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Collection Contents

 

Brownie McGhee

Physical Description: 3 boxes

Series Scope and Content Summary

Cassette tapes of interviews conducted with Brownie McGhee between 1990-1995, funeral program, recordings of musical performances, photographs and a tribute to Brownie McGhee.

Arrangement

Arranged by format and chronologically thereafter.
 

Interview tapes

Physical Description: 83 cassette tapes
Box 1

Tape 001 1990-01-01

Physical Description: Run Time: 24 (min): 21 (s)

Description

Side A description: Silence [00:00]; Les Paul and Mary Ford [00:07]; First time in Chicago [02:36]; Father as a songwriter and previous hit musician next hit [03:00]; Father leaves for work [04:02]; Brownie goes to Kingsport, Tennessee and begins selling liquor [05:20]; Recuperation after polio operation [05:50]; Father shoots wife [06:01]; Father released from prison and return home [07:50]; Learns to play father's guitar in hospital [08:20]; Aunt prohibition against stringed instruments, believes they are the "devil's music" [09:10]; Secretly making his own banjo [10:05] Side B description: Silence [00:00]; Love of music from mother [00:29]; Dealing with handicap as a child [01:07]; Learning hobbies from mother [01:40]; Learning to play guitar, 1936 [02:23]; Father fighting with women [02:58]; Return to Kingsport, Tennessee [03:34]; Mother's affair [04:25]; Mother beats father with brick [04:55]; Father's life [06:00]; Discharge from hospital, meeting his father's girlfriend Mattie [07:15]; Hustling and playing music, 1938 [09:44]; Breakup with Mattie [10:42]; Playing music and selling liquor [13:00]
Box 1

Tape 002 1991-12-07

Physical Description: Run Time: 62 (min): 00 (s)

Description

Side A description: Silence [00:00]; Living with the Almanac Singers in New York City [00:05]; Josh White [01:10]; Pete Seeger learning to play banjo [02:10]; Meeting Lead Belly in New York City and Washington D.C. [03:32]; Concert with Paul Robeson and recording at the Library of Congress [04:00]; Partnership with Sonny Terry [04:20]; Conversion with Lead Belly about being called a "nigger" [07:35]; Performing at Paul Robeson concert [08:10]; Asked to meet Josh White in New York City [09:10]; Return to Kingsport, Tennessee, confusion with train ticket [10:00]; Arrival in New York City, cheated by taxi driver [13:30]; Living with Almanac Singers, food [14:40]; Millard Lampell [16:09]; Lead Belly's address [17:00]; Food living with the Almanac Singers [17:18]; Moving in with Lead Belly at 604 E. 9th St., living with Lead Belly, 1941-1942 [17:52]; Performing with the Almanac Singers [20:35]; Woody Guthrie in trouble for saying "nigger" on radio [22:00]; Never see Lead Belly drink alcohol [22:46]; Playing music and drinking at Woody Guthrie's apartment at 10 E. Charles St. [23:24]; Brownie begins to sing "Rock of Ages" [25:24]; Song "This land is your land" [26:04]; Contract and pay performing with the Almanac Singers [26:40]; Songs performed by the Almanac Singers [27:30]; Introduction by Paul Robeson at first concert [28:20] Side B description: Silence [00:00]; Introduction by Paul Robeson at first concert [00:05]; Discrimination in Washington D.C., origin of the song, "Bourgeois Blues" [05:09]; Mary Travers, union songs [07:05]; Writing his own songs [08:04]; Writing blues songs about whiskey, women, and money [08:21]; Political songs and sharecropping in the South [08:59]; Whiskey, women, and money as euphemisms about racial oppression [10:10]; Bessie Smith [11:44]; Discrimination playing with the Almanac Singers [12:27]; Woody Guthrie demanding to eat with Brownie and Sonny at concert in Baltimore, Maryland [13:20]; Song, "This land is your land" and "Rock of ages" [19:45]; Woody Guthrie selling 10 songs for $25 [22:00]; Woody Guthrie stealing his child back [23:00]; Mary Travers playing with People's songs at hootenanny [23:36]; Final song at hootenanny "When the saints go marching in" [25:50]; Union songs [27:05]; Lead Belly working at the Village Vanguard [28:05]; Josh White's career [29:48]
Box 1

Tape 003 1992-01-01

Physical Description: Run Time: 63 (min): 37 (s)

