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Dyana Williams

Dyana Williams, producer, artist development coach, former DJ, and founder of the International Association of African American Music (IAAAM), grew up in New York City. Williams’s mother, Nancy Williams Newman, was Puerto Rican, and her father, George G. Williams, was from Virginia. Williams attended P.S. 78 in the Bronx until she was 10 years old; she then moved to Puerto Rico where she attended Santa Rita Elementary School in Bayamon. Returning to the United States, Williams attended junior high school at Eleanor Roosevelt Intermediate School #143 in Harlem. An outstanding flute player at Washington Irving High School, Williams performed with Jimmy Heath and Hubert Laws. After graduating in 1971, Williams enrolled in the City College of New York where she became a DJ for the college radio station, WCCR.

By 1973, Williams had joined the staff of Howard University radio WHUR-FM. There, under the guidance of Bob “Nighthawk” Terry and John Paul Simpkins, Williams’s Ebony Moonbeams show attracted a strong following. In 1975, legendary DJ Frankie Crocker brought Williams to New York City’s WBLS radio; in 1976, she returned to Washington, D.C., where she became the first African American woman rock DJ at WRQX-FM. Williams worked as program director at WMMJ radio and as the host of television’s P.M. Magazine. After moving to Philadelphia in 1982, Williams established a show called Love on the Menu for WDAS radio. Williams also reported for Black Entertainment Television (BET), and worked as music consultant for The Soul of VH1. Closely associated with The Sound of Philadelphia (TSOP) and Philadelphia jazz and soul artists such as Patti LaBelle, Art Tatum, and Teddy Pendergrass, Williams produced the PBS special, The Philadelphia Music Makers in 1990. As a writer, Williams contributed to The Philadelphia Tribune, Billboard Magazine, and The Philadelphia New Observer.

In 1990, Williams and Sheila Eldridge launched the Association of African American Music (IAAAM) to promote and preserve black music. Williams co-wrote the House Concurrent Bill 509, which recognized African American accomplishments in music and helped establish Black Music Month. In 1997 Williams earned her B.A. degree in television, radio, and film from Temple University. Williams formed Creative Consultants for Soul Solidarity in partnership with Eldridge. In 2006 Williams received the Achievement in Radio Award for Best Weekend Show in Philadelphia. Williams was formerly married to music producer and activist Kenny Gamble; their union produced three children.

Dyana Willams was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 8, 2005.

Accession Number

A2005.041

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/8/2005

Last Name

Williams

Marital Status

Divorced

Organizations
Schools

Washington Irving High School

Eleanor Roosevelt Intermediate School #143

P.S. 78

Santa Rita Elementary School

Search Occupation Category
Speakers Bureau Availability

Any

First Name

Dyana

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

WIL22

Speakers Bureau Preferred Audience

All

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - $1,000 - $5,000

Favorite Season

Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

Honorarium Specifics: $2000-5000
Preferred Audience: All

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Brazil

Favorite Quote

Anything That The Mind Can Conceive And Believe, If You Truly Believe It, You Can Achieve It.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Pennsylvania

Interview Description
Birth Date

11/9/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Philadelphia

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Plantains

Short Description

Talent management chief executive, radio personality, and music producer Dyana Williams (1953 - ) was the first African American woman rock DJ at WRQX-FM in Washington, D.C., served as program director at WMMJ radio in Washington, D.C., and creator of the show, "Love on the Menu," for WDAS radio in Philadelphia. Aside from her on-air presence, Williams co-launched the Association of African American Music, and co-wrote the House Concurrent Bill 509, which recognized African American accomplishments in music and helped establish Black Music Month.

Favorite Color

Turquoise

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dyana Williams' interview, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Slating of Dyana Williams' interview, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dyana Williams lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dyana Williams describes her maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dyana Williams describes her mother, Nancy Neuman

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dyana Williams describes her mother's education

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dyana Williams describes her paternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dyana Williams talks about her father, George Williams

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dyana Williams describes being an only child

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dyana Williams describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dyana Williams describes the sights, sounds, and smells of her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dyana Williams talks about being independent and imaginative as an only child

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dyana Williams talks about attending church as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dyana Williams talks about living in New York City and Puerto Rico as a child

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dyana Williams talks about her parents' divorce

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dyana Williams talks about her African American and Puerto Rican heritage

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Dyana Williams talks about skin tone bias around the world

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Dyana Williams talks about Arthur Schomburg and HistoryMaker Charles Blockson

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Dyana Williams talks about the Civil Rights Movement

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Dyana Williams describes her school activities

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Dyana Williams talks about her cultural exposure while growing up in Harlem, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Dyana Williams talks about attending Washington Irving High School in Manhattan, New York

Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Dyana Williams talks about HistoryMaker Vy Higginsen

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dyana Williams talks about dating jazz flutist Hubert Laws

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dyana Williams talks about renowned flute players

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dyana Williams describes being involved with the radio station at City College of New York in Harlem, New York

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dyana Williams talks about her radio and television work while attending City College of New York

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dyana Williams talks about being hired at WHUR-FM in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dyana Williams describes the programming of WHUR-FM

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dyana Williams talks about the people she met while working at WHUR-FM in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Dyana Williams talks about Miles Davis

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Dyana Williams talks about meeting HistoryMaker Kenny Gamble, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dyana Williams talks about meeting HistoryMaker Kenny Gamble, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dyana Williams talks about her documentary called "Sound of Philadelphia"

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dyana Williams describes working at and leaving WBLS in New York City, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dyana Williams describes leaving WBLS in New York City, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dyana Williams talks about raising her children and her radio work in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dyana Williams describes the HistoryMaker Kenny Gamble's connection to the black community in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dyana Williams talks about working at WDAS in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dyana Williams talks about hosting "PM Magazine" on television

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dyana Williams talks about working at Magic 102.3 in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Dyana Williams talks about divorcing HistoryMaker Kenny Gamble

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Dyana Williams talks about managing musician Gary Taylor

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Dyana Williams describes founding the International Association of African American Music (IAAAM)

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Dyana Williams talks about Black Music Month and the demise of the Black Music Association

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dyana Williams talks about co-writing House Concurrent Bill 509

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dyana Williams talks about being an ambassador for black music

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dyana Williams describes writing for magazines and newspapers

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dyana Williams talks about being a VH1 reporter

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dyana Williams talks about producing the PBS special, "Philadelphia Music Makers"

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dyana Williams describes her decision to attend Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Dyana Williams talks about producing the IAAAM Diamond Awards

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Dyana Williams describes graduating from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Dyana Williams talks about her professors at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Dyana Williams talks about her work in artist development and media coaching

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Dyana Williams talks about HistoryMaker Maxine Powell

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Dyana Williams describes her work at Influence Entertainment

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Dyana Williams talks about serving on an NEA review board

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Dyana Williams talks about her love of art and serving on the board of the Paul Jones Collection at the University of Delaware

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Dyana Williams talks about receiving three Liberty Bell Awards

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Dyana Williams describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Dyana Williams talks about HistoryMaker Gordon Parks

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Dyana Williams reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Dyana Williams talks about her future plans and the multiple homes she owns

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Dyana Williams describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Dyana Williams narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

