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Floyd Levin Jazz Reference Collection

Creator:
Garland, Ed  Search this
Armstrong, Louis, 1900-1971  Search this
Morton, Jelly Roll, d. 1941  Search this
Darensbourg, Joe, 1906-1985  Search this
Davison, Bill  Search this
Blake, Eubie, 1883-1983  Search this
Wilson, Buster  Search this
Ellington, Duke, 1899-1974  Search this
Collector:
Levin, Floyd, 1922-2007  Search this
Donor:
Levin, Lucille  Search this
Extent:
42.5 Cubic feet (110 boxes, 12 oversize folders)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Newsletters
Posters
Obituaries
Correspondence
Photographs
Advertisements
Ephemera
Concert programs
Clippings
Business cards
Audiocassettes
Signatures (names)
Audiotapes
Interviews
Personal papers
Biography files
Awards
Writings
Date:
1880 - 2010
Summary:
Floyd Levin was a Los Angeles textile manufacturer who turned his passion for jazz into a second career as an influential jazz journalist and historian. The collection consists of research materials including biographical files. In addition, there are numerous photographs that were taken and collected by Levin.
Scope and Contents:
Research materials on jazz, jazz artists, jazz festivals and jazz organizations compiled by Levin over several decades. The richest portion is the series of biographical files on jazz artists, with emphasis on lesser known but influential artists, and includes such things as obituaries, memorial programs, press releases, concert programs, and newsletters. Photographs are also widely found in this series, many of them inscribed to, or taken with Levin and his wife Lucille, as well as posters, recordings, letters and other correspondence, awards and plaques, Levin's writings, business cards, newspaper articles, advertisements, and miscellaneous ephemeral items. Artists who are strongly represented include one-time Ellington Orchestra clarinetist "Barney" (Albany Leon) Bigard, who was a close personal friend of the Levins and whose personal papers are in the collection; Louis Armstrong; "Jelly Roll" (Ferdinand Lemott) Morton; "Wild" Bill Davison; "Duke" (Edward Kennedy) Ellington; Joe Darensbourg; Edward Bertram "Montudie" Garland; "Kid" (Edward) Ory; "Eubie" (James Herbert) Blake; and "Rosy" (James) McHargue.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into ten series.

Series 1, Personal Papers, 1920-2010, undated

Series 2, Correspondence, 1948-2006, undated

Series 3, Research Materials, 1914-2006, undated

Series 4, Writings, 1949-2006, undated

Series 5, Artists Files, 1880-2010, undated

Subseries 5.1, General Materials, 1880-2010, undated

Subseries 5.2, Obituaries, 1941-2004

Subseries 5.3, Interviews, 1969-2001

Series 6, Subject Files, 1916-2004, undated

Series 7, General Materials, 1908-2006, undated

Series 8, Jazz Organizations and Publications, 1943-2010, undated

Series 9, Photographs, 1939-2001, undated

Series 10, Audiovisual Materials, 1964-1997, undated

Subseries 10.1, Audiocassettes, 1970-1997, undated

Subseries 10.2, Compact Discs, 1966-1994, undated

Subseries 10.3, Sound Tape Reels, 1964-1973, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Floyd Levin (1922 - 2007) was a Los Angeles textile manufacturer who turned his passion for jazz into a second, contemporaneous, career as an influential jazz journalist and historian. His numerous reviews, profiles, and articles were published in magazines such as Down Beat, Jazz Journal International, Metronome, and American Rag. He also authored Classic Jazz: A Personal View of the Music and the Musicians (University of California Press, 2000), which –like his articles – chronicled his first-hand encounters with countless jazz musicians. In 1949, he co-founded the Southern California Hot Jazz Society, the second-oldest jazz appreciation club in the country. Levin led the drive to create the Louis Armstrong Park and statue in New Orleans in the 1970s. During his career, he conducted scores of oral history interviews with jazz musicians, which he donated to NMAH and to Tulane University's jazz archive. He received several awards for his work, including the Leonard Feather Communicator Award, given annually by the Los Angeles Jazz Society. Levin died in 2007.
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives Center in 2011 by Floyd Levin's widow, Lucille Levin.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Only reference copies of audiovisual materials may be used.
Rights:
Reproduction restricted due to copyright or trademark. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Jazz  Search this
Jazz musicians  Search this
Genre/Form:
Newsletters -- 20th century
Posters -- 20th century
Obituaries
Correspondence -- 20th century
Photographs -- 20th century
Advertisements -- 20th century
Ephemera -- 20th century
Concert programs -- 20th century
Clippings
Business cards
Audiocassettes
Signatures (names)
Audiotapes
Interviews
Personal papers -- 20th century
Biography files
Awards
Writings
Citation:
Floyd Levin Jazz Reference Collection, 1880-2010, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1222
See more items in:
Floyd Levin Jazz Reference Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1222
Additional Online Media:

