Felix E. Grant Jazz Archives

Felix Grant Collection

The bulk of the material in the Felix E. Grant Collection consists of commercial sound recordings (16,500); recordings of the interviews of jazz artists and personalities taped by Mr. Grant during his four decades as a radio broadcaster (145); and recordings of radio shows conducted by Mr. Grant (200). Other archival materials in the collection include books, periodicals, posters, promotional material, correspondence, radio program logs/playlists, liner notes, lectures, reviews, concert programs, magazine and newspaper articles, awards, commendations, photographs and personal memorabilia. LP albums frequently contain associated hand-written and typed notes, newspaper clippings, promotional material, and other ephemera. The original organization and arrangement of the sound recordings has been maintained. The collection and the finding aid are organized broadly into series and then into more refined sub series. Both the finding aid and the collection itself are currently to be considered works in progress.

Radio Interviews and Shows

In September 1954, Felix Grant inaugurated “The Album Sound” on WMAL Radio 63 in Washington, D.C. He spent 30 years as its host and producer. The program featured the full spectrum of jazz and blues and had one of the widest listening audiences in the Washington metropolitan area. Most of the interviews in this collection were conducted live during the program or were produced in the studio for broadcast on the show during the period from 1965 to 1984. The Archives implemented a pilot project to provide web access to the Felix Grant radio interviews. These interviews of jazz artists and personalities are now accessible in streaming audio format through ALADIN—a multi-platform digital library system maintained by the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC).

In 1984 Mr. Grant prepared several radio programs for syndication at Studio Line Cable Stereo, a national cable radio distributor. Studio Line was never realized and the programs were never distributed. The next phase of cataloguing and digitizing files will include the radio shows.

Felix E. Grant Digital Collection

The Felix E. Grant Digital Collection was implemented through a cooperative project with the Digital Collection Production Center of the Washington Research Library Consortium (WRLC) and is part of the WRLC Libraries Digital and Special Collections. Photographs and associated resources were selected for this project from a collection that not only documents the career of this jazz authority and media personality, but also serves as a rich source for the study of broadcast radio and jazz in Washington, D.C., during Grant’s 48-year career (1945–1993). The collection also highlights many jazz artists and events, and it documents Grant’s fascination with Duke Ellington and the music of Brazil, as well as Grant’s commitment to community service and involvement. The Felix E. Grant Digital Collection—which includes Felix Grant’s radio interviews as well as this selection of photographs and associated resources from the collection—forms part of the WRLC Libraries Digital and Special Collections.

Commercial Recordings

Commercial sound recordings are found in a variety of formats (compact discs, LPs, 45s, 78s, and cassette tapes). The ongoing cataloging of the materials will add to the research database accessible through ALADIN.

Collection Links