14$1

DATitle
Dyana Williams talks about HistoryMaker Vy Higginsen
Dyana Williams talks about co-writing House Concurrent Bill 509
Transcript
Okay. Now, what, I have a note here about Vy Higginsen [HM]. Now, tell me about--$$Vy Higginsen was a prominent radio personality on WBLS-FM in New York, a station where Frankie Crocker, who was this charismatic radio star program director and on-air talent, was in charge. And Vy Higginsen was the first black woman that I heard on the radio in New York. And I was mesmerized, enchanted, totally engaged hearing her. She had a very sweet, honey, honeyed voice, and just such a sexy, warm style in her presentation. And I heard her and I was like, that's what I want to do. I kind of started tinkering with the idea. First, I wanted to be a musician. I wanted to be a jazz musician. I wanted to be the first accomplished female on jazz, jazz flute, jazz flautist, but, boy, I lacked talent. I just wasn't good.$Yeah, we're talking--$$As I mentioned, IAAAM [International Association of African American Music] was a advocacy organization for black music. Sheila Eldridge and myself and our board of directors, which includes Cathy Hughes [HM] and some other prominent people, who are concerned and committed to black music and culture, we discovered, after writing President [Bill] Clinton that June was, in fact, not Black Music Month recognized by the White House. And we were like, no, no, wait, we presented all these papers from the BMA. President [Jimmy] Carter hosted this event. He said June is Black Music Month. And the folks at the White House said, we see all that, but he never signed a Presidential Proclamation, and there's nothing in the annals of the government of the United States recognizing it as such. So they suggested, they said, you know, you need to try to do something about that--get in touch with your congressman, your senator, and try to get some legislature enacted. Well, it sounded pretty simple, but I'd never done anything like that. So, here became where this was the beginning of my education about how legislature is enacted. And I contacted Congressman Chaka Fattah [HM] in Philadelphia [Pennsylvania] and explained the situation. I said, can you work with our organization? And then I reached out to Senator Arlen Specter, who is a Republican a little later, much later. But it was literally Congressman Fattah who championed our cause to establish legislature recognizing June as Black Music Month. Well, first, we call it the African American Music Bill that recognized the contributions of the African American Music industry as a multibillion dollar business, and one of America's exports around the world, and indigenous American music. What are the blues, jazz, hip hop, gospel? It started here. It came from the suffering and the joys and the tremendous experiences of people of color in the United States, and loved by many. You don't have to be black to love the blues. In fact, more white people seem to like the blues than black folks. If you go to concerts, you see more white people at jazz shows as well. So, we wanted to celebrate the music. I wrote the draft that became the actual language. They put the "Whereas" in Congressman Fattah's office, but I wrote the actual language celebrating--saying, why it was important to celebrate and recognize black music. Some years earlier, Congressman John Conyers [HM]from Michigan had written similar language regarding jazz, recognizing jazz as a national treasure. And that's been his--one of his causes that he has promoted during his tenure in Congress and the House. But I wrote the African American Music Bill. And when it first went up--oh, and it was a lobbying process. I had to go actually lobbying and get signatures, and encourage other congressman and women. I went to the Black Caucus and Latino Caucus. I went across the board--white congressman. I was on the Hill, on Capitol Hill. In fact, during that time, I met a women who would later become the head. She was like a page. Her name is Hilary Rosen. She was the head of the Record Industry Association of America. I would later work with her and do some projects.$$Now, I have a question in regard to that.$$Uh-hum.$$It's probably--was there any resistance to this bill?$$Yeah. Folks were literally like, why do you need it? What's, why, why do you have to say black music is great? You know, it's great. What, what, what? And I was like, well, we want it recognized by the American government. We want the President to recognize it. It deserves to be recognized by corporations. I felt that it would make it easier for us as an entity to raise money, to have across the board, recognition and respect. Why not? That was also part of my argument--why not? Why are you opposed to this? There are so many other pieces of legislature--quite frankly, many that are BS. Why can't we have one that says, this is indigenous American music. It should be recognized, celebrated--it should be studied. And that's what the bill says. But the first time out, they would not incorporate language--I said, "June is Black Music Month". So we had to go back to it later, and the bill number changed. Don't ask me what it is now. I've forgotten. But 509 was enacted and then later, Chaka added language that said, "June is Black Music Month".$$Okay.$$So, it was important. And now, guess what? June Black Music Month is celebrated by the President, President Clinton. President Bush has an annual event every year in the White House where they bring artists together of different genres and say, "June is Black Music Month". We need to study and celebrate. And it's probably what I'm most proud of. I think my parents are more proud of that than just about anything else that I've done because here I am, a little girl from the Bronx [New York City, New York] and Harlem, writing legislature that's been enacted in, in our government. I never thought I would do something like that, but it happened. And I was very proud to be a part of a movement. It was a movement. It was an effort. It took us a minute--take, make it happen. When I say a minute, I'm like black person's minute. It took us, you know, a couple of years. I wrote an editorial in "Billboard" magazine. I mean, I was champing and lobbying this cause hard. And the satisfaction of bringing it to fruition was tremendous, and a great education for myself and those of us in the IAAAM organization.

Jun Mhoon

Music producer Jun Mhoon was born on June 10, 1954, and grew up on Chicago’s West Side. As a child, Mhoon stuttered, but he overcame that obstacle. While attending Grant Elementary School, Mhoon joined the drum and bugle corps, and found a mentor in Ms. “Satch” Finch.

In 1968, at the age of twelve, Mhoon had his first major breakthrough in the entertainment industry, when he became the first drummer to begin touring with the Staple Singers. Over the next ten years, Mhoon would tour and perform with many other notable artists, including trumpeter Thad Jones, Jessy Dixon and Paul Simon, and he was the first drummer to sit in with the Count Basie Orchestra. Hoping to learn more about the music industry, Mhoon took a job as a warehouse clerk at Warner Brothers Records, and quickly rose to director of Midwest Local Marketing. From there, Mhoon joined RCA Records as their Midwest regional director, and he enrolled at Columbia College in Chicago. While a student at Columbia, Mhoon founded AEMMP Records, Columbia’s student-run record label. After earning his bachelor’s degree, Mhoon became vice president of A&M Records.

In 1987, Mhoon struck out on his own, creating I AM Records, which specializes in hip hop, jazz, gospel and inspirational music, as well as spoken word albums. Recently, the label has changed its name to I AM Music, and Mhoon has forged ahead into the digital word through contracts to supply digital music to Apple’s iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody Digital Music and RealNetworks.

In addition to his work both as a musician and a recording executive, Mhoon has been involved in television, serving as the first African American to produce a TV dance show in Chicago, Steppin’ at Club 7. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Harold Washington College and Columbia College, both in Chicago.

Accession Number

A2004.099

Sex

Male

Interview Date

7/19/2004

Last Name

Mhoon

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Speakers Bureau

Yes

Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Jun

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

MHO01

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

Yes - 0 - $500

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Sea Island, Georgia

Favorite Quote

In A Minute.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/10/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Fried Corn

Short Description

Music producer Jun Mhoon (1954 - ) was a touring drummer with Staples Singers, became vice president of A&M Records, and then founded his own record label, I AM Records, in 1987. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Harold Washington College and Columbia College, both in Chicago

Employment

Staple Sisters

Warner Brothers

RCA Records

AEMMP Records

A&M Records

I AM Records

Harold Washington College

Columbia College

Favorite Color

Dark Blue

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jun Mhoon interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jun Mhoon's favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jun Mhoon recalls his mother's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jun Mhoon relates his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jun Mhoon describes his parents' lives

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jun Mhoon remembers his uncles

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jun Mhoon details his Uncle Clarence's criminal endeavors

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jun Mhoon recalls his uncle Val Washington, a prominent black politician

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jun Mhoon shares childhood memories of South Side Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jun Mhoon recounts childhood misadventures

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jun Mhoon discusses his siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jun Mhoon relates his foray into playing the drums

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jun Mhoon recalls what music he listened to as a child

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jun Mhoon describes the record business in the early 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jun Mhoon mentions touring with the Doors

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jun Mhoon remembers his first semi-professional drumming gig

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jun Mhoon recounts meeting his mentor, Purvis Staples

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jun Mhoon describes touring with the Staples, the Bee Gees, the Doors, and others as a youth

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jun Mhoon recalls touring with the Tea Box Band and others in high school

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jun Mhoon recounts his early marriage and working for Pops and Purvis Staples

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Jun Mhoon remembers lessons learned from Pops and Purvis Staples

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jun Mhoon recalls learning the music business from Pops Staples

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jun Mhoon recounts running the first black-owned recording studio for Pops Staples

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jun Mhoon describes his work for Warner Brothers Records

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jun Mhoon details how he started I AM Records

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jun Mhoon recalls I AM Records successes

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jun Mhoon explains why I AM Records folded

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jun Mhoon recounts his stint in television production

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jun Mhoon outlines his college experiences

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jun Mhoon discusses his higher education at Columbia College and Kennedy-King College

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jun Mhoon remembers playing drums with Count Basie

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jun Mhoon details how he got into the digital music business

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jun Mhoon discusses being the only black-owned digital music company

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jun Mhoon shares rewarding experiences from his career

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jun Mhoon discusses consolidation and the future of the music industry

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jun Mhoon talks about music in terms of business rather than art

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Jun Mhoon shares concerns about the digital divide in the black community

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Jun Mhoon expresses his regrets on not completing his education

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Jun Mhoon wistfully talks about his success and his parents

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Jun Mhoon contemplates his legacy

Carl Davis

Successful record producer Carl H. Davis was born September 19, 1934, in Chicago, Illinois, where his father was a postal worker. He attended McCosh Elementary School and Englewood High School. He later earned a GED in 1954 and an associate’s degree from Cortez College of Business in 1957.

