Trans. Status:

Interview with Pops Foster, 1958 August 24

Higher Level Record: MSS 530.3
Call Number: MSS 530.3.18
Title: Interview with Pops Foster, 1958 August 24
Creator: Foster, Pops, 1892-1969 (interviewee)
Russell, William, 1905-1992 (interviewer)
Date of Creation: 1958 August 24
Extent: 6 sound tape reel (170 min.) : analog, on original sound tape reel 307-312 of 704
on sound tape reel 346-351 of 818 (170 min.)
on side 181A-183A of 493 audio cassette (170 min.)
on tape 141-142 of 396 digital audio tape (170 min.)
1 WAV file (170 min.) : digital
Object Name: oral histories (document genres)
sound recordings
Collection Type: Oral Histories
Language: English
Biography/History: George Murphy "Pops" Foster (May 19, 1892 - October 29, 1969) was a jazz musician best known for his vigorous playing of the string bass. He also played the tuba and trumpet professionally.
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.
Scope and Content: Pops Foster was interviewed by William Russell on August 24, 1958. The interview was joined by Manuel Manetta and an unidentified woman. Foster discusses his career highlights, recalling in detail his time spent performing on the Mississippi riverboats. He emphasizes the unique styles of New Orleans musicians. He discusses the bands he performed with throughout his career, including Kid Ory's band, Charlie Creath's band, Dewey Jackson's band, Sidney Desvignes' band, Papa Celestin's band, and Luis Russell's band. He recalls his time spent playing in the Storyville district of New Orleans, and discusses which musicians played in which Storyville venues. He recalls other Creole musicians that came from St. John Parish. He discusses his friendship and working relationship with Louis Armstrong. He explains the importance of the Black and Tan band. He recalls his early life and school years, attending New Orleans University and performing with his family band in Assumption Parish. He discusses the different types and style of the Bass, the strengths and weaknesses of the tuba, and also discusses various drummers and guitarists.
Please see MSS 519, Pops Foster, Folder 13 for hand written transcript and notes.
Notes: Interview with Pops Foster, 1958 August 24, 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.
Requesting: Please provide the reference staff with the manuscript call number.
Collection Theme(s): Music and Performing Arts
Subjects: Foster, Pops, 1892-1969 -- More information
Armstrong, Louis, 1901-1971 -- More information
Desvigne, Sidney, 1893-1959 -- More information
Celestin, Oscar, 1884-1954 -- More information
Russell, Luis
Johnson, Bunk, 1879-1949 -- More information
New Orleans University -- More information
Creath, Charles, 1890-1951 -- More information
Jackson, Dewey, 1900-1994 -- More information
Manetta, Manuel, 1889-1969 -- More information
New Orleans (La.)
Assumption Parish (La.)
Saint John the Baptist Parish (La.)
Storyville District (New Orleans, La.)
New York (N.Y.)
Chicago (Ill.)
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Jazz music -- Louisiana -- New Orleans.
Jazz musicians -- Louisiana -- New Orleans.
Bass guitarists.
Related Manuscripts &
General Correspondence and Working Files MSS 519
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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