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Guide to the Troyce Key Papers
MS 83  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Troyce Key papers include correspondence, photographs, financial records, flyers, publicity material, and publications documenting the musical career of blues musician and nightclub owner Troyce Key. The papers are organized in to four series: Eli Mile High Records, Eli’s Mile High Club & Restaurant records, photographs, and assorted material.
Background
Blues musician and night club owner Troyce Key (1937-1992) was born on September 7, 1937 in Jordon Plantation, Louisiana to Verdell and Lula May Key. In 1938, the Key family decided to move to Oregon but only made to Bakersfield, California after they ran out of gasoline and money. The family stayed in California and worked as migrant workers picking cotton and grapes and eventually settling in Fresno, California where Troyce Key attended various schools. His father played the guitar and harmonica and often sang at local house parties. Troyce Key began playing guitar as a teenager and began touring throughout California in 1956 and eventually joined The Campus Kings . In 1958, he traveled to Hollywood with a demo tape and signed a record contract with Warner Brothers Records in 1958. That year, Key released four singles-“Drown My Tears,” “Baby Please Don’t Go,” “Most of All,” and “She’s Sumpin’ Else,” - with Eddie Cochran on guitar, Howard Roberts on rhythm guitar, and Eddie Palmer on drums. Warner Brothers sent Key on a promotion tour and he toured the country performing on various teen dance television programs.
Extent
3.5 linear feet (8 boxes + 1 oversized box)
Restrictions
Permission to publish from the Troyce Key Papers must be obtained from the African American Museum & Library at Oakland.
Availability
No access restrictions. Collection is open to the public.