Inventory of the Jester Hairston Collection SPC.2015.004

Kendall Hinesley, Beth McDonald
California State University Dominguez Hills, Gerth Archives and Special Collections
2015, 2019
University Library South -5039 (Fifth Floor)
1000 E. Victoria St.
Carson, CA 90747
archives@csudh.edu


Contributing Institution: California State University Dominguez Hills, Gerth Archives and Special Collections
Title: Jester Hairston Collection
Creator: Hairston, Jester, 1901-2000
Creator: Caldwell, Hansonia L. (Hansonia LaVerne), 1944-
Identifier/Call Number: SPC.2015.004
Physical Description: 5 boxes
Date (inclusive): 1917-2007
Abstract: Materials created and collected by and about Jester Hairston, and administrative materials related to Hairston's centennial celebration. Materials include manuscripts, music and lyrics, articles, and administrative files.
Language of Material: English .

Scope and Contents

The collection includes biographical materials on Hairston, music manuscripts written by him, music collected by him, programs for choral events, and administrative materials concerning the planning and execution of the Jester Hairston Centennial Celebration. Biographical materials include both unpublished book manuscripts and published works. Music includes arrangements written in Hairston's own hand, and published materials he collected. Centennial Celebration administrative materials focus on the planning committee, and a VHS of the program.

Biographical Note

Jester Hairston was an actor, composer, song writer, arranger, choral conductor, Goodwill Ambassador for the United States, and an expert on Spirituals. He is best known as an actor for his roles in the television sitcom "Amen" and radio and television version of "Amos n Andy." As a song writer he is best known for the song "Amen" which he wrote and recorded for the film "Lilies of the Valley", but over his life he composed over 300 other Spirituals, and was the choral director for Hollywood's's first integrated choir. He was born in Belews Creek, North Carolina, the grandson of a slave, and was raised in Pittsburgh. He enrolled in college in 1920 at Massachusetts Agriculture to study Landscape Architecture, and though he did not finish a degree at that time, he was later awarded a honorary Doctorate in 1972, and given the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Department of Music and Dance in 1992. After leaving Massachusetts he attended and graduated from Tufts University 1928, and studied music at the Juliard School. In addition to his work with choirs and spirituals in the United States, he performed folk music and spirituals all over the world in the 1960s as a Goodwill Ambassador. He died in Los Angeles at the age of 98 in the year 2000, is buried in Inglewood, California, and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from the collection 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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection donated by members of the African Diaspora Sacred Music Archive.

Preferred Citation

For information about citing archival material, see the Citations for Archival Material  guide, or consult the appropriate style manual.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

African Americans -- California
African Americans -- California -- Los Angeles
African Americans -- Music
African American actors
African American musicians
Gospel Music
Sacred music
Hairston, Jester, 1901-2000

box 1, folder 1

Articles about Jester Hairston 1979-2000

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 2

Biographical Profiles 1981-2000

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 3-5

Centennial Planning Committee 2000

Physical Description: 3 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 6

Centennial Responses 2000

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 7

City of Los Angeles Tribute to Jester Hairston 1981

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 8

Concert in Estonia 1991

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 9

Correspondence 1968-1992

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 10

CSUDH Jubilee Choir Concert 2001

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 1, folder 11

Flyers undated

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 1

"The Hairstons" by Henry Wienceck 1999

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 2

The Holman Choir Programs 1983-2007

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 3

Isabel Hairston Memorial 1986

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 4

"Jester Hairston: A Celebration of His Life in Music" 2000

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 5

Just Jester 1979

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 6

Last Will and Testament photocopy 1985

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 7

"My Autobiography" typed manuscript circa 1970

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 2, folder 8

"My Autobiography" copy 1 undated

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 1

Photographs of Hairston by Earl Raines undated

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 2

Programs spotlighting Hairston 1976-2007

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 3

Unidentified historical article (written by Hairston?) circa 1940

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 4

Hansonia Caldwell Correspondence 1979

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 5

Eva Jessye, correspondence and works 1927-1943

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 6

"My Cello and I" by Gregor Piatigorsky 1962

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 7

Kirby Shaw Correspondence and music 1976

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 8

William Farley Smith 1978

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 9

Utica Jubilee Singers 1930

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 10

Christmas choruses from the Messiah. ed. by Dr. B.R. Henson 1981

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 11

The Lord's Prayer undated

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 12

Manuscript Music by Other Musicians undated

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 13

Masters of Russian song, collected by Kurt Schindler 1945

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 14

The Messiah by George Frederic Handel undated

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 15

Song Lyrics 1984

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 16

Spirituals arranged by Hairston 1950-1960

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 3, folder 17

Spirituals from the LAUSD in house choral library undated

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 4, folder 1

Manuscript music by Hairston undated

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 4, folder 2

Manuscript music fragments undated

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 4, folder 3

Transcriptions of Hairston music by J. Hamilton Grandison undated

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 4, folder 4

Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) manuscript by Hairston undated

Physical Description: 1 folder
Language of Material: English.
box 4, folder 5

The Jester Hairston Spirituals, "Sometimes I feel Like A Motherless Chile" [sheet music] 1952

box 4, folder 6

"Poor Man Lazrus", arranged by Jester Hairston [sheet music]; unidentified sheet music 1950; undated

box 4, folder 7

"Jester Hairston in An Evening of Spirituals with Chancel Choir", Alexandria Virginia [program], two copies May 15, 1987

box 5

Jester Hairston at Ramona High School 700 Club 1990

Physical Description: 1 Video Tapes
Language of Material: English.
box 5

32nd annual Negro Spirituals concert, featuring the Holman Choir 1991

Physical Description: 1 Video Tapes
Language of Material: English.
box 5

The Jester Hairston Collection undated

Physical Description: 1 Cassettes
Language of Material: English.
box 5

Amen: The Life and Music of Jester Hairston documentary 2015

Physical Description: 2 items
Language of Material: English.
box 5

Amen: The Life and Music of Jester Hairston - Master copy 2013

Physical Description: 3 items
Language of Material: English.
box 5

Jester Hairston Tribute, parts I and II undated

Physical Description: 2 items
Language of Material: English.
box 5

My Autobiography by Jester Hairston undated

Physical Description: 3 items
Language of Material: English.