Archives of African American Music and Culture

About Archives of African American Music and Culture

The majority of the image collections at the AAAMC consist of publicity and other historic photographs documenting the role of Black performers, disc jockeys, and executives in the radio and music industries. Image collections available here include:

  • The AAAMC Black Radio Collection, which includes photographs documenting the influences and activities of Black radio personalities as well as the history of stations KYOK and KCOH in Houston, WERD in Atlanta, WKVO in Columbus (OH), WMBM in Miami, and WEDR in Birmingham, Alabama, among others.

Established in 1991, the AAAMC is a repository of materials covering a range of African American musical idioms and cultural expressions from the post-World War II era. In addition to housing extensive materials documenting Black radio, the AAAMC’s collections highlight popular, religious, and classical music, with genres ranging from blues and gospel to R&B and contemporary hip hop.

Information about the AAAMC, its collections, and programs is available on its website at


Black Radio

AAAMC Black Radio Collections

The AAAMC Black Radio Collections consist of a number of collections documenting the history of Black radio. Many of these collections also contain print and audiovisual materials. If you would like to access the collection finding aids, contact the AAAMC staff.

Jack "The Rapper" Gibson Collection (SC 14)

Documents the activities of Black radio pioneer "Jockey Jack" Gibson and other radio personalities with stations across the country as well as Gibson's Family Affair conventions. Also includes publicity photographs of R&B artists. Accompanied by an interview transcript with Gibson's descriptions of each photograph.

Katherine Lewis Collection (SC 86)

Documents radio station WERD in Atlanta, including the interior and exterior of the studio as well as photographic images of several WERD publications and advertisements.

Ed Castleberry Collection (SC 87)

Documents the career of Ed Castleberry and includes publicity shots of disc jockeys, radio stations, and events sponsored by black radio stations, including WKVO (Columbus, OH), WMBM (Miami, FL), and WEDR (Birmingham, AL).

Rick Roberts Collection (SC 88)

Documents the career of Houston deejay Rick Roberts and includes publicity shots of disc jockeys, musicians, and events sponsored by Black radio stations, primarily KYOK in Houston. Accompanied by an interview cassette and transcript with Robert’s descriptions of each photograph.

George Nelson (SC 89)

Documents the career of Houston deejay George Nelson and includes publicity shots of disc jockeys, musicians, and events sponsored by KYOK in Houston.

Skipper Lee Frazier Collection (SC 95)

Documents the career of well-known Houston deejay Skipper Lee Frazier at KCOH in Houston. Accompanied by an interview transcript with Fraziers’s descriptions of each photograph.

Travis Gardner (SC 96)

Documents events and personnel at Houston radio station KCOH from the 1960s-1970s. Accompanied by an interview transcript with Gardner’s descriptions of each photograph.


Tom Draper Collection

Tom Draper was hired as a salesman by RCA in 1970 while still in business school. He worked his way up to promotions in the company’s newly established black music division and eventually became vice president of A&R. In 1975, he was hired to do marketing and promotion for Warner Bros. Records. During his tenure there, from 1975 to 1987, Warner Bros. Records’ black artist roster not only flourished but surpassed those of all the other major labels. Draper's collection documents the career of an African American music executive and covers his tenures at RCA Records and Warner Bros. Records. The bulk of the collection consists of 80 publicity photographs taken during music industry events. Also included is correspondence, press clippings and programs for concerts produced by Draper.

The full collection finding aid is accessible at:

Nelson George

Nelson George Collection

The photographs in the Nelson George Collection consist primarily of materials collected during research for Nelson George's book Where Did Our Love Go?: The Rise and Fall of the Motown Sound (St. Martin's Press, 1985). Other materials in this collection include interviews (audiocassettes and transcripts), newspaper clippings, magazines, photocopies of legal documents, manuscripts, and correspondence. The full collection finding aid is accessible at:


Logan H. Westbrooks Collection

Logan H. Westbrooks is widely recognized as one of the central figures responsible for opening the doors of the music industry to black artists and executives. In addition to his pioneering role as the Director of Special Markets at CBS Records in the 1970s, Westbrooks is known for his work as an educator, international business consultant, author, real estate entrepreneur, pastor and philanthropist. The photographs in this collection primarily document Westbrooks’ work in the music industry from the mid-1960s on, including his interactions with other top-level executives, artists, and radio personalities affiliated with WVON (Chicago), WDIA (Memphis), Capitol Records, CBS, Mercury, MCA, Stax, Philadelphia International Records, Soul Train Records, and Westbrooks’ own company, Source Records. Events include sales and NATRA conventions, receptions, concerts, lectures, award presentations, PUSH Expos, Black Caucus meetings, and Westbrooks’ business trips to West Africa. Also represented are political figures from the United States, Senegal, and Nigeria; religious leaders from the early history of the Church of God in Christ; and events at the Helping Hands Home for Boys in Los Angeles, founded by Westbrooks. The collection also contains a number of artifacts, including posters and music industry awards received by Westbrooks. Extensive manuscript and print materials are also available as part of Westbrooks’ collection. For more information about this collection or a copy of the full finding aid, contact the Archives of African American Music and Culture.

Information about the AAAMC, its collections, and programs is available on its website at


Karen Shearer Collection

Karen Shearer began her career as a publicist for Capitol Records before moving to the Westwood One Radio Network circa 1980 where she worked for the next decade as a producer on several popular music programs including Special Edition, a weekly program featuring the music of popular black recording artists. Featured here are photographs from the Special Edition series of Shearer’s collection, which consist primarily of artist publicity portraits of African American musicians from across a range of popular genres (rap, R&B, jazz, soul, rock, funk, etc.). Shearer’s collection also includes additional artist publicity materials as well as radio transcripts for Special Edition, That’s Country Music, Rock Chronicles, My Top Ten, History of Rock ‘n Roll, and various specials, including programs on Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, and the Rolling Stones. The full collection finding aid is accessible at:

For more information, visit the Archives of African American Music and Culture.

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