
Recording of a radio comedy, Hazel and Harold, featuring Willis Conover as Harold and Nathalie Sherman as Hazel. The program is reminiscent of the early Ethel and Albert programs he did with Peg Lynch at WTBO in Cumberland, Maryland, before the Second World War.
Interview with Benny Goodman
Unedited audio of Willis Conover's interview with Benny Goodman, including short statements for various broadcast services within VOA, and a longer interview presumably for Music USA #394-B.
Interview with Duke Ellington
The only physical identification on this disc was the note "sign-off effect improperly done." However, it contains a brief interview with Duke Ellington. The mention of the death of "Tricky Sam" Nanton places it after July 20, 1946. Despite mentions of further interview segments, there is only one such segment.
Interview with Ella Fitzgerald, for Voices of VISTA #127
Willis Conover interviews Ella Fitzgerald for "Voices of VISTA" program number 127. The short programs featured various celebrities and were used, like Treasury broadcasts in decades past, to promote the U.S. government's Volunteers in Service to America program.
Interview with Gil Evans
An interview with Gil Evans, apparently included in Music USA #4884-B, broadcast May 16, 1968.
Interview with Marshall Brown and George Wein
Willis Conover interviews Marshall Brown and George Wein about their 20-nation talent-searching tour for Newport International Youth Band. This recording is the raw audio, apparently incorporated into Music USA program #1147-B.
Interview with Marshall Brown, John LaPorta, and Farmingdale High School students
The interview which accompanied Music USA #551-B, broadcast July 2, 1956, featuring Marshall Brown, John LaPorta, and four Farmingdale (New York) High School students.
Interview with W.C. Handy, Part I
The first part of Willis Conover's extended interview with W.C. Handy. This recording is the raw audio, and includes a glitch in the tape in the opening seconds, and other preliminaries before the interview begins.
Interview with W.C. Handy, Part II
The second part of Willis Conover's extended interview with W.C. Handy.
Interviews at the Monterey Jazz Festival, 1967
Willis Conover interviews Flavio Ambrosetti, Franco Ambrosetti, Daniel Humair, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, and George Gruntz at the 1967 Monterey Jazz Festival.
Interviews with Billy Eckstine and Teddi King
Willis Conover interviews Billy Eckstine and Teddi King at Washington, D.C.'s Union Station, on the RCA Victor Starliner train. Eckstine and King were performing to benefit the March of Dimes; the interviews were apparently used in Music USA programs #420-B (Eckstine) and #421-B (King).
Interviews with June Christy, Nat "King" Cole, Ted Heath, and Bob Flanigan
Willis Conover interviews June Christy, Nat "King" Cole, Ted Heath, and Bob Flanigan backstage at a performance at the National Guard Armory in Washington, D.C. The interview with Nat "King" Cole was likely used in Music USA program #520-B.