Description

Side A description: Sister working for family [00:00]; Sister moves to live with mother in New York [00:33]; Brownie's alley [01:08]; Graduation from high school [01:32]; Participation in church activities, religious schooling [02:27]; Leaves the Baptist church [06:50]; Fulbright program and polio surgery [07:48]; Brownie and brother move in with aunt in 1929 [09:36]; Mother's death [10:41]; Living with aunt [11:22]; Aunt and uncle farming and sharecropping [12:40]; Timber harvesting, shingle making, learning to hunt and fish [13:43]; Disability and walking with a crutch [17:13]; Aunt teaches him to cook, iron, and sew [18:45]; Attending school in Vonore, Tennessee [20:40]; Sings graduation song, "I promise you" [23:40]; Built smokehouse, water from the Henley family [24:42]; Henley and McGhee families [27:04]; killing and butchering pigs [28:15]; Salt curing meats underneath house [31:30] Side B description: Canning and storing food, trading tobacco [00:00]; Tobacco and cotton farming [01:25]; Return to Kingsport, Tennessee [05:20]; Polio and insecurity fueled his hatred of women [05:40]; Girls coming to his house as a teenager [07:55]; Aunt encourages him to visit man with no legs [09:03]; Other people in town with polio [14:28]; His desire to learn to become a carpenter or lawyer [15:18]; Reading books [16:20]; No first girlfriend [17:24]; Aunt's belief that all stringed instruments were the devil's music [18:09]; Uncle John helped him to build a banjo [18:29]; Aunt hides his banjo in attic [20:30]; Starts to play guitar [21:19]; First guitar and first recording [24:21]; Father's musical style and traveling [25:45]
Box 1

Tape 004 [two copies] 1992-01-10

Physical Description: Run Time: 63 (min): 36 (s)

Description

Side A description: Silence [00:00]; Piano playing [00:06]; Singing negro national anthem, "Lift every voice and sing" [08:44]; Father's claim that Columbus did not discovery America [10:55]; Father's cursing [11:42]; Father's claim that most Black folk songs are not Black [12:06]; Discusses song, "Careless love," old brothel ballad [12:57]; Discusses song, "Easter parade" [15:03]; Discusses song, "This land is your land" [19:06]; Performing as the Streamline Singers [20:32]; Sings UAW song [21:18]; Spirituals [21:55]; Discusses song, "Motherless children," his mother and father's infidelities [22:30]; Father's guitar playing style [30:10]; Song, "Sentimental journey" [32:00] Side B description: Silence [00:00]; Spirituals as future tense and blues as the past tense [00:11]; Blues lyrics and whiskey, women, and money [02:30]; Discusses song, "I shall not be moved" and "Hang low sweet chariot" [03:00]; Spiritual idiom developed because Blacks could not speak freely [04:50]; Blues is truth [07:40]; Uses "women" as a crutch for the white man [08:10]; Motivation to write songs [12:10]; Resentment against Jim Crow in his songs [12:30]; Blues as an American musical form [17:00]; Unnamed transgendered women's suicide on Golden Gate Bridge [21:27]; Early childhood with father, Solomon's Temple, McGhee's Station [23:20]; Maryville, Tennessee, Hale High School [27:10]
Box 1

Tape 006 / 007 1992-05-08

Physical Description: Run Time: 126 (min): 44 (s)

