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



Teresa Hairston Collection

The Teresa Hairston Collection includes thousands of materials created or collected by Hairston during her career in the gospel music industry. The photographs from the collection include artist publicity photographs, as well as many photographs from industry conferences and awards shows. Additional materials in the collection include magazines, videos, and sound recordings. Please contact the AAAMC for more details about accessing the full collection.


Michael Nixon Collection

Michael Nixon is a veteran of the Black music and entertainment industry with over 40 years of experience in marketing and promotion. After working in radio, television and the record industry—including stints at WHUR-FM, WBLS, WEA Distribution, Elektra, RCA, and HBO—Nixon shifted to music industry magazines. In 1988, he was hired as advertising director for the magazine Black Radio Exclusive (BRE), while also pursuing acting roles in television. By the following year, Nixon was on the cutting edge of marketing for the emerging hip hop scene. He created the music industry's first weekly radio rap chart for the San Francisco based publication The Gavin Report, then assisted with the creation of Rap Sheet, possibly the world's first hip hop newspaper. From 1993-1994, Nixon worked as an account executive for Billboard magazine, where he had accounts with many of the major record labels and radio stations The Michael Nixon photographs date between approximately 1977 and 2006, including time spent by Nixon at Howard University through his professional career in the music industry.


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

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.

Mickey Tucker

Mickey Tucker Collection

This collection includes materials created during Mickey Tucker's career as a jazz pianist and composer from 1957-2021. Photographs in the collection span the years from 1948-2020 and feature Tucker on tour and in the studio with other jazz musicians, as well as family gatherings. For more information about the other materials in the collection, please see the collection finding aid.

Eddie Gilreath

Eddie Gilreath Collection

A veteran of the music industry, Eddie Gilreath held executive level marketing and sales positions with record labels such as Motown, Warner Bros., Elektra Entertainment, Geffen, and MCA/Universal Distribution, promoting major artists across multiple genres. The photographs in Gilreath's collection document his career working with performing artists and other people in the music industry.


Phyl Garland Collection

The Phyl Garland Collection consists primarily of personal papers, including original typescripts for Garland's columns in Ebony and Stereo Review, and related research and photographs. The bulk of the collection consists of over 900 files, including photographs and/or press releases and clippings, on individual artists in all genres, though the bulk represents jazz and rhythm and blues musicians. The photographs from these files are represented here in Image Collections Online.

The full collection finding aid is accessible at:

AAAMC Collections

Archives of African American Music and Culture Collections

The Archives of African American Music and Culture Collections consists of the AAAMC's general photograph collection, as well as a number of smaller archival collections. The general photograph collection is almost entirely publicity photographs. The smaller archival collections contain images covering a variety of subjects. Please see the descriptions below for more information about these collections.

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

Blondell Hill Gospel Music Collection (SC 158)

Photographs and postcards related to Hill's life in Michigan and participation in the Petoskey, Michigan Volunteer Gospel Choir. The Blondell Hill Gospel Music Collection consists of gospel song books and sheet music, song texts, photographs, and other ephemeral material related to Blondell Hill’s participation with choirs in Richmond, Indiana, Petoskey, Michigan, and Harbor Springs, Michigan. For the full archival collection finding aid, please visit:

Charles Coleman Papers (SC 9)

A portrait photograph of Charles Coleman. The Charles Coleman Papers collection consists of printed and manuscript scores of music by Charles Coleman, including sacred and secular choral works, as well as ephemeral materials related to the composer. For the full archival collection finding aid, please visit:

Vy Higginsen Collection (SC 28)

Two publicity photographs from a press kit for Mama, I Want to Sing, a musical written by Higginsen. The Vy Higginsen Collection consists primarily of materials related to the gospel musicals Mama, I Want to Sing; Mama, I Want to Sing II; and Born to Sing! Mama 3. It includes scripts, programs, promotional materials, posters, photographs, videos, and sound recordings. Records of the Mama Foundation include programs, press clippings, publicity, and posters. For the full archival collection finding aid, please visit:

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:


Johnny Otis Collection

The Johnny Otis photographs are part of the Johnny Otis archival collection at the Archives of African American Music and Culture. The photographs include images, both candid and promotional, from Otis's professional life as a performer, band leader, and artist manager. Also included are photographs from Otis's personal life, showing a more intimate side of the artist spending time with family and band members off-stage.


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.


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:

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