Davis began his radio career typing play-lists for popular Chicago disc jockey Al Benson on WGES Radio in 1955. He quickly earned a reputation as a “hitpicker.” His success allowed him to join the marketing department of Arnold Distributors. In the early 1960s, Davis managed the Nat label and had a minor hit with “Nite Owl” by the DuKays. In 1962, he became a producer for Okeh Records. There, Davis discovered the legendary Gene Chandler and produced and co-wrote the “Duke of Earl” in 1962 and Major Lance’s “Monkey Time” in 1963. Through his work, Davis created a Chicago sound with upbeat arrangements backed by musicians and arrangers like Johnny Pate and Sonny Sanders. A partnership with Curtis Mayfield resulted in hits for Major Lance, Billy Butler (Jerry’s brother) and Walter Jackson. Meanwhile, Gene Chandler’s “Rainbow,” “Just Be True,” and “Man’s Temptation” were all hits. Davis produced the hit “Dear Lover” for Mary Wells and often hired Motown’s Funk Brothers band. Davis was then hired by Brunswick Records where he produced Jackie Wilson’s “Higher and Higher” and Barbara Acklyn’s “Love Makes A Woman.” After forming Atlantic’s Dakar Records, he produced the Chi-Lites and Tyrone Davis’ “Turn Back the Hands of Time” and “Can I Change My Mind.”

Davis had eight grandchildren, lived in Chicago and managed his own record label, Chi-Sound, until 2012.

Davis passed away on August 9, 2012.

Accession Number

A2003.306

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/19/2003

Last Name

Davis

Maker Category
Occupation
Schools

Englewood High School

Emmett Louis Till Math & Science Academy

First Name

Carl

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

DAV12

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

South Carolina

Interview Description
Birth Date

9/19/1934

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Summerville

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Shrimp

Death Date

8/9/2012

Short Description

Music producer Carl Davis (1934 - 2012 ) produced a number of hits starting in the '60s, earning his reputation as a "hitpicker."

Employment

WGES Radio

Arnold Distributors

Okeh Records

Brunswick Records

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Carl Davis' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Carl Davis lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Carl Davis talks about his mother's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Carl Davis talks about the book, 'Trinal American Family Gibson,' by Edward "Boo" Gibson, about his maternal family history

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Carl Davis talks shares a story about his father's last name, and being born as Carl Adams

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Carl Davis describes why his family moved from Louisiana to Chicago, Illinois and where he falls in the family

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Carl Davis talks about his childhood neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Carl Davis describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Carl Davis describes his childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Carl Davis talks about attending James McCosh Grammar School and Shiloh Seventh-Day Adventist School, in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Carl Davis talks about his teachers and his favorite subjects in school

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Carl Davis describes his experience at Englewood High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Carl Davis describes joining the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Carl Davis remembers having trouble with the police in Shreveport, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Carl Davis describes being relocated after experiencing racial discrimination in the U.S. Air Force

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Carl Davis talks about working for disc jockey Al Benson in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Carl Davis describes discovering the band, the Dukays, and encouraging the lead singer to change his name and go solo

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Carl Davis talks about Al Benson

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Carl Davis talks about Gene Chandler's hit, 'Duke of Earl'

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Carl Davis talks about the success of the record, 'Duke of Earl'

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Carl Davis talks about working at OKeh Records and working with Curtis Mayfield

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Carl Davis talks about African American songs becoming a hit after being re-recorded by white groups

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Carl Davis compares the music industry today to the 1950s and 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Carl Davis talks about groups he managed and Brunswick Records being sued

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Carl Davis talks about starting Carl Davis Productions and Chi-Sound Records

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Carl Davis describes the personalities of the artists he worked with

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Carl Davis talks about leaving Columbia Records, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Carl Davis talks about leaving Columbia Records, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Carl Davis talks about Gene Chandler

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Carl Davis tells stories about the artists he managed

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Carl Davis talks about new artists he's signed

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Carl Davis talks describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Carl Davis describes the differences between digital recordings and live recordings

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Carl Davis describes how the music industry has changed

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Carl Davis talks about different musicians who recorded at his studio and two of his brothers

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Carl Davis reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Carl Davis talks about WVON radio station and radio personalities today

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Carl Davis considers what he would have done differently

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Carl Davis describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Carl Davis narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$2

DAStory

5$5

DATitle
Carl Davis talks shares a story about his father's last name, and being born as Carl Adams
Carl Davis describes discovering the band, the Dukays, and encouraging the lead singer to change his name and go solo
Transcript
Now, what about your father's side of the family? What's your father's full name and can you spell his name for us?$$Well my father's real name was William Adams and he was a young man, his mother--his father had died and so his mother remarried a guy named Davis and my father just started using the name, Davis. He was never adopted and there was never any legal papers done. He just started using Davis. So his name was William Adam Davis and--and everybody from that point--there was nine boys and two girls in my family and out of all eleven children, they were all born as Davis' except me. For some reason we had moved up here [Chicago, Illinois] at that time and things had gotten rough. He had--I think he broke his foot and he couldn't work so he applied for public assistance and the guy was trying to tell him, you know, you have to be careful, you've got to answer all these questions right and, you know, so he ended up giving his real name, was Adams. So when I was born, my birth certificate said Carl Adams and I never knew that because when I started school, it was always under Carl Davis and it was only till I was sixteen years old and I wanted to join the Service, that I went down to downtown to the City Hall to get my birth certificate and there was no such thing. So I came home and told my mother that I couldn't find a birth certificate, she said, well go back and see if there's one under Carl Adams. And sure enough, there was one under Carl Adams. So, you know, for a long time I thought I was adopted, you know, but of course I looked just like my dad but--and then she explained to me that for that one instant, he gave them his real name, which was Adams. So out of eleven children, I was the only one that got the name Adams and everybody else had Davis.$So in a couple of years you become pretty adept at choosing who's gonna--at predicting what kind of music was going to be popular down the line?$$Yes.$$Okay. So I just wanted to know what some of the--examples of some of the songs that were big then, you know?$$Yeah, I used to know many of the Orioles and all those kinds of things.$$Okay.$$So--and then I had this group called the Dukays, D-U-K-A-Y-S, and there was a--it was--actually, first before that, there was a guy named Bunky Sheppard, well his name was Bill Sheppard, and he used to come up there and he used to bring Al Benson some vodka or gin or whatever, trying to get his record played and Mr. Benson wouldn't play none of that stuff. So he had a group called the Sheppards and I thought they were really good. And so I told him I would try to help him get his record played. So and he and I got to be friends and then we both discovered this group called the Dukays and we were going to take 'em into the studio and cut four sides on and it was like 'Nite Owl' was one of the tunes, and 'Kissin' In The Kitchen' was one and--but there was another one that they were rehearsing. We had already settled on the four tunes we were going to do and we had booked time at Universal Studios here in Chicago [Illinois] and my brother, Cliff Davis, was--he was a good arranger and so he used to do the lead sheets for us. In those days, you did like lead sheets that all of the musicians could basically follow and then everybody made their own little contributions. And so they were out there rehearsing for the session but they were rehearsing a different song, it was like, I don't know what they were saying, I thought they were saying, "Duke Cover", they were saying like "Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke of Earl", you know and I didn't know what they were saying so I went outside, I asked them, "What is that?" And they said, "Oh this is just a new song that we was gonna--we were thinking about doing for the next session." I said, "No, no, no, we're gonna do that at this session." "Well, we ain't got no--we don't have the words for it, all he had was the chorus. And so I called their manager, a lady named Bernice Williams, and I said, "Listen, go home, and write this song, put this song together." So they did. They went home and then they called me at home and they said, "Well, we know if a guy's is a king and he has--he owns land, it's his kingdom," and he said, "so what if he's a Duke?" I said, "Well it's Dukedom, put that in there." And we talked about some other different things and so she ended up writing these lyrics and so they came back on the day we were going to do the session, and we did these four tunes and we had made a deal with a guy out of New York, named Bill Lasley, he was gonna release two of the four. So we sent him all four tunes and he picked two. He didn't pick this 'Duke of Earl', he sent those back. So, they released 'Nite Owl', which one they released 'Nite Owl' by the Dukays. And so I was sitting talkin' with Bill Sheppard and I was saying, you know, maybe what we need to do is, let's take these other two songs, with this 'Duke of Earl' 'cause that's the one I really like, I said, but the guy's name was--the lead singer's name was Eugene Dixon and I didn't like that at all but Jeff Chandler used to be a movie star that I really loved, he used to play Cochise and all that--$$Right, right, that's right.$$--I liked that guy so I told him, I said why don't you take your name, instead of Eugene, we'll call you Gene and then you use Jeff Chandler's last name, so your name is Gene Chandler. I said, now you make a decision whether you want to stay with the Dukays or you want to go out as a solo artist, as Gene Chandler. So, he thought it over a couple of days, then came back and said I want to go out as Gene Chandler. So we put that record out--$$Now what year is this? What year is this?$$This is in 1962.$$Okay.