Description

Tape 6: Side A description: Silence [00:00]; First records, Recording with Sonny Terry for Alan Lomax at the Library of Congress [00:05];Paul Robeson asks him to perform at concert [02:22]; Paul Robeson introduces him on stage at Riverside Theater [04:24]; Millard Lampell invites him to come to New York City [08:59]; First recordings in North Carolina and Chicago, death of Blind Boy Fuller [10:14]; Receives Blind Boy Fuller's guitar, J.B. Long treated him differently because of his diploma, encourages him to form duet with Sonny Terry [12:32]; J.B. Long encourages him to go with Sonny Terry to record at the Library of Congress [19:04]; Meeting with Alan Lomax [20:07]; First meeting with Lead Belly [24:05]; Encouraged to move to New York City, telegram from J.B. Long [25:25]; Takes bus from Kingsport, Tennessee to New York City, arrival in New York City [30:50] Side B description: Silence [00:00]; Taxi cheats him after his arrival in New York City [00:04]; Becomes member of the Almanac Singers [00:41]; Lead Belly invites him to live with him [02:16]; His desire to attend religious schools, college [03:37]; Gambling and bootlegging, Brownie's alley [06:29]; Run-ins with law enforcement [10:14]; Leaves town, hitchhikes to North Carolina [12:35]; Runs with group of thieves in Mt Ely [14:18]; Paid for performing, Blind Boy Fuller [14:50]; Performing at 11th St. Bottom in Winston-Salem, North Carolina [18:02]; Performing with harmonica player Jordan Webb [19:14]; J.B. Long asks him to meet him at his store [22:46]; Music he listened to as a child [27:04]; Buys a jukebox, problems finding electricity to run it [29:29] Tape 7: Side A description: Silence [00:00]; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof production [00:06]; Marilyn Monroe on set during production [02:50]; Barbara Bel Geddes and Burl Ives [04:32]; Performing after shows, John Steinbeck [06:00]; Tennessee Williams' mother [06:33]; Marilyn Monroe [07:20]; Opening of play in Philadelphia [08:00]; Parties during production, Burl Ives, Huntington Hartford [09:47]; Marilyn Monroe on a pedestal [15:02]; Siblings born in house that straddles county line [17:35]; Born in Old Arc Church in Knoxville, Tennessee [19:30]; Father's travels to find road construction work [20:10]; Sisters born in Loudon and Monroe counties [21:05]; Brother born in Kingsport, Tennessee [22:10]; Father worked in dye plant during World War I [23:05]; Father's work in brickyard [25:11]; Rev. and Mrs. Whitely [?][26:45]; Stricken with polio, move to Walnut Alley [27:40]; Mother and father separate, father goes to prison [29:08] Side B description: Silence [00:00], Father gets out of prison, works in Kingsport, TN [00:11], Buying well water [00:51], Rats in the streets, open sewers [02:07], Father's work on construction projects [02:45], Oklahoma Grove [03:15], Schooling in Oklahoma Grove [04:00], Killing rats [06:43], Gym theater, first music contest [08:45], Father returns after prison, murder in house [10:40], Father moves, death of grandmother [12:40], Mother's family [14:15], Father leaves Kingsport, TN, Aunt Frankie's funeral [21:50], Moves in with his Aunt Maddie [24:43], Douglas High School [30:05]
Box 1

Tape 008 1994-05-25 [two copies]

Physical Description: Run Time: 92 (min): 45 (s)

Description

Side A description: Silence [00:00]; Moving as a child, jukebox [00:15]; Dancehall in house, bootlegging, Police chief Jim Broyles raid [02:11]; Bootlegging case dismissed by judge [06:00]; Judge convinces him to leave town [07:50]; Moves to North Carolina, New York [08:35]; Police confiscate his car because of bootlegging [10:38]; Travels to West Virginia to play music in the coal fields [15:15]; Moves to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, meets Jordan Webb and J.B. Long [17:09]; Outbreak of World War II, Blind Boy Fuller No. 2 [23:33]; Recorded with Big Bill Broonzy as Brother George and His Sanctified Singers [25:08]; Takes portrait with big black hat for album cover [26:53]; J.B. Long gives him Blind Boy Fuller's guitar [29:40]; Breaks with J.B. Long and Columbia Records, signs with Decca Records [30:20]; Never played in nightclubs in New York City [32:15]; Moves out of Lead Belly's apartment to Harlem, manager Nick Ray [33:28]; He was too rough to play in nightclubs [34:08]; Manager goes to war, moves in with cousin in Connecticut [35:40]; Woody Guthrie, Sonny and Brownie in play written by Guthrie [36:40]; Moves to Harlem, plays on the street and in liquor joints [39:47]; Sonny Terry joins him in Harlem, two play together on the street as a duet [41:00] Side B description: Silence [00:00]; Sonny Terry starts singing, learning to play together [00:07]; Identity as folk-blues previous hit musicians next hit [06:10]; Sonny cast in Broadway play Finian's Rainbow, joins previous hit musicians next hit union [07:04]; Sonny records hit song, "Tuesday hoppin' n' hollerin'" [09:37]; Union previous hit musician next hit as member of Local 802 [11:36]; Performing with Jack Dupree, Brownie McGhee and His Jook Blockbusters [13:10]; Playing on Lennox Ave. night Franklin Delano Roosevelt died [15:08]; Jukeboxes and records hurting business for live previous hit musicians next hit [16:38]; Herman Lubinski, Savoy Records, drinking in recording studio [22:15]; Brownie McGhee and His Mighty Rockers [32:20]; Sticks McGhee's song, "Drinkin' wine spo-dee-dee", Atlantic Records [35:40]; Contract with Okeh Records, J.B. Long [45:00]
Box 1

