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Finding aid to the Jimmy Sheldon collection, 1939-2000, SFH 390
SFH 390  
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Includes original photographs, ephemera and news clippings, as well as digital prints of photographs and newspaper articles, and a biography.
James Sheldon Geil, Jr. was born in Oregon in 1926; his family moved to Livermore, CA in 1935. Here he took piano lessons, and by age twelve he was transposing, transcribing and copying music. In 1940, now living in Richmond, CA, he began playing piano in small clubs in the East Bay. After 1942 he worked with various band leaders, and joined Jan Savitt's Orchestra in 1944 touring with Frank Sinatra. He married Ann Elizabeth Robison in 1945, and for the next three years toured and performed with Freddy Martin, the Ink Spots, Jane Russell, Larry Stevens, Rhonda Fleming, the Merry Macs, and Peggy Lee. He also worked clubs in Los Angeles and the Bay Area. In 1949 he was working day gigs on radio in Oakland and San Francisco, and nights at clubs, and with Don Churchill and his Texas Mavericks on KRON-TV. His musical homage to San Francisco, the piano concerto Nob Hill Nocturne , was published in 1953. Soon after, he was tapped to be pianist for the Horace Heidt Orchestra, televised on NBC. Beginning 1956 he led a quintet at Star-on-the-Roof nightclub, Beverly Hills, and had his own band at the Beverly Hilton. For ten years, begining 1966, he was director, USO-Hollywood Overseas Committee, first arranging shows in Viet Nam, then a year later, world-wide. After 1977 he worked as a promoter for supper clubs around the world. From 1981-1985 he hosted a radio show in Cambria, CA. He finally moved back to his home state, and died in Silverton, OR in 2000.
2 folders
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.
The collection is available for use during San Francisco History Center hours.