Morris Butch Stewart

Musician Morris "Butch" Stewart, Jr., was born in Chicago, Illinois, on January 13, 1953. The third of four children, Stewart earned his high school diploma in Harvey, Illinois, and went on to attend DePaul University in Chicago.

At the age of twenty-two, Stewart and his future wife, Brenda Mitchell, began working as background vocalists for Ramsey Louis. That same year, 1975, Stewart performed in several shows with Earth, Wind, and Fire, with whom he later worked on other projects. In 1978, Stewart formed JoyArtMusic, his musical jingle production company. JoyArtMusic was hailed as one of Chicago's premiere creative houses for television and radio theme song creation, as well as advertising. Some of JoyArtMusic's more recognizable tunes include the theme song to the Oprah Winfrey Show, and the Tom Joyner Morning Show. By 1985, Stewart was producing records, as well as writing music and lyrics. In 1990, Stewart teamed up with Earth, Wind, and Fire to write "King of Groove;" throughout his career, he wrote numerous other songs for various artists.

Stewart created music for exercise videos and collaborated on a children's project, Home, with the purpose of teaching children about the importance of friendship, generosity, and family. Stewart was the owner and founder of Copia Records. Stewart and his wife also established the Art of Making Music Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raised money for music education in schools; the couple also raised two children.

Accession Number

A2003.068

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/8/2003

Last Name

Stewart

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Butch

Organizations
First Name

Morris

Birth City, State, Country

Evanston

HM ID

STE04

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Jamaica

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

1/13/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Indian Food

Death Date

5/19/2017

Short Description

Music producer and songwriter Morris Butch Stewart (1953 - 2017 ) is the president and founder of Joy Art Music.

Employment

JoyArtMusic

Favorite Color

None

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Morris Stewart interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Morris Stewart lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Morris Stewart recalls his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Morris Stewart talks about his mother and father

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Morris Stewart describes his childhood community

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Morris Stewart remembers his elementary school

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Morris Stewart recalls his childhood personality and interests

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Morris Stewart remembers his music collection as a youth

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Morris Stewart recalls his high school activities

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Morris Stewart recounts his entry in the music business

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Morris Stewart remembers his mentor, Charles Stepney

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Morris Stewart recalls his advertising composing work

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Morris Stewart remembers starting his own production company, JoyArtMusic

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Morris Stewart recounts his courtship and marriage

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Morris Stewart recalls some highlights from his career

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Morris Stewart discusses some of the challenges of his career

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Morris Stewart explains some of his current projects

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Morris Stewart shares his regrets

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Morris Stewart discusses his composing work for the Oprah Winfrey Show' and the dearth of quality in music

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Morris Stewart details his favorite musicians

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Morris Stewart describes his composing work for Tom Joyner

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Morris Stewart discusses some of his current business ventures

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Morris Stewart shares his hopes that the black community will learn to nuture and love itself

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Morris Stewart reflects on his life and career

Harold Battiste

Musician, composer, arranger, performer and teacher, Harold Raymond Battiste, Jr. was born October 28, 1931, in New Orleans. Young Battiste loved the rich music of his New Orleans neighborhood. Graduating from Gilbert Academy in 1948, Battiste attended New Orleans' Dillard University, earning a B.S. in music in 1953.

Battiste's professional achievements as a producer and arranger for studio, film, stage and television included Sam Cooke's You Send Me, Sonny and Cher's I Got You Babe, Joe Jones'sYou Talk Too Much, Barbara George's I Know and Lee Dorsey's Ya Ya. Battiste introduced audiences to New Orleans artist Mac Rebbenack as "Dr. John" and produced his earliest albums. Earning six gold records, Battiste spent thirty years in Los Angeles, including fifteen years with Sonny and Cher. In 1961, Battiste initiated the first African American musician-owned record label, All For One, better known as AFO Records. AFO featured contemporary New Orleans jazz musicians Melvin Lastie, Ellis Marsalis, James Black, Alvin Batiste, Ed Blackwell, Nat Perilliat and Alvin "Red" Tyler. In addition to mentoring and tutoring other music professionals and his musical scoring and conducting for film and television, Battiste lectured at several colleges including the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Southern California; Southern University; Mozartium Music School in Innsbruck, Austria; and Le Torri Montanare in Lancano, Italy.

In 1989, he joined Ellis Marsalis on the Jazz Studies faculty of the University of New Orleans. While back in New Orleans Battiste founded the AFO Foundation to document and make available the musical history of the city. Battiste remained active in the community and served as a board member of the Congo Square Cultural Collective, the Louisiana State Music Commission, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, Louisiana Jazz Federation, the African Cultural Endowment and numerous other cultural organizations. He received the Beaux Arts Award, the Mayor's Arts Award, the Governor's Arts Lifetime Achievement Award and many others. In 1998, the City of New Orleans proclaimed his birthday, October 28 as Harold Battiste Day with a proclamation from Mayor Marc Morial.

Battiste passed away on June 19, 2015 at age 83.

Accession Number

A2002.197

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/15/2002

Last Name

Battiste

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Gilbert Academy

Dillard University

First Name

Harold

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

BAT02

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Louisiana

Interview Description
Birth Date

10/28/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Orleans

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Red Beans, Gumbo

Death Date

6/19/2015

Short Description

Nonprofit chief executive, jazz musician, and music producer Harold Battiste (1931 - 2015 ) produced work by notable musicians Sonny and Cher and Dr. John. Battiste also founded All For One (AFO) Records, and later the AFO Foundation, to document the musical history of New Orleans.