Tape 010 / 011 1994-06

Physical Description: Run Time: 188 (min): 57 (s)

Description

Tape 10: Side A description: Silence [00:00]; Sonny Terry in Finian's Rainbow [00:09]; Goes into business with Horace Holmes, H & M Studios, Atomic Records [02:00]; Joins Alert Records, BM Studios [05:20]; Recording on Savoy Records [12:40]; Home of the Blues studio, teaching the blues [13:40]; Alert Records and blues scene in Harlem and Brooklyn [22:30]; Discovers Erskine Hawkins in sanatorium, forms band [27:00]; Joins Jack Dupree, first electric guitar [27:50]; Recording on Alert Records and Savoy Records [31:08]; Playing clubs in Brooklyn, Jim White's Virginia Tavern [32:57]; House parties in Brooklyn, his radio show on WNYC [37:00]; Jackie Robinson and the origins of the song, "Baseball boogie" [37:00]; Folk music scene, why he didn't switch to electric guitar [45:40] Side B description: Silence [00:00]; Blues as folk music, multi-cultural hootenannies [00:07]; Blues at midnight in the village [02:04]; Stringline Singers and union halls [02:45]; Woody Guthrie says "nigger" on the radio [03:51]; Burl Ives' "Troubadour Plan" [04:31]; Hanging out with Woody Guthrie [04:53]; Alan Lomax presenting Lead Belly in prison stripes at the Apollo Theater [06:20]; Music sessions at Lead Belly's house [07:36]; First performance in a nightclub at the Village Vanguard [19:22]; Formed trio The Folkmasters [11:05]; The Three Bs, Bob Getty, Bob Harris, and Brownie McGhee, Felton's Lounge [14:18]; Blues scene in Harlem and New York City [17:05]; Leaves Alert Record after royalty check for "Baseball boogie" bounces [19:28]; Meets Ruth McGhee, Mary Hinds [21:50]; Relationship with Ruth McGhee [28:20]; Birth of children, move to 1984 Madison Ave. [32:50]; The Mighty Rockers, The Joot Blockbusters, Bill's Tavern [36:15]; Leaves band after Sonny Terry finishes Finian's Rainbow [38:16]; Amps, association with communists [39:25]; Performing at Bill's Tavern in Elizabeth, New Jersey [42:55]; Meets Langston Hughes [44:05] Tape 11: Side A description: Silence [00:00]; Langston Hughes [00:07]; Song, "Pawnshop blues" [02:05]; Cast as Gitfiddle in Langston Hughes' play Simply Heavenly [04:02]; Cast in production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof [05:01]; Family life while working on Broadway [19:00]; First visit with Langston Hughes [20:45]; Audition and cast in Simply Heavenly [24:20]; Meets and becomes friends with Andy Griffith, cast in A Face in the Crowd [27:15]; First time in California, on set of No Time for Sargent [43:20]; Bill Bill Broonzy [45:25] Side B description: Silence [00:00]; Travels with Big Bill Broonzy to England [00:10]; Travels to France, Germany [09:55]; New York Times interview [11:10]; Second trip to England [13:50]; Move to California, performing at the Ash Grove, Idyllwild [17:05]; Death of Big Bill Broonzy [22:34]; Travels with Sonny Terry to India on State Dept. trip [23:12]; TB blues, Harry Belafonte's band [27:05]; Trip to the far east for State Dept. [28:25]; Gerde's Folk City [32:05]; Move to California in 1961 [33:30]; Touring with Harry Belafonte [35:30]; Signs with Agency for the Performing Arts (APA) [45:14]; Trip to Australia [47:45]
Box 1

Tape 012 1994-07-27

Physical Description: Run Time: 63 (min): 39 (s)

