Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Riverwalk Jazz Collection ARS.0129
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (0.98 Mb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Source
  • About the Programs
  • About The Collection
  • Related Collections
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Riverwalk Jazz Collection
    Dates: 1987-2012
    Collection number: ARS.0129
    Collection size: 265 boxes : 154.5 linear feet
    Repository: Archive of Recorded Sound
    Abstract: Since 1989, Riverwalk Jazz: Live At The Landing educates and entertains public radio listeners with a program devoted to celebrating traditional jazz and popular music of the pre-war era, featuring performances from the Jim Cullum Jazz Band and guests. This collection contains copies of all the finished programs, as well as elements, other source material, and files documenting every aspect of the show's production.
    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

    Riverwalk Jazz Collection, ARS-0129. Courtesy of the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


    The Riverwalk Jazz Collection was donated to the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound by Pacific Vista Productions in 2012.

    About the Programs

    Founded in 1989 by musician Jim Cullum and Pacific Vista Productions' Margaret Moos-Pick, Riverwalk Jazz: Live At The Landing quickly became public radio's foremost traditional jazz program. Focusing on the early development of jazz and related styles of American popular music, Riverwalk employed the Jim Cullum Jazz Band and a stellar lineup of regular and special guests, along with narration by David Holt (a storyteller and musician himself), to educate and entertain audiences around the country.
    The Jim Cullum Band established themselves long before Riverwalk with a residency at Cullum's nightclub The Landing in San Antonio, Texas. In fact, Cullum played in his father's band, known as the Happy Jazz Band, for many years, providing a direct link with the swing era (Jim Cullum Sr. had played with Jimmy Dorsey and Jack Teagarden among others). The music for the programs was recorded live before an audience, frequently at The Landing, but also from remote locations such as the Carver Center and Pearl Stable in San Antonio, the Jazz Workshop and Jazz Festival at Stanford University, and the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee. Selected recordings of these performances were incorporated into programs post-production; often multiple programs could be derived from a single concert (and likewise, a program may contain material from several performances). Some programs feature a concert in its entirety.
    Riverwalk features regular guests such as pianist Dick Hyman ("the most-recorded guest on the Riverwalk Jazz radio series"), actor Vernel Bagneris, singers Topsy Chapman, Nina Ferro, Rebecca Kilgore and Stephanie Nakasian, and musicians Marty Grosz, Leon Oakley, Mike Walbridge, and Duke Heitger, among many others. Some guest musicians were also occasional members of the Jim Cullum Jazz Band.
    The hour-long programs usually profile significant musicians, vocalists, and composers, but also delve into such subjects as life on the road, New York's nightclub scene, and gospel music's influence on jazz. While there are multiple shows on Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Bix Beiderbecke, Hoagy Carmichael, and other pioneers no longer with us, Riverwalk was also lucky to host such luminaries as Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry, Jay McShann, Doc Cheatham, Milt Hinton, Benny Carter, Spiegle Wilcox, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Bob Wilber, Ralph Sutton, Joe Williams, Bucky Pizzarelli, Kenny Davern, Yank Lawson, and Bob Haggart, as well as newer stars such as Nicholas Payton, Clint Baker, Vince Giordano, and Savion Glover.
    Beginning in January 2013, the Archive of Recorded Sound offers Riverwalk Jazz on its website with two concurrent streams of all Riverwalk programs at http://riverwalkjazz.stanford.edu.

    About The Collection

    While Riverwalk's streaming programs provide an opportunity to learn about and enjoy classic jazz history, the archive behind this program is equally instructive in the matter of how the radio programs were made. With over 250 boxes of material created over the course of the show's twenty-plus years, the Riverwalk Jazz archival collection includes recordings, files, photographs and ephemera reflecting every aspect of the programs' production.
    The finding aid has been divided into twenty-six record groups, with individual series and subseries in each group. These can be thought of in the following main categories (with considerable overlap between them): program recordings and listings ; program production recordings and files ; research recordings and files ; program proposals ; public radio and radio station files ; listener correspondence ; Jim Cullum and JCJB activity (much of it non-Riverwalk) ; Board reports ; website, catalog and newsletter files ; promotional, marketing, and fundraising recordings and files ; sponsor communication and reports ; and general administrative files (principally miscellaneous correspondence, memoranda, and notes concerning finances, conferences, staff, graphic design, etc.). There are also series for hard drives, photographs, video, posters and other oversize graphics. Other Pacific Vista productions are also present in the collection.
    Foremost, of course, are the radio programs. These recordings exist in multiple formats, including CD-R, DAT, open reel tape, and audiocassette, and are the source for Stanford's web streams. As many programs were edited for repeat broadcast, it was important to identify each variant. All programs are listed below, in every extant version, with guests noted. Other recordings include production elements and promotional segments, as well as material related to Riverwalk's eight-volume line of commercial recordings. While many of the recording elements are credits, voiceovers, and other material unlikely to be of much interest outside of the program's context, the historical recordings and live performances are perhaps the most compelling aspect of the entire collection.
    Riverwalk's broadcasts, while centering on Cullum Band performances, also drew from historical recordings and other archival material, particularly interviews. Many of these were conducted by Riverwalk's David Holt, and include musicians such as Clark Terry, Frank Foster, Stranger Malone, and Helen Jones Woods, Sherrie Tucker, and Roz Cron of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, as well as authors like Gary Giddins and Nat Hentoff. However, nearly every program features rare or unique interview material. Some are also available as transcripts.
    The collection also holds original multi-track live performance and rehearsal recordings of the Jim Cullum Jazz Band with guests. Also present are concerts by other groups such as Hal Smith's Roadrunners, the Hot Club of San Francisco, Uptown Lowdown Jazz Band, Yerba Buena Stompers, Independence Jazz Band, Fulton Street Jazz Band, New Black Eagle Jazz Band and Carl Sonny Leyland. Many, but not all of these recordings are featured on Riverwalk.
    The tremendous efforts of Pacific Vista Productions' Margaret Moos-Pick and Lynn Cruise is revealed in the extensive paper files. Among the many necessary tasks involved, they secured funding, wrote and edited scripts, coordinated recording sessions and post-production, and worked closely with broadcasters. Printed documentation of Jim Cullum's contribution to the program is limited. However, the concept of Riverwalk Jazz originated with Cullum, and it is primarily through his ideas and playing that we can appreciate the music, as well as the musicians and composers behind it.

    Related Collections

    For related materials, please refer to the Archive of Recorded Sound's Jim Cullum Collection, ARS0036. 

    Indexing Terms

    Riverwalk Jazz (Radio program).
    Cullum, Jim
    Jim Cullum Jazz Band.
    Holt, David, 1946-
    Pick, Margaret Moos
    Radio programs
    Big band music
    Boogie woogie (Music)
    Dixieland music
    Swing (Music)
    Ragtime music