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Earl Hines, New York, ca. Mar. 1947

Earl Hines, New York, ca. Mar. 1947

Ken Ackerman Collection

The Ken Ackerman Collection consists of broadcast recordings of live jazz performances from the 1950s and 60s. The majority were recorded at various clubs in San Francisco, particularly Club Hangover. The Club Hangover recordings, featuring such artists such as Earl Hines, Kid Ory, and Louis Armstrong, were originally aired on radio station KCBS as part of a weekly half-hour series, and were preserved by KCBS announcer Bob Guerner. Those tapes formed the basis of a much larger collection of unique recordings given to friend and fellow broadcaster Ken Ackerman, where it was largely forgotten until its 2006 salvage by Bill Carter and Dave Radlauer of the San Francisco Traditional Jazz Society. Most of the original open reel tapes were transferred by Radlauer, and copies on optical media were included in the original donation.
Other moments captured in this treasure trove include: Boyd Raeburn at the Rose Room of the Palace Hotel; Cal Tjader at Club Macumba in 1956; Duke Ellington and Woody Herman in Portland, Oregon; Jazz at the Philharmonic in Seattle in 1956; Ted Heath, Johnny Dankworth, Kenny Baker and others on the BBC; Al White's Orchestra at Station J; Joe Marcellino at Sabella's on KNBC; and Kurt Edelhagen on Radio Baden-Baden. While the majority of these groups are traditional, more contemporary sounds by groups such as Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, and the Modern Jazz Quartet are also present.
Also in the Ken Ackerman Collection is a copy of the once-believed-lost interview with jazz musician Sid Le Protti, conducted by George Avakian and Turk Murphy (with the technical assistance of Wally Heider) in 1955 or 1956. Le Protti (1886-1958) was a musician and firsthand observer of the wide open days of the Barbary Coast and the early San Francisco jazz scene, and he demonstrates various tunes on a piano as he speaks, in a manner not unlike the Jelly Roll Morton Library of Congress sessions. Transcripts of the interview, which are also included in the collection, were extensively used in the book Jazz on the Barbary Coast. The original tapes (thought to be in the possession of Avakian) were dubbed onto four audiocassettes prior to accession.

This collection has been processed with generous financial support from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.


Jerry McBride
Head Librarian, Music Library
Head Librarian, Archive of Recorded Sound
(650) 725-1146