Description

Side A description: Silence [00:00]; Josh White, New York City in the 1940s [00:05]; Meeting with Duke Ellington at the Apollo Theater, learning to perform live [03:45]; Performing at clubs in Brooklyn, conflict with club owner [06:36]; Joining previous hit musician's next hit union Local 802 [08:32]; J.B. Long and Blind Boy Fuller No. 2 [13:27]; Turning down offer to perform with the Ray-O-Vacs at the Apollo Theater [14:26]; Brother's career problems, hit song, "Drinkin' wine spo-dee-dee" [17:48]; Reasons for initially not touring Australia, Peter Mann convinces him to tour Australia [28:50] Side B description: Silence [00:00]; His demands before touring Australia [00:05]; Australia importing labor, "keep Australia white" [00:50]; Touring Australia, changing his perspective of country [01:52]; Touring in Canada and England, Big Bill Broonzy [11:39]; Returns to US, New York Times interview [21:07]; Lawsuit over Duke Ellington's song "House rent party blues" [23:50]; Concerts in Canada [26:06]; California, trip to India and Africa [27:47]
Box 1

Tape 013 1994-09-03

Box 1

Tape 014 1994-09-05

Box 1

Tape 015 1994-09-05

Box 1

Tape 016 1994-09-05

Box 1

Tape 017 1994-09-05

Physical Description: Run Time: 85 (min): 54 (s)

Description

Side A description: Silence [00:00]; Brownie performing song "Good morning blues" [00:09]; Discussing unnamed pianist [06:03]; Discussing his Martin guitar [07:40]; Record labels he recorded on in 1940s-1950s [08:20]; Stories about recording in studio [09:48]; Poor quality of recordings [13:46]; Working for the Mafia [14:05]; "Baseball boogie" royalties [16:49]; Race music labels [19:42]; Investigated by FBI as a communist [20:55]; FBI and performing at Yankee stadium, "Stand up and be counted" [22:27]; Playing at NYU and Columbia University [25:26]; Big Bill Broonzy, Lead Belly, discrimination at Jack Dempsey's restaurant [26:25]; Playing table at hotel in New York City [28:12]; Performing under aliases [29:46]; Elmer Lee Thomas' band members [31:50]; Tomato Records, Blue Labor Records, Rondor Music, song "Rainy Day," Charles Brown's Christmas blues [40:09]; Performing at Lake Merritt [42:05]; Touring in England, Big Bill Broonzy [42:32]; Reception in the US after touring England [45:05] Side B description: Silence [00:00], Father's advice, getting a job with polio [00:10], Conversation with daughter, albums, Sonny and Brownie fight over hiring a backup previous hit musician next hit [02:01], Sonny and Brownie's Broadway work [15:10], Working on the movie, The Jerk [16:52], Relationship between Sonny and Brownie [18:45], Blind Boy Fuller [24:05], Learning to play guitar with a pick [27:25], Brownie shows his diploma to J.B. Long [28:16], Sonny's blindness [29:20], Phone call [30:47], Sonny's family, blindness [31:16], Sonny gets stiffed for work by boss [33:19], Making money playing on the street of New York City [35:18], First song Brownie and Sonny played together, "Stranger blues" [37:00]
Box 1

Tape 018 1994-09-11

Box 1

Tape 019 / 021 1994-09-11

Physical Description: Run Time: 143 (min): 53 (s)

Description

Tape 19: Side A description: Silence [00:00]; The Gateway Singers, father's advice on segregation [00:08]; Playing with white previous hit musicians next hit in the South in the 1930s [01:25]; Brownie's Alley [03:27]; WNYC radio show [05:39]; Lead Belly, Josh White [08:07]; Alan Lomax, music brings people together [11:42]; His father, childhood, corporal punishment and obedience of children [13:52]; Father's aphorisms, "you don't know big wood from brush" [18:26]; Left home in 8th grade, The Depression, finishing high school [20:26]; Sisters [22:54]; No depression in rural Tennessee, food and canning at home [25:18]; Depression hits in 1934, high school graduation class [27:30]; Cleaning and laundry [30:30]; Father's iterant work and effect on the family's housing [33:48]; His father never wanted to work on August 8th [36:45]; Father's pay "$1300 in the bank" [38:25]; His mother babied him because of his polio [40:37]; Polio, John Hopkins Hospital surgery, playing sports, girls [42:15] Side B description: Silence [00:00]; Discussing photographs, concert tour [00:22]; Girlfriend's heart attack, tour of Australia and New Zealand [05:02]; Discussing photographs [09:18]; Blind Boy Fuller [12:30]; Discussing photographs [14:50]; Selling voodoo charms on street [16:55]; Working with medicine shows and con artist in West Virginia [17:36]; Traveling from town to town on bus [24:20]; Medicine shows [27:03]; Scotch and milk [31:30]; Blues is truth [35:58]; New York City as a con world, press coverage [39:00]; Sonny Terry's sickness, music touring business [40:10]; Performing for royal family in Nepal [47:15] Tape 21: Side A description: Silence [00:00]; Partnership with Sonny Terry [01:20]; Woody Guthrie dinner incident in Baltimore, Maryland [02:52]; Sonny gets into fight with man who pushed Brownie [09:47]; Sonny cast in Finian's Rainbow [11:40]; Jane Dudley's "Harmonica breakdown" [14:45]; Sonny's singing style, J.B. Long [16:36]; Alberta Hunter, Bessie Smith [17:20]; B.B. King, problems keeping time [20:27]; Phineas Newborn Jr. [25:25]; Montreux Jazz Festival, refusal to let Styve Homnick take stage between he's white [29:05]; Quit traveling, fear of leaving house [33:17]; Brownie takes phone call [39:36]; Jimmy Rogers, Lonnie Johnson, Riverboat in Toronto, Canada [43:45]
Box 1

