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Pearl (Ed), Ash Grove Collection
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Collection Overview
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This collection contains material belonging to Ed Pearl, founder of the Ash Grove venue. The majority of material related to the Ash Grove includes documents regarding efforts to create a new Ash Grove in the 1980s, as well as in the 1990s on the Santa Monica Pier; and material related to Ash Grove produced events, the Ash Grove Foundation, and Ash Grove music archives project. Also included are documents regarding Pearl's career as a producer for San Francisco Mime Troupe, KPFK-FM radio station, and for a few benefit shows and events; and clippings related to Pearl's interest in folk music, and politics- particuarly during the Gulf War.
Edwin Morton Pearl (1932-2021) grew up in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles, the middle of five children. He began attending UCLA circa 1954, where his love for folk music began in part due to his guitar teacher, Bess Lomax Hawes. Pearl also became involved in an effort to bring Pete Seeger to campus, but ultimately UCLA made the decision that Seeger could not play. Pearl then became the spokesperson for the group, and was able to get the event moved to a nearby church. From those two experiences, Pearl started forming the idea to start the Ash Grove. Eventually, Pearl would drop out of UCLA to start the Ash Grove at the age of 22 in 1958, despite his lack of knowledge of the music industry. With an initial investment of $10,000 raised by friends and family, he opened the Ash Grove in a converted furniture factory. The first concert featured Pearl's flamenco teacher, folk singer Guy Carawan, and blues performer Brownie McGhee. Although Ash Grove began as a coffeehouse, it differed because it had a 250 seat auditorium that was primarily a concert hall, and also contained a record store, and school of traditional folk music that taught banjo, guitar, and other courses.
15 boxes
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
There are no access restrictions on this collection except where noted at file-level.