Noone, Jimmy (Jr.) and Jimmie Noone (Sr.)

Collection Creator:
Garland, Ed  Search this
Armstrong, Louis, 1900-1971  Search this
Morton, Jelly Roll, d. 1941  Search this
Darensbourg, Joe, 1906-1985  Search this
Davison, Bill  Search this
Blake, Eubie, 1883-1983  Search this
Wilson, Buster  Search this
Ellington, Duke, 1899-1974  Search this
Collection Collector:
Levin, Floyd, 1922-2007  Search this
Collection Donor:
Levin, Lucille  Search this
Container:
Box 52, Folder 14
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1985 - 1986
1895 - 1944
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Only reference copies of audiovisual materials may be used.
Collection Rights:
Reproduction restricted due to copyright or trademark. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Floyd Levin Jazz Reference Collection, 1880-2010, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
See more items in:
Floyd Levin Jazz Reference Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1222-ref1093

Artists Files

Collection Creator:
Garland, Ed  Search this
Armstrong, Louis, 1900-1971  Search this
Morton, Jelly Roll, d. 1941  Search this
Darensbourg, Joe, 1906-1985  Search this
Davison, Bill  Search this
Blake, Eubie, 1883-1983  Search this
Wilson, Buster  Search this
Ellington, Duke, 1899-1974  Search this
Collection Collector:
Levin, Floyd, 1922-2007  Search this
Collection Donor:
Levin, Lucille  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1880 - 2010
undated
Scope and Content Note:
This series is the largest, and most significant, series within the collection. It is divided into three subseries: 5.1, General Materials, 1880-2010, undated; 5.2, Obituaries, 1941-2004; and 5.3, Interviews, 1969-2001, which make up the bulk of Floyd Levin's extensive collection related to individual jazz artists, though more materials related to any given artist may be found dispersed through the collection's other series. This series contains a large number of photographs, both taken by and acquired by Floyd Levin, newspaper articles, oral history transcripts, personal and professional correspondence, personal papers, and other ephemera related to jazz artists both obscure and internationally recognized. The collection documents other closely related musical genres including blues, and swing. Subseries 5.1, General Materials, 1880-2010, undated, is arranged alphabetically by the name of the artist as created and maintained by Levin. Subseries 5.2, Obituaries, 1941-2004, is arranged in the chronological order that Levin created and includes material written by him and other renowned jazz experts for mainstream and general publications. Subseries 5.3, Interviews, 1969-2001, is arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the artist.
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Only reference copies of audiovisual materials may be used.
Collection Rights:
Reproduction restricted due to copyright or trademark. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Floyd Levin Jazz Reference Collection, 1880-2010, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1222, Series 5
See more items in:
Floyd Levin Jazz Reference Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1222-ref12