Tape 020 1994-09-11

Box 1

Tape 022 / 023 / 024 1994-10-02

Physical Description: Run Time: 221 (min): 38 (s)

Description

Part 1 description: Silence [00:00]; J.B. Long, Blind Boy Fuller, and the dog song [00:05]; Women and blues lyrics, slave society [01:49]; Salvation in religion, resentment in his blues lyrics [05:15]; Giving up on religion [12:19]; J.B. Long, Blind Boy Fuller, and Old Red [15:43]; Song, "Me and my dog blues," blues lyrics [18:00]; Stopped using dirty lyrics in his songs [19:25]; "Love, truth, and confidence had a talk one day" [21:11]; Origin of songs, "My fault," "Don't dog your woman" [24:15]; Origin of song, "Me and my dog" [30:07]; Hitchhiking, preaching, and singing spirituals in West Virginia [33:36]; J.B. Long recognizing the importance of Brownie's ability to read and write [37:26]; Recording on acetate records, J.B. Long's approach to making records [41:09]; J.B. Long not copyrighting his songs [44:25]; Columbia and Okeh Records [45:35]; Recording with Elmer Lee Thomas [46:12] Part 2 description: Silence [00:00]; Elmer Lee Thomas [00:03]; Finished performing on stage [03:20]; Hearing himself sing on records, voice training [08:49]; Childhood dream of growing up to be a lawyer [12:35]; Earning money making music, song "Death of Blind Boy Fuller" [13:40]; Elmer Lee Thomas [15:05]; Difficulty with fingers playing instruments [16:40]; Song, "Baseball boogie" used in Jackie Robinson documentary [22:06]; Brownie calls daughter on telephone [23:49]; [Elmer Lee Thomas enters][28:48]; Touring Australia with Sonny Terry [30:05]; Fly Fish Records, Arhoolie Records [32:30]; Recording on 78 vinyl records, recording in New York City, music business [34:20]; Prestige and Atlantic Records, blues scene in New York City [40:30]; Offer to perform with the Ray-O-Vacs at Apollo Theater [41:50]; Song, "Baseball boogie" [43:17]; Performing music on street and in clubs [45:57]; Blues as the only American music [47:50] Part 3 description: Silence [00:00]; "Baseball boogie," blues is truth [00:04]; Deal with Muddy Waters on song, "Blues had a baby and called it rock and roll" [03:00]; Arhoolie Records, price to perform [12:40]; John Lee Hooker [17:30]; Brook Benton [20:18]; Junior Parker [23:35]; Takes telephone call [25:07]; Silence, discussing photocopies in background [30:00]; Sticks McGhee song, "Globetrotter" [31:12] Part 4 description: Silence [00:00]; Guitar playing, Elmer Lee Thomas band, club owners [00:04]; Did not allow dancing during his performances [01:13]; Sonny Terry didn't like playing music with a microphone [02:40]; Performing with Sonny Terry [03:20]; First song played with Sonny Terry "Stranger blues" [04:07]; Elmer Lee Thomas playing guitar [daughter enters with groceries][04:52]; Fear of performing live [09:22]; Appearance on television show Family Ties, Bill Cosby opening for Sonny and Brownie at The Purple Onion [10:27]; Richard Pryor opening for him and Sonny [12:20]; Touring with Harry Belafonte, Bonny Raitt [13:52]; Josh White and Harry Belafonte [22:50]; Song, "Pick a bail of cotton" [24:36]; Favorite song, "Born and livin' with the blues" [26:56]; Songs, "Betty and Dupree," "Careless love," and "St. Louis blues" [29:05]; Blues is truth [31:30] Part 5 description: Silence [00:00], Recording of song, "The blues had a baby" [00:10], Inspiration for song, "When the wind blows" [01:15], Recordin for Herman Lubenski and Decca Records [06:55], Recording with Hal "Cornbread" Singer [10:25], B.B. King and blues previous hit musicians next hit touring Europe [12:12], Josh White [13:50], Josh White and Leadbelly at the Apollo, performing in prison cell at the Apollo [15:13], Lomax's presentation of Leadbelly to white and black audiences [16:40], Importance of J.B. Long and record managers in his music career [22:35] Part 6 description: Silence [00:00]; Playing guitar [00:02]; Son House [01:18]; Discussing his guitars [03:15]; Changes in recording technologies [08:45]; Muddy Waters last album, song "The blues had a baby and they named it rock and roll" [12:00]; Rap music [15:00]; Origin of song, "Auto mechanic blues" [15:50]; Robert Johnson's song, "Terraplane blues" [19:28]; Father though jazz was a dirty word [21:25]; Letter to record label asking Brownie to clean up his lyrics [22:00]; Singing song, "Wholesale and retail," censored on the radio [23:00]; Discusses song, "Dr. Brownie's famous cure" [25:44]; Tampa Red and Georgia Tom, rap music [27:12]; Janis Joplin letter asking for permission to cover song, "Go down slow" [31:11]; New Zealand Nescafe commercial [37:35]; Radio stations, chili [39:12]
Box 1

