Trans. Status:

Interview with Shep Allen, 1962 May 24

Higher Level Record: MSS 530.4
Call Number: MSS 530.4.2
Title: Interview with Shep Allen, 1962 May 24
Creator: Allen, Shep, 1889-1982 (interviewee)
Kay, George W. (interviewer)
Russell, William, 1905-1992 (collector)
Date of Creation: 1962 May 24
Extent: 2 audio cassette (46 min.) : analog, on original sound tape 521B and duplicate 585A of 704
on sound tape reel 582-583 and duplicate 668 of 818 (46 min.)
on side 317A-317B and duplicate 378A-378B of 493 audio cassette (46 min.)
on tape 239-240 and 292 of 396 digital audio tape (46 min.)
1 WAV file (46 min.) : digital
Object Name: sound recordings
oral histories (document genres)
Collection Type: Oral Histories
Language: English
Biography/History: Shepherd S. "Shep" Allen (1889-1982) was a theatre promoter, manager, and talent agent who worked in Chicago in the early 1900s. He would also work in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and ended his career in Washington D.C. where he served as the manager of the Howard Theatre.
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: This recording, from the personal collection of Bill Russell, includes an oral history interview with famed nightclub promoter and operator Shep Allen, conducted by George W. Kay on May 24, 1962. Allen discusses his career in Chicago detailing the nightclub scene and the entertainers and musicians he knew and worked with there. He discusses organizing the Panama Trio that included Florence Mills, Ada "Bricktop" Smith, and Cora Green which he subsequently took to Los Angeles and toured the West Coast with. Allen recalls meeting Jelly Roll Morton both in Chicago and later in Los Angeles, and discusses Morton's personality. He discusses both the operators and performers at Chicago clubs including the State Theatre, the Deluxe, the Royal Garden, and the Dreamland. He discusses working with Duke Ellington at the Howard Theatre.
Notes: Interview with Shep Allen, 1962 May 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): Jazz
Subjects: Morton, Jelly Roll, 1890-1941 -- More information
Jackson, Tony, 1876-1921 -- More information
Mills, Florence, 1896-1927 -- More information
Bricktop, 1894-1984 -- More information
Green, Cora -- More information
Ellington, Duke, 1899-1974 -- More information
Bechet, Sidney, 1897-1959 -- More information
Calloway, Cab, 1907-1994 -- More information
Allen, Shep, 1889-1982 -- More information
Chicago (Ill.)
Philadelphia (Pa.)
Los Angeles (Calif.)
Washington (D.C.)
Jazz musicians.
Related Materials at
Other Institutions:
This interview is held by the Louisiana State Museum Jazz Collection.
Accession Number: 92-48-L.291
Audio Link:
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