Employment

AFO Records

Carver High School

Carter G. Woodson High School

McDonogh 35 High School

Specialty Records

Favorite Color

Black, Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:8217,101:10292,125:11371,143:16185,220:23987,343:24319,348:75330,919:96495,1293:97320,1357:97620,1405:112023,1584:129784,1807:136840,1885:140070,1956:151478,2150:156806,2281:157238,2288:171724,2444:176306,2552:176780,2559:179782,2617:180809,2632:182705,2665:184364,2703:202958,2916:203426,2923:210233,2987:213190,3046$0,0:18332,269:20304,312:25894,361:27794,431:53383,748:72546,1014:73466,1031:76962,1096:79630,1141:97415,1298:108616,1459:116695,1625:129387,1792:153190,2094
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Harold Battiste's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Harold Battiste lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Harold Battiste describes his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Harold Battiste describes his maternal grandparents' occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Harold Battiste describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Harold Battiste talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Harold Battiste talks about growing up with his adopted cousin

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Harold Battiste describes his childhood neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Harold Battiste describes his childhood interests and activities

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Harold Battiste describes music's role in his childhood community's life

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Harold Battiste talks about his childhood interest in music

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Harold Battiste describes the black community's negative perceptions of a music career

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Harold Battiste describes the negative reputation of jazz music in the 1940s

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Harold Battiste talks about playing clarinet in the band at F.P. Ricard School

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Harold Battiste describes his experiences attending F.P. Ricard School

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Harold Battiste talks about his teacher at F.P. Ricard School

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Harold Battiste describes why he enrolled at Gilbert Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 18 - Harold Battiste describes his experiences attending Gilbert Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Harold Battiste talks about Gilbert Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Harold Battiste describes how Gilbert Academy's marching and concert bands shaped his interest in arranging music

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Harold Battiste describes what influenced him to attend Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Harold Battiste describes his experiences attending Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Harold Battiste describes how his instrumental music course helped to integrate jazz music into Dillard University

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Harold Battiste talks about efforts to elevate the perception of jazz music

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Harold Battiste talks about his favorite jazz musicians while a student at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Harold Battiste describes how New Orleans, Louisiana develops jazz artists, then exports them outside of New Orleans

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Harold Battiste talks about his favorite European musicians and composers during his time at Dillard University

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Harold Battiste talks about his first band

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Harold Battiste describes his first job as a music teacher at Carver High School in DeRidder, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Harold Battiste describes quitting his job as a music teacher at Carver High School in DeRidder, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Harold Battiste talks about being an itinerant teacher at Carter G. Woodson High School and McDonogh 35 High School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Harold Battiste describes why he ended his teaching career

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Harold Battiste describes moving to Los Angeles, California in 1956, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Harold Battiste describes moving to Los Angeles, California in 1956, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Harold Battiste talks about experimenting with Ornette Coleman's music during his first few months in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Harold Battiste describes arranging Sam Cooke's first pop hit, "You Send Me", pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Harold Battiste describes arranging Sam Cooke's first pop hit, "You Send Me", pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Harold Battiste talks about working with Sam Cooke to develop "Soul Stations"

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Harold Battiste talks about working with Sam Cooke's record label, SAR Records

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Harold Battiste describes founding All For One Records

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Harold Battiste talks about All For One Records' first hit, Barbara George's 1961 song "I Know (You Don't Love Me No More)"

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Harold Battiste describes how All For One Records lost Barbara George as an artist

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Harold Battiste describes how All For One Records lost their distribution deal

Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Harold Battiste talks about Sam Cooke, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Harold Battiste talks about Sam Cooke, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Harold Battiste describes the circumstances surrounding Sam Cooke's death

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Harold Battiste describes arranging the 1961 Lee Dorsey hit "Ya Ya"

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Harold Battiste describes how he met Sonny Bono

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Harold Battiste describes the sale of Specialty Records in 1961

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Harold Battiste describes connecting with Sonny Bono with his move back to Los Angeles, California in 1963

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Harold Battiste describes the first project he worked on with Sonny Bono

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Harold Battiste talks about working on Sonny and Cher's earliest songs

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Harold Battiste talks about arranging 'I Got You Babe' for Sonny and Cher

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Harold Battiste talks about working with Sonny and Cher on their television shows

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Harold Battiste talks about helping Mac Rebennack tour with Sonny and Cher and develop his persona, "Dr. John"

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Harold Battiste describes producing Dr. John's debut album, "Gris-Gris"

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Harold Battiste talks about not being acknowledged in developing Dr. John

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Harold Battiste talks about Congo Square in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Harold Battiste talks about New Orleans music icons

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Harold Battiste comments on peoples' failure to acknowledge New Orleans' musical pioneers

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Harold Battiste talks about Zydeco music

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Harold Battiste describes his current projects

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Harold Battiste shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Harold Battiste reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Harold Battiste talks about the death of his parents

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Harold Battiste talks about his divorce and children

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Harold Battiste talks about his children

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Harold Battiste talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Harold Battiste shares a message for his children and young people

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Harold Battiste narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Harold Battiste narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

2$9

DATitle
Harold Battiste describes why he ended his teaching career
Harold Battiste talks about arranging "I Got You Babe" for Sonny and Cher
Transcript
And at one of, one of the, the--I guess the most significant thing that sort of ended my career as a teacher was that during that period I had become interested in the Black Muslims. A guy named Emory Thompson began to talk to me. I had been hearing about him. It was during that period that I got really, you know, to understand what they were talking about (unclear)--the principles. And we had a music supervisor here. The music supervisor would go over to all the schools and inspect to see what you teaching and see how you teaching and doing it like that. And our supervisor came to my school one day, and he observed my class. Then he brought me on the side and said, you know, you're spending too much time teaching them about reading music and stuff like that. Their parents just wanna hear 'em play some songs. And I'm saying hey, what do you mean--and, and at that time, I had been having my little talks, you know, with, with the cat from, from the, from the, from the mosque. Well we didn't have a mosque at that time. The cat just had a place where they would get together. And he had, one of the things he had said, says you know, if you ever look at this devil, just look 'em dead in the eye, and he'll back down. So I did that (unclear)--but he--but when he said that to me, I just looked him dead in the eye. And I had never done that before, and he probably had never had that done to him, 'cause he did back off. 'Cause I told him, you know, and I told him, I said look, I know what they're teaching in them white schools. And you don't want me to teach my kids how to read. And then when they get to the next level, you'll say they're not equipped to, to participate. So [clearing throat] I know what I'm, I'm--these are my kids. I'mma teach 'em how to read. So the school board took that as a--what do they call it? What's that when you--the school board just thought that--they sent me a letter to come down and meet at the--$$They thought it was like insubordination?$$Yeah, insubordination, you know. So I had to go down--$$All you did was look him in the eye.$$Yeah, (laughter) that's (unclear), but I also told him that I wasn't gon' do what he said (laughter).$$Oh (unclear).$$So that's what they got me on. So I went down to the school board and we met. And see, the cat was just--I mean all of us knew; all the music teachers knew that this supervisor didn't--I mean he was a, he--it was a political job he had appointed. He didn't know what he was doing. So I told him down there at the, at the school board the same thing I told the cat up there. And so the conclusion was that well, I had the option, you know, that I could either comply or I could offer my resignation. And so I said that, that settled that. I just said well, I'm, I'm gone. That was in '56' [1956], so I left. That's when I decided that yeah, I'm, I'm not meant to get in, be in the school system, not, not, not the way it is now. And that summer, that summer is when I left and went to Los Angeles [California].$But the next record we did was "I Got You Babe," which we followed the same thing, and I, you know, I just wrote the music. And I was--by that time, I was going in the studio and conduct the studio or the session. And they, you know, they was very enthusiastic about that, you know, being record (unclear). I still wasn't considering myself, you know, doing that. I was just--that was just helping him do something. But after that, when it got such a hit, you know, he said well, man, you know you gotta--you know, I mean this is gon' be it, so this is the thing I was talking about it. So by that time, that's when Sam [Cooke] had already died. So I just said well, this is whatever I agreed on with that. I went on with him, and so that, that, you know, set the stage for me being with Sonny and Cher for him, you know, the rest of this time.$$Yeah, "I Got You Babe" came out was it '65' [1965] I guess?$$Yeah, I think it was '65' [1965]; it was '65' [1965], yeah. And it was really, you know, it was a whole na, nother direction for me, you know. I had never thought I'd be--wind up that far away from jazz (laughter), you know that, that--but it--funny enough, I mean I learned something about myself. In retrospect, that--how most things that, that came to me in my life offered an interesting challenge to me, and that's what hooked me, was see, can I do that? Yeah, I can do this. Can I do this? Let me see, can I--so that made me forget that this is not what I really came out here to do. Let me see, you know, 'cause I get hooked right on that. And once I got hooked into doing that stuff and it was that successful, you know, it, it made me feel na, na, oh yeah, that's okay, I can do this. And so every record, you know, we, we--and you know, just kept having hit records. You know, every five or six months we have another main seller. And then and I was doing the albums in between that, so I was making a lot of money, you know, more than I ever thought I'd make, you know, doing something like this is, you know. So that became my life for the next few years.