Tape 023 1994-10-02

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Tape 024 1994-10-02

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Tape 025 1994-10-02

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Tape 026 1994-10-16

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Tape 027 1994-10-16

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Tape 028 1994-10-16

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Tape 029 1994-10-22

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Tape 030 1994-10-22

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Tape 031 1994-10-26

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Tape 032 1994-10-26

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Tape 033 1994-12-04

Box 2

Tape 034 1994-12-04

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Tape 035 1995-01-01

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Tape 036 1995-01-01

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Tape 037 1995-01-01

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Tape 038 1995-01-08

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Tape 039 1995-01-09

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Tape 040 1995-01-22

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Tape 041 1995-01-22

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Tape 042 1995-01-22

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Tape 043 1995-01-25

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Tape 044 1995-01-25

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Tape 045 1995-02-05

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Tape 046 1995-02-05

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Tape 047 1995-02-26

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Tape 048 1995-02-26

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Tape 049 1995-03-26

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Tape 050 1995-03-26

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Tape 051 1995-04-02

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Tape 052 1995-04-08

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Tape 053 1995-04-13

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Tape 054 1995-04-23

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Tape 055 1995-04-23

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Tape 056 1995-04-30

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Tape 057 1995-04-30

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Tape 058 1995-05-02

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Tape 059 1995-05-07

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Tape 060 1995-05-14

Box 2

Tape 061 1995-05-14

Box 2

Tape 062 1995-05-14

Box 2

Tape 063 1995-05-21

Box 2

Tape 064 1995-05-29

Box 2

Tape 065 1995-05-29

Box 2

Tape 066 1995-06-01

Box 2

Tape 067 1995-07-02

Box 2

Tape 068 1995-07-02

Box 2

Tape 069 1995-07-02

Box 3

Tape 070 1995-07-09

Box 3

Tape 071 1995-07-09

Box 3

Tape 072 1995-07-16

Box 3

Tape 073 1995-10-02

Box 3

Tape 074 1995-10-08

Box 3

Tape 075 1995-10-08

Box 3

Tape 076 1995-10-22

Box 3

Tape 077 1995-10-22

Box 3

Tape 078 1995-10-29

Box 3

Tape 079 1995-10-29

Box 3

Tape 080 1995-11-05

Box 3

Tape 081 1995-12-10

Box 3

Tape 082 1995-12-22

Box 3

Tape 083 undated

 

