Hear Digitized Oral History Collections about Gospel, Rhythm and Blues, and New Orleans Music Legends

Enjoy recently digitized oral history recordings and historic radio broadcasts from collections in the Hogan Archive of New Orleans Music and New Orleans Jazz. They are available for online listening via the Tulane University Digital Library at digitallibrary.tulane.edu.  

The Laurraine Goreau Interviews and Recordings feature “Queen of Gospel” Mahalia Jackson, her family members, and others who worked with and knew her. Materials were digitized due to a “Recordings at Risk” grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). Interviewees also include entertainers Ella Fitzgerald, John Hammond, Della Reese, and Dinah Shore; Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) co-founder Reverend Ralph Abernathy; television host Ed Sullivan; and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Studs Turkel. These interviews were conducted by New Orleans States-Item journalist Laurraine Goreau for her 1975 authorized biography of Jackson, Just Mahalia, Baby: The Mahalia Jackson Story. 

CLIR funding also enabled digitization of interviews conducted in the 1980s by Lynn Abbott for his book, To Do This, You Must Know How: Music Pedagogy in the Black Gospel Quartet Tradition, co-authored by Doug Seroff (University Press of Mississippi, 2013). The Lynn Abbott interviews feature Black gospel quartet singers and practitioners in the South who both predated and assisted Jackson’s international success.  

Live radio broadcasts and interviews by Vernon "Dr. Daddy-O" Winslow for "Jivin' with Jax" on WWEZ AM New Orleans have also been digitized, thanks to funding in part by a grant from the GRAMMY Museum®. The digitized Vernon "Dr. Daddy-O" Winslow Broadcast Recordings represent the emergence of Black radio in New Orleans, while featuring Winslow's work as the first African American radio disc jockey on New Orleans airwaves between 1949 and 1958. The digitized sound recordings include Winslow's personalized advertisements of New Orleans bars, music clubs, Jax Beer, and J&M Recording Studio, among others. Also included are Winslow's conversations with internationally renowned Black celebrities, such as music luminaries Roy Brown, Savannah Churchill, Duke Ellington, Avery "Kid" Howard, Ivory Joe Hunter, Louis Jordan, Big Maceo Merriweather, Little Esther Phillips, Professor Longhair, and Roosevelt Sykes; professional baseball legends Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe; and local figures such as Roland Brown, the 1951 king of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club. Non-commercially issued music is also included, featuring performances by the Dave Bartholomew Orchestra, and by the Golden Chain Jubileers, a New Orleans-based gospel warhorse quartet.


Laurraine Goreau