Ernie Terrell

Heavyweight boxer and entertainer Ernest Terrell was born on April 4, 1939 in Belzoni, Mississippi. This tall and lanky athlete retired from the profession after 15 years of fighting with a record of 46 wins - 21 of which were knockouts - and only nine losses.

Terrell began boxing professionally in 1957 and simultaneously launched a popular singing group in Chicago with his sister, Jean Terrell, who later replaced Diana Ross with the Supremes. During his first year of boxing, he won all five of his fights, knocking out three of his opponents. He continued to excel, winning fight after fight over the next several years. Terrell also continued to perform with his musical group, Ernie Terrell and the Heavyweights.

After the World Boxing Association stripped Muhammad Ali of his title as heavyweight champion in 1965, Terrell finally got a chance for the label. He defeated Eddie Machen for the vacant title and retained it until February 6, 1967. That day, he fought in his most famous match against Muhammad Ali in Houston, Texas and lost after 15 grueling rounds. Ali, who had changed his name from Cassius Clay after converting to Islam, took offense to Terrell using his "slave name" and repeatedly shouted, "What's my name?" throughout the match. Terrell lost his two remaining fights that year and announced his retirement in December. However, he returned to the ring two years later, beating Sonny Moore on December 15 in 10 rounds. Terrell continued to win his matches, and on June 23, 1973, he earned another shot at becoming a heavyweight champion. However, Chuck Wepner defeated him in 12 rounds in an extremely controversial decision. Terrell boxed in his last fight on September 23 of that year.

After retiring permanently from boxing, Terrell became a music producer in Chicago. Terrell also had a brief stint in politics when he lost the 1987 election for alderman of Chicago's 34th ward. In October of 2004, he was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame.

Terrell passed away in December of 2014 at age 75.

Ernie Terrell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 25, 2002.

Accession Number

A2002.093

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/25/2002

Last Name

Terrell

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Search Occupation Category
First Name

Ernie

Birth City, State, Country

Belzoni

HM ID

TER01

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Las Vegas, Nevada

Favorite Quote

This Guy Told Me That You Told Him Something I Told You Not To Tell Him.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

4/4/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Succotash

Death Date

12/17/2014

Short Description

Music producer, boxer, and singer Ernie Terrell (1939 - 2014 ) was a Hall of Fame heavyweight boxing champion and the leader of the musical group, Ernie Terrell and the Heavyweights.

Favorite Color

Dark Colors

Timing Pairs
0,0:53624,626:74413,851:102650,1160:193770,2217$0,0:31370,453:31958,462:53210,689:68350,953:91280,1283:101096,1388:185192,2479:193030,2588:235769,3160:236134,3166:239890,3206
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ernie Terrell's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ernie Terrell lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ernie Terrell describes his family history

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ernie Terrell talks about his family's move from Inverness, Mississippi to Belzoni, Mississippi in 1941

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ernie Terrell describes the struggle of owning land as a black family in Mississippi in the 1940s

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ernie Terrell talks about moving to Chicago, Illinois in 1953 from Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ernie Terrell talks about his childhood in segregated Inverness, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ernie Terrell talks about living near a prisoner of war camp in Belzoni, Mississippi during World War II

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ernie Terrell describes the racism he experienced growing up in Mississippi in the 1940s

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ernie Terrell talks about what he enjoyed in his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ernie Terrell describes a racist incident at a carnival during his childhood in Belzoni, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ernie Terrell describes the black community in Missisippi

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ernie Terrell talks about his family's move to Chicago, Illinois to pursue better economic opportunities

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ernie Terrell describes adjusting to school at Barnard Elementary School and Farragut High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ernie Terrell talks about boxing as a youth and winning the Golden Gloves tournament

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ernie Terrell describes how his height helped him in his boxing career

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ernie Terrell describes his boxing training during high school

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ernie Terrell talks about playing the guitar during high school

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ernie Terrell describes the beginning of his singing career in the 1950s

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ernie Terrell describes touring around North America with the success of his singing and boxing career

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ernie Terrell describes his and his sister's, the Supreme's Jean Terrell, music style

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ernie Terrell describes his singing career taking off in the 1960s

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ernie Terrell talks about meeting Berry Gordy and his sister, Jean Terrell, becoming lead singer of the Supremes in 1970, pt.1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ernie Terrell talks about meeting Berry Gordy and his sister, Jean Terrell, becoming lead singer of the Supremes in 1970, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ernie Terrell describes receiving death threats due to his manager's mob ties

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ernie Terrell talks about his boxing style

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Ernie Terrell talks about the boxers he fought on his way to becoming World Boxing Association Champion in 1965

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ernie Terrell talks about his peers in the World Boxing Association

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ernie Terrell describes becoming World Boxing Association Heavyweight Champion in 1965

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ernie Terrell talks about his relationship with Joe Louis and Ezzard Charles

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ernie Terrell describes negotiating with Muhammad Ali and boxing promoters before his 1967 fight with Ali

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ernie Terrell describes the antagonism between him and Muhammad Ali leading up to their 1967 fight, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ernie Terrell describes the antagonism between him and Muhammad Ali leading up to their 1967 fight, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ernie Terrell talks about preforming at Thule Air Base in Greenland with his sister, Jean Terrell

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ernie Terrell describes losing unfairly to Chuck Wepner in 1973

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ernie Terrell talks about retiring from boxing in 1973

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ernie Terrell talks about his promoting boxing after retiring from boxing in 1973

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ernie Terrell describes what makes a good promoter

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ernie Terrell reflects on the top boxers currently and the changing interest in boxing

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ernie Terrell describes his hopes and concerns for the black community

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ernie Terrell talks about his family

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ernie Terrell describes how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ernie Terrell talks about his parents' reaction to his and his sister's, Jean Terrell, success

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ernie Terrell talks about his mother

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Ernie Terrell narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ernie Terrell narrates his photographs, pt. 2

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ernie Terrell narrates his photographs, pt. 3

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ernie Terrell narrates his photographs, pt. 4

