Guide to the Ken Ackerman Collection ARS.0023

Finding aid prepared by Franz Kunst
Archive of Recorded Sound
Braun Music Center
541 Lasuen Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, California, 94305-3076
© 2010
The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Ken Ackerman Collection
Dates: 1953-1999
Collection number: ARS.0023
Creator: Guerner, Bob
Collection size: 10 boxes, 188 open reel tapes, 279 optical disc media, 4 audiocassettes
Repository: Archive of Recorded Sound
Abstract: Recordings and dubs of radio broadcast performances of jazz music of the 1950s and 60s by artists such as Earl Hines, Louis Armstrong, Muggsy Spanier, Jack Teagarden, Harry James, Cal Tjader, and George Shearing at venues such as the Club Hangover in San Francisco, California; other West Coast recordings by Duke Ellington, Woody Herman and the JATP; and Ted Heath, Johnny Dankworth, Kenny Baker and others performing on the BBC. Additionally, there are cassette recordings and transcripts of Turk Murphy and George Avakian interviewing musician Sid Le Protti in the mid-1950s.
Language of Material: English


Open for research; material must be requested at least two business days in advance of intended use. Contact the Archive for assistance.

Publication Rights

Property rights reside with repository. Publication and reproduction rights reside with the creators or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Head Librarian of the Archive of Recorded Sound.

Preferred Citation

Ken Ackerman Collection, ARS-0023. Courtesy of the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


The Ken Ackerman Collection was donated to the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound by William Carter in November 2007.


This finding aid was produced with generous financial support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Scope and Contents

The Ken Ackerman Collection consists of broadcast recordings of live jazz performances from the 1950s and 60s. The majority were recorded at various clubs in San Francisco, particularly Club Hangover. The Club Hangover recordings, featuring such artists such as Earl Hines, Kid Ory, and Louis Armstrong, were originally aired on radio station KCBS as part of a weekly half-hour series, and were preserved by KCBS announcer Bob Guerner. Those tapes formed the basis of a much larger collection of unique recordings given to friend and fellow broadcaster Ken Ackerman, where it was largely forgotten until its 2006 salvage by Bill Carter and Dave Radlauer of the San Francisco Traditional Jazz Society. Most of the original open reel tapes were transferred by Radlauer, and copies on optical media were included in the original donation.
Other moments captured in this treasure trove include: Boyd Raeburn at the Rose Room of the Palace Hotel; Cal Tjader at Club Macumba in 1956; Duke Ellington and Woody Herman in Portland, Oregon; Jazz at the Philharmonic in Seattle in 1956; Ted Heath, Johnny Dankworth, Kenny Baker and others on the BBC; Al White's Orchestra at Station J; Joe Marcellino at Sabella's on KNBC; and Kurt Edelhagen on Radio Baden-Baden. While the majority of these groups are traditional, more contemporary sounds by groups such as Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, and the Modern Jazz Quartet are also present.
Also in the Ken Ackerman Collection is a copy of the once-believed-lost interview with jazz musician Sid Le Protti, conducted by George Avakian and Turk Murphy (with the technical assistance of Wally Heider) in 1955 or 1956. Le Protti (1886-1958) was a musician and firsthand observer of the wide open days of the Barbary Coast and the early San Francisco jazz scene, and he demonstrates various tunes on a piano as he speaks, in a manner not unlike the Jelly Roll Morton Library of Congress sessions. Transcripts of the interview, which are also included in the collection, were extensively used in the book "Jazz on the Barbary Coast." The original tapes (thought to be in the possession of Avakian) were dubbed on to four audiocassettes prior to accession.


Contact Archive for contents listing. The KA numbers were created for the transfer project, and are not on the original tapes. Some of the tapes are numbered, however, and the contents listing includes both numbers when present (for instance, KA001 is tape 1033). The list also contains all information from the tapes, including dates and personnel. KA1-65 is listed on paper only, and KA66-123 is listed on paper and CD-R, and is also available digitally.

Related Collections

The Archive of Recorded Sound also holds the San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation Collection, ARS-0030.

Indexing Terms

Ackerman, Ken
KCBS (Radio station : San Francisco, Calif.).
Le Protti, Sid
San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation.
Live sound recordings
Radio programs
San Francisco Bay Area (Calif.)

Box 1, Box 2, Box 3, Box 4, Box 5, Box 6, Box 7, Box 8

1. Open reel tapes

Scope and Contents

Box 1. Tapes 101-147 (no 127, 131, 137, 138, 140-142)
Box 2. 148-162, 303, 402 (no 151, 154, 155) ; KA-083, 084, 092, 132 ; FT 1, 2 ; 16 unnumbered - mostly Joe Marcellino at Sabella's March-April 1962
Box 3. unnumbered: Al White Orchestra, Station J 1961-1962 ; Earl Hines, Black Sheep Club 1961
Box 4. KA113-115, Chris Ibanez Trio KCBS 1963 ; Harry James at El Patio Ballroom ; Muggsy Spanier tribute on KCBS by Ken Ackerman 2/1967 ; Kurt Edelhagen Orchestra, Radio Baden-Baden ; 151 Michael Rabin: encore, Ysaye Sonata, Op. 27, No. 3 (for solo violin) November 1955, Segurd Rauscher, Seattle Symphony Orchestra ; 302, 503, 504 - LP dubs
Box 5. 1001-1024 (no 1008, 1009, 1011, 1019-1022)
Box 6. 1025-1042
Box 7. 1043-1062 (no 1057, 1058)
Box 8. 1063-1070 (no 1069)
Box 9, Box 10

2. Transfers on Compact Disc and DVD data discs

Scope and Contents

Box 9. DVD data discs KA001-123 (includes regular high-resolution WAV files and 16-bit access copies); Gold CDs KA001-123. Note: at least one data disc includes images (Spanier tribute).
Box 10. Compact discs (access copies) KA001-123, and extra copies of KA001-065.
Box 8

3. Sid Le Protti interview, transcripts, and grant information

Scope and Contents

Musician Sid Le Protti interviewed by George Avakian and Turk Murphy in 1955 or 1956 (four dubs on audiocassette, plus typed transcripts); California Council for the Humanities grant notes and correspondence (for the transfer and transcription of interview); William Carter speech about Le Protti 5/21/99.
Box 8

4. Transfer documentation

Scope and Contents

Transfer logs with listing of complete contents: KA001-123 (KA066-123 also has data CD-R version).