Trans. Status:

Interview with Rosalind Johnson, 1970 February 23

Higher Level Record: MSS 530.4
Call Number: MSS 530.4.35
Title: Interview with Rosalind Johnson, 1970 February 23
Creator: Johnson, Rosalind (interviewee)
Russell, William, 1905-1992 (interviewer)
Date of Creation: 1970 February 23
Extent: 2 audio cassette (87 min.) : analog, on original sound tape 648-649 of 704
on sound tape reel 745-746 of 818 (87 min.)
on side 437A-438A of 493 audio cassette (87 min.)
on tape 345 of 396 digital audio tape (87 min.)
1 WAV file (87 min.) : digital
Object Name: sound recordings
oral histories (document genres)
Collection Type: Oral Histories
Language: English
Biography/History: 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 was created by Bill Russell on February 23, 1970 and includes an oral history interview with Rosalind Johnson conducted by Russell and two additional unidentified interviewers. Rosalind Johnson performs several pieces of music on the piano during the course of the interview. Johnson describes her time spent working in the Storyville district of New Orleans, working as a pianist for proprietors of Storyville brothels including Gypsy Shafer, May Evans, and Hilma Burt. She recalls the style and talent of her friend Jelly Roll Morton, describing his physical appearance. She recalls many of the musicians and entertainers she knew from the Storyville district including John Vigne, Tony Jackson, May Wilson, Jimmy Williams, Black Pete, and Kid Ross. She discusses the rivalries between Uptown and Downtown musicians. She discusses many of the madams of the Storyville district including Lulu White, Louise Abadie, Eloise Blankenstein, and Millie Christian. She relates several anecdotes about the life of Lulu White, in addition to discussing the personality and appearance of the madam. She also discusses the progression of her own musical career working in Chicago, and touring the country on the Vaudeville circuit.
Please see MSS 506, Folder 113-114 for files related to this interview.
Please see MSS 519, Rosalind Johnson, Folder 1 for a transcript of this interview.
Notes: Interview with Rosalind Johnson, 1970 February 23, 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
Brown, Jakey, ca. 1883-1913 -- More information
Jackson, Tony, 1876-1921 -- More information
Bechet, Sidney, 1897-1959 -- More information
Johnson, Bunk, 1879-1949 -- More information
White, Lulu
Bolden, Buddy, 1877-1931 -- More information
Oliver, King, 1885-1938 -- More information
Johnson, Rosalind -- More information
New Orleans (La.)
Storyville District (New Orleans, La.)
Chicago (Ill.)
Jazz musicians -- Louisiana -- New Orleans.
Jazz music -- Louisiana -- New Orleans.
Accession Number: 92-48-L.291.1
Audio Link:
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