Musical performances

Physical Description: 13 cassette tapes
Box 3

Tape 090, Brownie McGhee and Elmer Lee Thomas 1994-09-05

Box 3

Tape 091, Brownie McGhee and Elmer Lee Thomas 1994-10-02

Box 3

Tape 092, Brownie McGhee on West Coast Live 1994-12-17

Box 3

Tape 093, Brownie McGhee on West Coast Live 1994-12-17

Box 3

Tape 094, Brownie McGhee on West Coast Live 1994-12-17

Box 3

Tape 095, Brownie McGhee and Elmer Lee Thomas 1995-02-05

Box 3

Tape 096, Brownie McGhee and Elmer Lee Thomas 1995-02-05

Box 3

Tape 097, Brownie McGhee and Elmer Lee Thomas 1995-02-05

Box 3

Tape 098, Brownie McGhee studio recording 1995-05-06

Box 3

Tape 099, Brownie McGhee and Elmer Lee Thomas 1995-06-24

Box 3

Tape 100, Brownie McGhee on NPR 1995-09-25

Box 3

Tape 101, Brownie McGhee and Elmer Lee Thomas 1996-02-05

Box 4

Tape 110, Sista Monica 1995-06-11

 

Memorial service

Box 1

Funeral program [two copies] 1996-02-24

Box 3

Memorial service recording, tape 84 1996-02-25

Box 4

Memorial service recording, tape 109 1996-02-25

 

Photographs

Physical Description: 23 photographs
Box 1

Brownie McGhee with eyes closed [001] circa 1990s

Box 1

Brownie McGhee publicity still [002] circa 1990s

Box 4

Brownie McGhee seated with concert posters in the background [003] circa 1990s

Box 4

Brownie McGhee with eyes closed [004] circa 1990s

Box 4

Brownie McGhee with eyes closed [005] circa 1990s

Box 4

Brownie McGhee performing in garage [006] circa 1990s

Box 4

Brownie McGhee and unidentified man performing in house [007] circa 1990s

Box 4

Brownie McGhee and women sitting at table in backyard [008] circa 1990s

Box 4

Brownie McGhee performing in garage with three other previous hit musicians [009] circa 1990s

Box 4

Brownie McGhee concert poster, Lloyd’s Music Hall, Newark [010] circa 1990s

Box 4

Man and woman leaving church [011] circa 1990s

Box 4

Church organ [012] circa 1990s

Box 4

Church organ [013] circa 1990s

Box 4

Band performing Eli's Mile High Club [014] circa 1990s

Box 4

Band performing Eli's Mile High Club [015] circa 1990s

Box 4

Band performing Eli's Mile High Club [016] circa 1990s

Box 4

Man playing pool at Eli's Mile High Club [017] circa 1990s

Box 4

Man playing pool at Eli's Mile High Club [018] circa 1990s

Box 4

Exterior of Eli’s Mile High Club [019] circa 1990s

Box 4

Brownie McGhee sitting in kitchen [020] circa 1990s

Box 4

Brownie McGhee seated in kitchen signing record album [021] circa 1990s

Box 4

Brownie McGhee and unidentified man performing in house [022] circa 1990s

Box 4

Brownie McGhee and unidentified man performing in house [023] circa 1990s

Box 1

Brownie “B.I.T.” McGhee publicity still [024] circa 1990s

 

Brownie McGhee birthday celebration at Yoshi’s

Box 3

Tape 085 1994-12-21

Box 3

Tape 086 1994-12-21

Box 3

Tape 087 1994-12-21

Box 3

Tape 088 1994-12-21

Box 3

Tape 089 1994-12-21

Box 1

Tribute to Brownie McGhee [VHS tape] 1996-03-04

 

Blues is Truth Foundation

Physical Description: 1 folder + 5 cassette tapes

Series Scope and Content Summary

Consists of brochure, flyer, and cassette tapes of meetings of the Blues is Truth Foundation.

Arrangement

Arranged by format
 

Meeting tapes

Box 3

Tape 102, Blues is Truth Foundation meeting 1995-10-08

Box 3

Tape 103, Blues is Truth Foundation meeting 1995-11-05

Box 3

Tape 104, Blues is Truth Foundation meeting 1995-11-12

Box 3

Tape 105, Blues is Truth Foundation meeting 1995-11-19

Box 3

Tape 106, Blues is Truth Foundation meeting 1995-12-10

Box 1

Blues is Truth brochure [two copies] 1996

Box 1

Free drawing for a Brownie McGhee cd flyer circa 1990s

 

Interview with Styve Homnick

Physical Description: 2 cassette tapes

Series Scope and Content Summary

Consists of two cassette tapes with drummer Styve Homnick.

Arrangement

Arranged by format.
Box 4

Tape 107, Interview with Styve Homnick 1996-01-31

Box 4

Tape 108, Interview with Styve Homnick 1996-01-31