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Guide to the Cuthbert Simpkins Interviews on John Coltrane, 1971-1974

Abstract

Author and medical doctor Cuthbert O. Simpkins (b. 1947) wrote the first biography of jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane (1926-1967), titled Coltrane: A Biography (Perth Amboy, NJ: Herndon House Publishers, 1975). The collection contains audio recordings of interviews Simpkins conducted with various family members, friends, and colleagues of Coltrane between 1971-1974 as a part of his research.

Descriptive Summary

Collection Number
RL.01194
Title
Cuthbert Simpkins Interviews on John Coltrane
Date
1971-1974
Creator
Simpkins, Cuthbert Ormond, 1947-
Extent
3 Linear Feet, 65 original audiocassettes (with CD use copies for patron access)
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Material in English

Collection Overview

The Cuthbert Simpkins Interviews on John Coltrane comprises 65 audio cassettes of interviews conducted by Simpkins between 1971-1974 while researching his 1975 biography of Coltrane. Simpkins interviewed family members, friends, musicians, and other associates from throughout Coltrane's career. The interviews address such topics as: Coltrane's family history, his childhood in North Carolina, the development of his musical style, his influence on other musicians, and his personality. Many also contain personal anecdotes related to Coltrane from throughout his life. The materials include multiple interviews with Calvin Massey, Jimmy Garrison, Larry Young (Khalid Yasin), Ornette Coleman, and others. The audiocassettes have been digitized for patron access, and portions of some interviews have been transcribed, with the transcriptions included in the collection.

Restrictions on Access & Use

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

In addition, Box 1 (containing original audiocassettes) is CLOSED to patron use. CD use copies for all original audio material in the collection are located in Box 2 and are open to patron use.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

1. Audio Recordings of Interviews, 1971-1974

2 boxes

Interviewee names and interview dates are taken directly from written information on the original cassettes.

Conditions Governing Access note

RESTRICTIONS: Box 1, containing original audio cassettes, is CLOSED to patron use. CD use copies are open to patrons and are available in Box 2.

Original Audio Cassettes 101-165
Conditions Governing Access note

CLOSED TO PATRON USE

Box 1
CD Use Copies of all Audio Material

This box contains CD use copies for all original audio material in the collection. Additionally, it contains a folder with more detailed descriptions of the file naming scheme and the relationship between the original media and the digital files. The folder also contains all currently available interview transcriptions, which are noted below.

Box 2
Interview transcripts and information

Contains partial transcriptions of some of the interviews, noted below. Also contains additional details about the interviews and the file naming scheme.

Box 2
Folder 1
Track 1 - Interview with Pete LaRocca, 16 mins, July 5, 1972
Box 2
Cd 1
Track 2 - Interview with Dr. James C. Morgan, 7 mins, no date

Partial transcript available in folder.

Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Walter Hoover, 27 mins, no date

Partial transcript available in folder.

Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Gary Bartz, 15 mins, April 13, 1972
Box 2
Cd 2
Track 2 - Interview with Gary Bartz, 15 mins, April 13, 1972
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Steve Kuhn, 46 mins, May 22, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Ray Draper, 27 mins, May 20, 1972
Box 2
Cd 3
Track 2 - Interview with Richard Davis, 17 mins, May 22, 1972
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Rashied Ali, 15 mins, no date
Box 2
Track 4 - Interview with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 2 mins, no date
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Shepard S. Whitted, 15 mins, fall 1972

Partial transcript available in folder.

Box 2
Cd 4
Track 2 - Interview with Dr. James C. Morgan, 19 mins, fall 1972

Partial transcript available in folder.

Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Shepard S. Whitted, 11 mins, fall 1972
Box 2
Track 4 - Interview with Cuthbert Simpkins, 16 mins, no date
Box 2
Track 5 - Interview with Samuel Burford, 6 mins, no date

Partial transcript available in folder.

Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Samuel Burford, 30 mins, no date

Partial transcript available in folder.

Box 2
Cd 5
Track 2 - Interview with Calvin Massey, 22 mins, June 1971
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Larry Young (Khalid Yasin), 25 mins, no date
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Odean Pope, 11 mins, June 28, 1972
Box 2
Cd 6
Track 2 - Interview with James Kinzer, 16 mins, June 28, 1972
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with James Kinzer, 22 mins, June 28, 1972
Box 2
Track 4 - Interview with Joe Termini, 17 mins, May 14, 1972
Box 2
Track 5 - Interview with Larry Young (Khalid Yasin), 13 mins, May 15, 1971
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Jimmy Garrison, 19 mins, May 12, 1972
Box 2
Cd 7
Track 2 - Interview with Joe Termini, 10 mins, May 14, 1972
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with James Boyd, 30 mins, no date

Partial transcript available in folder.

Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Mr. Isadore Granoff, 22 mins, Feb. 14, 1972
Box 2
Cd 8
Track 2 - Interview with Mr. Lewis, 4 mins, Feb. 14, 1972
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Mr. Lewis, 13 mins, Feb. 14, 1972
Box 2
Track 4 - Interview with Ethel Wilson, 6 mins, no date

Partial transcript available in folder.

Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with John Erskine "Rocky" Boyd, 30 mins, 1972
Box 2
Cd 9
Track 2 - Interview with John Erskine "Rocky" Boyd, 30 mins, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Jimmy Garrison, 15 mins, Jan. 18, 1972
Box 2
Cd 10
Track 2 - Interview with Jimmy Garrison, 15 mins, Jan. 18, 1972
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Odean Pope, 45 mins, June 28, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with James Forman, 23 mins, June 30, 1972
Box 2
Cd 11
Track 2 - Interview with Hank Mobley, 7 mins, June 30, 1972
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Hank Mobley, 20 mins, June 30, 1972
Box 2
Track 4 - Interview with Warren McClinton, 10 mins, June 30, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Carl Grubbs, 30 mins, Feb. 8, 1972
Box 2
Cd 12
Track 2 - Interview with Carl Grubbs, 9 mins, Feb. 8, 1972
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Mal Waldron, 16 mins, Jan. 6, 1974
Box 2
Track 4 - Interview with Elvin Jones, 10 mins, Jan. 6, 1974
Box 2
Track 5 - Interview with unidentified subject, 5 mins, Jan. 6, 1974
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Mal Waldron, 45 mins, Jan. 6, 1974
Box 2
Cd 13
Track 2 - Interview with Jimmy Garrison, 15 mins, no date
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Jimmy Garrison, 15 mins, no date
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with George Russell, 5 mins, June 17, 1972
Box 2
Cd 14
Track 2 - Interview with Johnny Coles, 38 mins, June 19, 1972
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Pat Patrick, 30 mins, August 20, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Pat Patrick, 23 mins, August 20, 1972
Box 2
Cd 15
Track 2 - Interview with Mrs. Hughes (and unidentified interviewees from High Point), 27 mins, no date
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Mrs. Dunavant, 29 mins, no date
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Michael Lawson, 30 mins, July 5, 1972
Box 2
Cd 16
Track 2 - Interview with Michael Lawson, 25 mins, July 5, 1972
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Pete LaRocca, 5 mins, July 5, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Calvin Massey, 30 mins, June 29, 1971
Box 2
Cd 17
Track 2 - Interview with Calvin Massey, 30 mins, June 29, 1971
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Calvin Massey, 30 mins, June 28, 1971
Box 2
Cd 18
Track 2 - Interview with Calvin Massey, 23 mins, June 28, 1971
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Gary Bartz (and unidentified associates), 43 mins, June 9, 1972
Box 2
Cd 19
Track 1 - Interview with Roy Haynes, 40 mins, June 8, 1972
Box 2
Cd 20
Track 2 - Interview with Gary Bartz (and unidentified associates), 8 mins, no date
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Wayne Shorter, 30 mins, July 6, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Wayne Shorter, 5 mins, July 6, 1972
Box 2
Cd 21
Track 2 - Interview with Larry Young (Khalid Yasin), 15 mins, no date
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Orrin Keepnews, 31 mins, Jan. 18, 1972
Box 2
Track 4 - Interview with Orrin Keepnews, 10 mins, Jan. 18, 1972
Box 2
Track 5 - Interview with Jimmy Garrison, 13 mins, April 18, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Jimmy Garrison, 13 mins, April 18, 1972
Box 2
Cd 22
Track 2 - Interview with McCoy Tyner, 30 mins, Jan. 27, 1972
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with McCoy Tyner, 6 mins, Jan. 27, 1972
Box 2
Track 4 - Interview with McCoy Tyner, 30 mins, Jan. 27, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with McCoy Tyner, 30 mins, Jan. 27, 1972
Box 2
Cd 23
Track 2 - Interview with Zita Carno, 30 mins, July 3, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Zita Carno, 26 mins, July 3, 1972
Box 2
Cd 24
Track 2 - Interview with Jimmy Heath, 31 mins, no date
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Jimmy Heath, 31 mins, no date
Box 2
Cd 25
Track 2 - Interview with George "Big George" Russell, 26 mins, Jan. 20, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with George "Big George" Russell, 24 mins, Jan. 20, 1972
Box 2
Cd 26
Track 2 - Interview with George "Big George" Russell, 26 mins, Jan. 19, 1972.
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with George "Big George" Russell, 30 mins, Jan. 19, 1972.
Box 2
Cd 27
Track 2 - Interview with Jimmy Garrison, 32 mins, Jan. 6, 1973
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Jimmy Garrison, 21 mins, April 18, 1972
Box 2
Cd 28
Track 2 - Interview with Jimmy Garrison, 21 mins, April 18, 1972
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Rahsaan Roland Kirk (and Ron Burton), 30 mins, no date
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Rocky Boyd, 14 mins, no date
Box 2
Cd 29
Track 2 - Interview with Franklin Brower, 40 mins, July 20, 1972

Partial transcript available in folder.

Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Franklin Brower, 43 mins, July 20, 1972

Partial transcript available in folder.

Box 2
Cd 30
Track 2 - Interview with George Braith, 31 mins, April 23, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with George Braith, 30 mins, April 23, 1972
Box 2
Cd 31
Track 2 - Interview with Larry Young (Khalid Yasin), 32 mins, April 15, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Larry Young (Khalid Yasin), 31 mins, April 15, 1972
Box 2
Cd 32
Track 2 - Interview with Jimmy Oliver, 31 mins, Feb. 18, 1972
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Jimmy Oliver, 12 mins, Feb. 18, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Hasan Abdullah, 9 mins, Feb. 18, 1972
Box 2
Cd 33
Track 2 - Interview with Harold Lovette, 15 mins, no date
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Archie Shepp, 4 mins, Jan. 29, 1972
Box 2
Track 4 - Interview with Rashied Ali, 27 mins, Jan. 30, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Rashied Ali, 30 mins, Jan. 30, 1972
Box 2
Cd 34
Track 2 - Interview with George Russell, 42 mins, June 17, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Elvin Jones, 39 mins, June 15, 1972
Box 2
Cd 35
Track 2 - Interview with Cuthbert Simpkins, 2 mins, June 27, 1972
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Pandit Ronu Majumdar, 11 mins, June 27, 1972
Box 2
Track 4 - Interview with Art Blakey, 21 mins, June 27, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Harold Lovette, 45 mins, June 2, 1972
Box 2
Cd 36
Track 2 - Interview with Mrs. Ingram, 9 mins, June 28, 1972
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Odean Pope, 5 mins, June 28, 1972
Box 2
Track 4 - Interview with Johnny Coles, 11 mins, June 28, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with unidentified subject, 19 mins, June 28, 1972
Box 2
Cd 37
Track 2 - Interview with Jymie Merritt, 17 mins, June 30, 1972
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Michael Babatunde Olatunji, 31 mins, May 31, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Reggie Workman, 35 mins, June 23, 1972
Box 2
Cd 38
Track 2 - Interview with Ornette Coleman, 42 mins, May 20, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Ornette Coleman, 15 mins, May 20, 1972
Box 2
Cd 39
Track 2 - Interview with Ornette Coleman, 15 mins, June 1, 1972
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Sonny Rollins, 14 mins, June 1, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Reggie Workman, 44 mins, June 23, 1972
Box 2
Cd 40
Track 2 - Interview with Rashied Ali, 30 mins, Jan. 30, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Rashied Ali, 30 mins, Jan. 30, 1972
Box 2
Cd 41
Track 2 - Interview with Albert Dailey, 44 mins, May 25, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Max Roach, 9 mins, no date
Box 2
Cd 42
Track 2 - Interview with Art Blakey, 7 mins, June 21, 1972
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Sun Ra, 38 mins, June 29, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Max Roach, 44 mins, June 9, 1972
Box 2
Cd 43
Track 2 - Interview with Max Roach, 5 mins, June 9, 1972
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Sun Ra, 27 mins, June 29, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Sun Ra, 28 mins, June 29, 1972
Box 2
Cd 44
Track 2 - Interview with Warren McClinton, 30 mins, June 30, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Franklin Brower, 45 mins, July 20, 1972
Box 2
Cd 45
Track 2 - Interview with Franklin Brower, 19 mins, July 20, 1972
Box 2
Track 1 - Interview with Ornette Coleman, 20 mins, July 7, 1972
Box 2
Cd 46
Track 2 - Interview with Thelonious Monk, 8 mins, no date
Box 2
Track 3 - Interview with Larry Young (Khalid Yasin), 38 mins, no date
Box 2

Historical Note

Author and medical doctor Cuthbert O. Simpkins (b. 1947) wrote the first biography of jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane (1926-1967), titled Coltrane: A Biography (Perth Amboy, NJ: Herndon House Publishers, 1975). Coltrane was born in Hamlet, N.C., and his family moved to High Point in 1927, where he lived until 1943. Beginning in the mid-1940s, he regularly performed on tenor saxophone as a sideman, including stints in bands led by Jimmy Heath, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and Thelonious Monk. By the early 1960s, Coltrane was leading his own ensembles, including an influential quartet with McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones. As a saxophonist, he brought renewed attention to the soprano saxophone in the 1960s, and as a composer and an improviser, Coltrane contributed to a number of harmonic and melodic innovations in jazz.

Subject Headings

Related Material

  • David Tegnell Interviews on John Coltrane (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University)

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Cuthbert Simpkins Interviews on John Coltrane, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Provenance

The Cuthbert Simpkins Interviews on John Coltrane were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in December 2008.

Processing Information

Processed by Jeremy Smith, April 2009

Encoded by Jeremy Smith, April 2009

Accession 2008-0299 is described in this finding aid.