General Materials

Collection Creator:
Garland, Ed  Search this
Armstrong, Louis, 1900-1971  Search this
Morton, Jelly Roll, d. 1941  Search this
Darensbourg, Joe, 1906-1985  Search this
Davison, Bill  Search this
Blake, Eubie, 1883-1983  Search this
Wilson, Buster  Search this
Ellington, Duke, 1899-1974  Search this
Collection Collector:
Levin, Floyd, 1922-2007  Search this
Collection Donor:
Levin, Lucille  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1880 - 2010
undated
Scope and Content Note:
This subseries is the single largest portion of the collection. While the majority of these materials consist of photographs, (many inscribed to or taken with Floyd and Lucille Levin), newspaper articles, reviews, concert programs, and other materials useful for research are also within this subseries. There are general marketing materials; photographic negatives, slides and transparencies; correspondence of all kinds; biographical accounts and even personal documents such as copies of birth and death certificates of jazz artists. Other ephemera, some of which is three-dimensional, includes photocopies of record covers, memorabilia from jazz concerts and events, and the personal belongings of such legendary artists as "Barney" (Albany Leon) Bigard, Louis Armstrong and "Duke" (Edward Kennedy) Ellington.

This subseries also reflects the longstanding personal relationships Floyd Levin formed with many of the artists found in the collection, among them, "Barney" (Albany Leon) Bigard; Louis Armstrong; Joe Darensbourg; "Wild" Bill Davis and his wife, Anne Stewart Davis; "Montudie" (Edward Bertram) Garland and "Rosy" (James) McHargue. Personal correspondence, photographs and ephemera from private events demonstrate the dynamic social activities the Levins enjoyed within the jazz scene. Those artists with whom Levin was personally acquainted are also some of the best represented within this series, along with other notable jazz musicians and composers such as "Jelly Roll" (Ferdinand Lemott) Morton, Milt Hinton, and "Duke" (Edward Kennedy) Ellington. While Levin's collection is also remarkable in that it documents lesser-known jazz artists, particularly in and around California, it suffers from a significant lack of information on female jazz musicians. Materials on such influential artists as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, and Bessie Smith, among others, are much more limited.

This subseries is arranged alphabetically by artist or band name, followed by a collection of photographs of artists for which Levin had minimal materials, arranged by the first letter of their last name or band name. Following these are photographs and negatives of unidentified artists, and photographs and slides which feature multiple musicians.
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Only reference copies of audiovisual materials may be used.
Collection Rights:
Reproduction restricted due to copyright or trademark. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Floyd Levin Jazz Reference Collection, 1880-2010, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1222, Subseries 5.1
See more items in:
Floyd Levin Jazz Reference Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1222-ref22

Garland, "Montudie" (Edward Bertram), Photographs

Collection Creator:
Garland, Ed  Search this
Armstrong, Louis, 1900-1971  Search this
Morton, Jelly Roll, d. 1941  Search this
Darensbourg, Joe, 1906-1985  Search this
Davison, Bill  Search this
Blake, Eubie, 1883-1983  Search this
Wilson, Buster  Search this
Ellington, Duke, 1899-1974  Search this
Collection Collector:
Levin, Floyd, 1922-2007  Search this
Collection Donor:
Levin, Lucille  Search this
Container:
Box 40, Folder 5
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1880 - 1949
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Only reference copies of audiovisual materials may be used.
Collection Rights:
Reproduction restricted due to copyright or trademark. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Floyd Levin Jazz Reference Collection, 1880-2010, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
See more items in:
Floyd Levin Jazz Reference Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1222-ref709

Joplin, Scott

Collection Creator:
Garland, Ed  Search this
Armstrong, Louis, 1900-1971  Search this
Morton, Jelly Roll, d. 1941  Search this
Darensbourg, Joe, 1906-1985  Search this
Davison, Bill  Search this
Blake, Eubie, 1883-1983  Search this
Wilson, Buster  Search this
Ellington, Duke, 1899-1974  Search this
Collection Collector:
Levin, Floyd, 1922-2007  Search this
Collection Donor:
Levin, Lucille  Search this
Container:
Box 45, Folder 8
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1899 - 1986
undated
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Only reference copies of audiovisual materials may be used.
Collection Rights:
Reproduction restricted due to copyright or trademark. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Floyd Levin Jazz Reference Collection, 1880-2010, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
See more items in:
Floyd Levin Jazz Reference Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1222-ref867

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