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

2$5

DATitle
Ernie Terrell describes touring around North America with the success of his singing and boxing career
Ernie Terrell describes the antagonism between him and Muhammad Ali leading up to their 1967 fight, pt. 1
Transcript
Then I would get fight on, have to leave it and they'd leave my name up there. And that's what--that's how I was working. So you know I, I started to move up in boxing. I start, I was you know--this was--I started to move up in boxing. Now my sister and my brother Lenny--Lenny is, I'm ten years older than him. He--they were still in school. They were still in school so we--it was very hard to go on the road you understand because--well we did go on the road. Jean [Terrell] graduated--when she graduated. Lenny was still in school so he would--sometime we had to fly him back with some folk--we was working in New Jersey and we had to fly him back with some folks, make him go to school every day and--while we worked. And that's the way it went down. And we were doing great. I mean started--it was going good. And as I progressed in boxing, I appeared on all of the shows like Merv Griffin and Johnny Carson and Hollywood Palace. And if you'll see it back there, this--Ed Sullivan. I just appeared on there by myself and Ed Sullivan took and he just introduced me on there. But we worked the Hollywood Palace, these are the kind of places that we worked and-$$Now you all really took off quick, I mean I guess, right? You started, you-$$Well it was--it was relative--it was kind of quick once this guy, guy come--well what we had done before we did all that, we made a tour of Canada. We worked in, all--and like, like we--but see, I had become champion, I had fought--see, this was going simultaneously with boxing. Now I had become champion when we toured Canada. I had beat Eddie Machen and we, we had--I had fought George Chuvalo in Canada and I toured Canada. I went from, oh let's see, like from Montreal to Toronto to, I mean--where did we go? We went to Saskatchewan. That's a providence right?$$Yeah, a providence [sic, province], right.$$We--and I forget all of the providences [provinces] in Canada. But we worked them all. We worked them--we worked from, we started in--where did we start? Toronto, we worked Montreal, then we worked Alberto [sic, Alberta], is that a, is that a Providence, Alberto? All of the towns in Canada that we worked, we worked them just about all.$About--we had to sign for the fight first. I don't want to forget that part. We had to sign for the fight so we got together up at the boxing commission's office and we signed for the fight and this is where me and Clay [Muhammad Ali] got the first stuff going and he started it. What happened is, Irving Schoenwald said, "Now look, when you guys go to your training camp I want you all to get prepared to come here to Chicago [Illinois] and do your last two weeks of training here in Chicago to help promote this fight." He said "is that all right with you Ernie?" I said "well if it's all right with Clay it's all right with me." And he says, it's all right with you? He said--he told me he said, Muhammad. I said oh, Muhammad. He said "why you call me Clay and everybody else call me Muhammad my--by my true name and you call me by the white folks' name?" I said well, I said when I met you, I've been knowing you all this time you told me your name was Clay so that's what I call you. I don't know all these here names you picking up." He said "you're not--you're just an old 'Uncle Tom'" and he pushed me. And then somebody grabbed me and we started wresting and struggling and my suit got torn up and all that stuff. And that's what started that "what's my name" stuff, you know? And so I didn't think--after he told me that we're going to do this stuff to boast the fight so everything was fine, you know. So it was all right. So what happened is I went on to training camp and started training then all of a sudden I get a letter that the government was going to throw the fight out of Chicago [Illinois] because Ali was making unpatriotic statements, you understand. So I called--wasn't nothing I could--I'm just sitting there waiting to see what happened. They're looking around for someplace to take the fight and every time they get someplace they would--the political thing would get heated and then to go from there. This was when he said them Japanese--no, what did he--them Vietnamese haven't done nothing to me, or something like that he was saying. Anyway, they--I had a two hundred fifty thousand dollar guarantee so that was supposed to be my guarantee, plus a percentage. They called me and said we can't give you no guarantee now. We just got to do what we can do. I said look man, no we can't do that. So they kept--they didn't have no site for the fight and all that stuff so I had to pull out of the fight. I had to pull out and that was what they wanted me to do because they wanted to--they had found a spot which was Canada and it was better for him to fight George Chuvalo in Canada than fight me up there, you know cause that was his home town. So he--I pulled out of the fight and he fought George Chuvalo and that's when I fought Doug Jones, I think. No, I had already beat Chuvalo. I had already--did I? Yeah, I had already beat Chuvalo. I'm thinking. And, but anyway he fought Chuvalo then. And then after he fought Chuvalo, he went overseas and fought Cooper [Sir Henry Cooper] and Brian London and some other folks. Then I fought Doug Jones I'm thinking. And--before we got together on the fight between me and [Muhammad] Ali, you know.

The Honorable Jerry Butler

Award-winning performer, producer and composer Jerry "The Iceman" Butler was born in Sunflower, Mississippi on December 8, 1939. He moved to Chicago, Illinois at the age of three and grew up in an area later known as the Cabrini-Green Housing Projects. Butler met Curtis Mayfield, with whom he began his musical career as part of a quintet called "Jerry Butler and The Impressions." In 1958, The Impressions had their first hit with the classic "For Your Precious Love," after which the group cordially split and 18-year-old Butler went on to pursue a solo career. Spanning five decades, Butler's musical career has produced over 50 albums, numerous hit songs and three Grammy Award nominations. Butler, a musical icon, is known for his smooth, distinguished voice.

Butler has had numerous hit songs go platinum during his career, including "For Your Precious Love" with The Impressions (1958), "He Will Break Your Heart" (1960), "Moon River" (1961), "Never Gonna Give You Up" (1967), "Hey Western Union Man" (1968), "Brand New Me" (1969), "Only The Strong Survive" (1969), and "Ain't Understanding Mellow" (1973). In addition to his recording credits, Butler has hosted and appeared on numerous television variety specials; been nominated for three Grammy Awards; and received various awards for singing, composing, and publishing, including several from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, two Billboard magazine awards, two Humanitarian Awards and several Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI) Awards. Butler was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 and into the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1994, a non-profit organization for which he has served as the Chairman of the Board.

Influenced by the Civil Rights movement, Butler entered politics in the mid-1980s as a campaign supporter of Chicago's first African American Mayor, Harold Washington. Butler himself was first elected to public office in 1985 as the Cook County Commissioner, where he served three four-year terms. In 1993, at the age of 55, Butler received a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Governor's State College in University Park, Illinois. Butler and his wife, Annette, married in 1959, reside in Chicago and are parents to twin sons.

Accession Number

A2002.070

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/11/2002

Last Name

Butler

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Schools

Edward Jenner Elementary Academy of the Arts

Salazar Elem Bilingual Center

Washburne Trade School

First Name

Jerome "Jerry"

Birth City, State, Country

Sunflower

HM ID

BUT01

Favorite Season

None

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

12/8/1939

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Music composer, county commissioner, music producer, and singer The Honorable Jerry Butler (1939 - ) is a legendary soloist known as "the Iceman," and an original member of the Impressions. Butler is also the former Cook County commissioner.

Employment

Cook County Board of Commissioners

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jerry Butler's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jerry Butler talks about his father

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jerry Butler talks about his grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jerry Butler describes his mother's personality

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jerry Butler talks about his family

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jerry Butler describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jerry Butler describes his childhood memories of Monroe County, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jerry Butler describes the apartments where he lived during his childhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jerry Butler describes the sights, smells, and sounds of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jerry Butler describes his childhood home life

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Jerry Butler describes his childhood personality

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Jerry Butler describes his reaction to his father's death

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Jerry Butler describes two teachers who inspired him

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Jerry Butler talks about his experience at Washburne Trade School

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jerry Butler talks about the racism of some labor unions

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jerry Butler describes becoming interested in being a chef

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jerry Butler talks about the historical importance of the Lawson YMCA in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jerry Butler discusses his early interest in music

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jerry Butler describes the formation of The Impressions

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jerry Butler describes how Eddie Thomas became the manager for The Impressions and their record deal with Vee-Jay Records

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jerry Butler describes the origin of his song 'For Your Precious Love'

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jerry Butler recalls how he felt the first time he heard 'For Your Precious Love' on the radio

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Jerry Butler describes his top billing with The Impressions

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Jerry Butler describes the members of The Impressions and their roles within the group

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Jerry Butler describes why he left The Impressions

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Jerry Butler describes leaving The Impressions

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jerry Butler recounts his fear that Roy Hamilton would cover 'For Your Precious Love'

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jerry Butler describes Vee-Jay Records, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jerry Butler describes Vee-Jay Records, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jerry Butler talks about his manager, Irv Nahan

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jerry Butler talks about Irv Nahan's influence on his career at Vee-Jay Records

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jerry Butler describes the origin of his nickname, "The Iceman"

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jerry Butler talks about touring as a solo musician

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jerry Butler talks about his songwriting work with Curtis Mayfield

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Jerry Butler discusses the importance of owning the rights to his own songs

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Jerry Butler talks about the management of his solo career

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jerry Butler describes his ambitions as a solo performer

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jerry Butler describes the music scene in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jerry Butler comments on being influenced by Nat Cole and others

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jerry Butler talks about the decline of Vee-Jay Records

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jerry Butler describes the start and success of Vee-Jay Records

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jerry Butler describes the potential for Vee-Jay Records to have grown bigger than Motown

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jerry Butler talks about Ewart Abner's departure from Vee-Jay Records

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jerry Butler describes the origin of Queen Booking Company

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jerry Butler talks about leaving Queen Booking Agency

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jerry Butler describes his relationship with Curtis Mayfield

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jerry Butler talks about meeting his new lawyer and manager, Bill Matheson

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jerry Butler talks about Bill Mathewson finding unsigned contracts with Vee-Jay Records

