Trans. Status:

Interview and banjo lesson with Lawrence Marrero, 1958 April 10

Higher Level Record: MSS 530.3
Call Number: MSS 530.3.44
Title: Interview and banjo lesson with Lawrence Marrero, 1958 April 10
Creator: Marrero, Lawrence, 1900-1959 (interviewee)
Russell, William, 1905-1992 (interviewer)
Talbert, Dick (interviewer)
Date of Creation: 1958 April 10
Extent: 3 sound tape reel (98 min.) : analog, on original sound tape reel 313-315 of 704
on sound tape reel 352-354 of 818 (98 min.)
on side 184A-185A of 493 audio cassette (98 min.)
on tape 143 of 396 digital audio tape (98 min.)
1 WAV file (98 min.) : digital
Object Name: oral histories (document genres)
sound recordings
Collection Type: Oral Histories
Language: English
Biography/History: Lawrence (or Laurence) Marrero (1900-1959) was an early jazz banjoist who played often with Bunk Johnson and George Lewis.
Born Russell William Wagner, Bill Russell (1905-1992) was an American music historian, collector, musician, and modernist composer. He was an authority on early New Orleans-style jazz, and the founder of American Music Records.
Dick Talbert was an Associated Press photographer who worked with jazz scholar William Russell in the late 1950s.
Scope and Content: This recording was made by William Russell on April 10, 1958 and includes a banjo lesson given by Lawrence Marrero to Dick Talbert. Also present during the lesson and interview was Marrero's nephew. The banjo lesson features instruction and practice on fingering and chords. Lawrence Marrero briefly discusses his family's musical background. He also fondly recalls recording with Bill Russell in New York. He also briefly details his time spent working in the Storyville District of New Orleans, working with Udell Wilson, Manuel Manetta, Alec Bigard, and Arnold Metoyer. Marrero explains that his fingering is different because of an injury he received to his hand while working in a mattress factory. The last portion of this recording includes musical recordings identified by notes as being "Jelly copies--from Le Gate," pieces listed in the notes include "Billy Goat Stomp," "Hyena, Stomp," "Tiger Rag," Weary Bls," "Soap Suds," and "Milenberg Joys."
Notes: Interview and banjo lesson with Lawrence Marrero, 1958 April 10, William Russell Oral History Collection Series, MSS530, William Russell Jazz Collection, The Williams Research Center, The Historic New Orleans Collection.
Restrictions: Open. Records are available for research.
Performing rights for music in this collection are reserved by the copyright holders of record.
Requesting: Please provide the reference staff with the manuscript call number.
Collection Theme(s): Music and Performing Arts
Subjects: Marrero, Lawrence, 1900-1959 -- More information
Marrero, John, 1897-ca. 1945 -- More information
New Orleans (La.)
Storyville District (New Orleans, La.)
New York (N.Y.)
Banjo -- Instruction and study
Related Materials at
Other Institutions:
The William Ransom Hogan Archive of New Orleans Jazz has a digest of this interview
Accession Number: 92-48-L.291
Audio Link:
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