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jerry Butler talks about signing with Mercury Records in 1966

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jerry Butler describes his first recording with Mercury Records

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jerry Butler describes meeting songwriters Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Jerry Butler reflects upon working with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Jerry Butler refers to his writing of 'I've Been Loving You Too Long' with Otis Redding

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Jerry Butler reflects on working with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Jerry Butler talks about songwriting with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Jerry Butler describes the differences between the "Philadelphia Sound" and the "Sounds of Chicago"

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Jerry Butler talks about his songwriting workshop at Mercury Records in 1969

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Jerry Butler describes his Mercury Records contract

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Jerry Butler talks about meeting Natalie Cole

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Jerry Butler talks about Terry Callier

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Jerry Butler describes his songwriting workshop

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Jerry Butler describes his career at Motown Records

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Jerry Butler describes his recording 'I Stand Accused'

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Jerry Butler describes recording 'I Stand Accused'

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Jerry Butler talks about singing with Patti LaBelle

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Jerry Butler talks about meeting the guitarist Robert "Boogie" Bowles

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Jerry Butler describes an encounter with Minister Louis Farrakhan

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Jerry Butler recalls attending Dionne Warwick's birthday party with Don Cornelius

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Jerry Butler talks about helping Don Cornelius launch 'Soul Train' nationwide

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Jerry Butler reflects upon what he would have done differently in his music career

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Jerry Butler talks about his musical talent

Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Jerry Butler shares his views on what makes a good performance

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Jerry Butler talks about balancing music and his other occupations

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Jerry Butler talks about his transition out of the music industry

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Jerry Butler describes his entry into politics, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Jerry Butler describes his entry into politics, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Jerry Butler talks about his experience running for County Commissioner of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Jerry Butler describes what he has learned as a Cook County Commissioner

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Jerry Butler talks about his plans for the future

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Jerry Butler talks about how he has been blessed

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Jerry Butler talks about the issues he has dealt with on the Cook County Board of Commissioners

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Jerry Butler reflects on his experience in the music industry

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Jerry Butler reflects on the current state of the music industry, pt. 1

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Jerry Butler reflects on the current state of the music industry, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Jerry Butler describes the founding of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Jerry Butler describes the importance of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Jerry Butler talks about the legacy of Rhythm and Blues

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Jerry Butler reflects upon what his father would have thought of his career

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Jerry Butler reflects upon his legacy

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$8

DAStory

6$4

DATitle
Jerry Butler describes the origin of his nickname, "The Iceman"
Jerry Butler describes his entry into politics, pt. 2
Transcript
Now I want to go--I want to stay within the Vee-Jay [Records] years though some--and really talk because are your early years as an artist. Those were still very productive years in terms of you know the records that you had--$$Um-hmm.$$--you know the songs that came out of that period. But before I do that, I'd like to go back to Georgie Woods because he gave you the name "The Iceman."$$(Smiles).$$But you never say how that even happened, you know just that he gave you the name "The Iceman." And so, why did he call you Ice--?$$Well, you know there are always stories about how things happened and some people say, "Well he started calling him 'The Iceman' because he was going to be a chef and he was doing ice sculpture" which was--it had nothing to do with the whole thing. What really happened was I was fresh out of the group and had gone there as a matter of fact, on my honeymoon. My wife [Annette Butler] and I got married [June 21, 1959] and I went back to Philadelphia [Pennsylvania] because we needed the money, to perform. And Georgie had said, "Well you know if you come and perform you can spend your honeymoon and make some money at the same time," you know. And little did I know that wives don't want to hear about making money on honeymoons. But I was 19 years old, so what did I know. I thought it was the wise and prudent thing to do, so I did it. Had I lived to do it over again, I don't think I would do that. Anyway, I'm on stage performing and the sound, the electricity goes out and so all of the electrical instruments are silenced. And from my upbringing in the church was that you keep singing, you don't stop. You just keep on going, let the spirit let it flow. And so when it all stopped, I just kept on singing. It was quiet, the theater wasn't that large and the people could hear me. And when I finished, the audience for some reason, stood up and applauded what I had done and George ran on stage and said, that's the coolest thing I ever saw. So cool, going to call you "The Iceman." And the next morning he went to the radio station, WDAS, and that's what he started doing. And it's been with me ever since.$$So that meant really someone who was not phased, who could handle themselves under any circumstances, really?$$(Shaking head yes). Or under those circumstances.$$Cool, (unclear) cool?$$Yes exactly, the superlative of cool.$$For cool, in control.$So tell the story. So you go on--$$Which story?$$The rest of the story. How you got elected, [HM] Pervis Spann included.$$Oh man, a funny story. So anyway, I said well what do you do when you run for election? He said well first thing you need is money and people. Maybe not necessarily in that order but those are the two things that you need most. You got to let folks know you're running. You need a campaign manager. So I hired Carolyn Rush who was [HM] Bobby Rush's wife, who is Bobby Rush's wife rather, to be the campaign manager. She said, "Well you got to raise some money." I said, "Okay." So we have a meeting at Barbara Proctor's apartment on the South Side and Barbara Proctor says "Well you know I'll do the advertising, I'll do this and I'll do that and this--(makes sounds)." And they said, "We got to raise $250,000.00." I said, "$250,000.00? The job only pays $40,000.00. What are we going to do with all that money?" He said, "Well you know this is an expensive game." I said, "I don't know if I want to play. But we're out here now so let's go." So I said, "Well I know one thing that we can do, we can put on a fundraiser at the Arie Crown [Theater in Chicago, Illinois] and I'll call up some of my friends and I won't ask them to come and do it for nothing. I'll just ask them to do it of the favored nations and pay everybody $1,500.00 or something to come." So I call Pervis Spann and I said "You know you do the promotion thing and this is what I'm doing." Because he had asked me once before if I ever thought about getting into politics and I said yes, so I knew I could count on him to help me. So he said "Okay Butler," that--so now I've got an engagement in Washington, D.C. that I had been doing for, at that time, about four or five years and it was going to take me out of town for about a week, ten days. So I said, "Well okay, I'll get on a plane and go. I know Pervis will take care of this. And when I get back all I have to do is go do the show and we'll be straight." Well when I get back I find out that nothing has been done. So I call Pervis, I said, "Hey man, I thought you--he said, well Jerry you didn't leave me any money." I said, "but you didn't trust me. You didn't think my money was good?" He said, "Well Jerry you know, you're talking about lots of money here. I-" So the question then becomes well what do we do? We've got the Arie Crown Theater, we've got The Impressions, we've got Curtis [Mayfield], we've got [HM] Tyrone Davis, we've got Gene Chandler and they're all coming to town in ten days and you don't have hardly any tickets sold. So I said, um, um, um. I said, "Okay I tell you what, we've got about 500 seats that we're going to sell at $100.00 a pop to businesses and folks like that." And so we rushed out and we sold those 500 tickets at $100.00 a pop. I said and for that we're going to have pretty much what we had at the DuSable Museum. We're going to have nice little hors d'oeuvres and some food and tea and crumpets and we'll invite the mayor and the mayor will come and he'll say "Yeah, we want Jerry to run" and then I said and we're giving the rest of the tickets away. Okay, that's a plan and we ran with that. And now Harold [Washington] has been booked to do something for [HM] Dorothy Tillman but he says, "I will stop by on my way to Dorothy's function at your function." And so he stops in and naturally wherever the mayor goes, all the TV cameras come a-rolling. And so the TV cameras rolled in with the mayor and he said "I'm supporting Jerry" and he held up my hand and do-do-do. And one of the reporters asked somebody who had paid a hundred dollars, how much did you pay to get in here? He said $100.00. And so he did the math real quick, 2,500 people at a hundred dollars a pop, $250,000.00. And he rushed out of there and that was the headline the next morning on the [Chicago] Sun-Times. "Jerry Butler raises $250,000.00 one night." So that put me in the league with all of the heavy hitters in town when in fact we hadn't made a dime. But the bottom line was we couldn't have bought that kind of exposure and so it just--all things worked for good.$$So it was all meant to be?$$Yes.$$So how-