Menu

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

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Simpkins, Cuthbert Ormond, 1947-
Title
Cuthbert Simpkins Interviews on John Coltrane 1971-1974
Language of Material
English
Extent
3.0 Linear Feet, 65 original audiocassettes (with CD use copies for patron access)
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

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.

Administrative Information

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

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

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
Box 1

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.

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
CD 1 JAD-2008-0299-101A
Track 2 - Interview with Dr. James C. Morgan, 7 mins, no date

Partial transcript available in folder.

Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-102A
Track 3 - Interview with Walter Hoover, 27 mins, no date

Partial transcript available in folder.

Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-102B
Track 1 - Interview with Gary Bartz, 15 mins, April 13, 1972
CD 2 JAD-2008-0299-103A
Track 2 - Interview with Gary Bartz, 15 mins, April 13, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-103B
Track 3 - Interview with Steve Kuhn, 46 mins, May 22, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-104A
Track 1 - Interview with Ray Draper, 27 mins, May 20, 1972
CD 3 JAD-2008-0299-104B1
Track 2 - Interview with Richard Davis, 17 mins, May 22, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-104B2
Track 3 - Interview with Rashied Ali, 15 mins, no date
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-105B
Track 4 - Interview with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 2 mins, no date
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-106A
Track 1 - Interview with Shepard S. Whitted, 15 mins, fall 1972

Partial transcript available in folder.

CD 4 JAD-2008-0299-107A
Track 2 - Interview with Dr. James C. Morgan, 19 mins, fall 1972

Partial transcript available in folder.

Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-107B1
Track 3 - Interview with Shepard S. Whitted, 11 mins, fall 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-107B2
Track 4 - Interview with Cuthbert Simpkins, 16 mins, no date
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-108A1
Track 5 - Interview with Samuel Burford, 6 mins, no date

Partial transcript available in folder.

Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-108A2
Track 1 - Interview with Samuel Burford, 30 mins, no date

Partial transcript available in folder.

CD 5 JAD-2008-0299-108B
Track 2 - Interview with Calvin Massey, 22 mins, June 1971
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-109A
Track 3 - Interview with Larry Young (Khalid Yasin), 25 mins, no date
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-110A
Track 1 - Interview with Odean Pope, 11 mins, June 28, 1972
CD 6 JAD-2008-0299-111A1
Track 2 - Interview with James Kinzer, 16 mins, June 28, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-111A2
Track 3 - Interview with James Kinzer, 22 mins, June 28, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-111B
Track 4 - Interview with Joe Termini, 17 mins, May 14, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-112A1
Track 5 - Interview with Larry Young (Khalid Yasin), 13 mins, May 15, 1971
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-112A2
Track 1 - Interview with Jimmy Garrison, 19 mins, May 12, 1972
CD 7 JAD-2008-0299-112B1
Track 2 - Interview with Joe Termini, 10 mins, May 14, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-112B2
Track 3 - Interview with James Boyd, 30 mins, no date

Partial transcript available in folder.

Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-113B
Track 1 - Interview with Mr. Isadore Granoff, 22 mins, Feb. 14, 1972
CD 8 JAD-2008-0299-114A1
Track 2 - Interview with Mr. Lewis, 4 mins, Feb. 14, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-114A2
Track 3 - Interview with Mr. Lewis, 13 mins, Feb. 14, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-114B
Track 4 - Interview with Ethel Wilson, 6 mins, no date

Partial transcript available in folder.

Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-116B
Track 1 - Interview with John Erskine "Rocky" Boyd, 30 mins, 1972
CD 9 JAD-2008-0299-117A
Track 2 - Interview with John Erskine "Rocky" Boyd, 30 mins, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-117B
Track 1 - Interview with Jimmy Garrison, 15 mins, Jan. 18, 1972
CD 10 JAD-2008-0299-118A
Track 2 - Interview with Jimmy Garrison, 15 mins, Jan. 18, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-118B
Track 3 - Interview with Odean Pope, 45 mins, June 28, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-120B
Track 1 - Interview with James Forman, 23 mins, June 30, 1972
CD 11 JAD-2008-0299-121A1
Track 2 - Interview with Hank Mobley, 7 mins, June 30, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-121A2
Track 3 - Interview with Hank Mobley, 20 mins, June 30, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-121B1
Track 4 - Interview with Warren McClinton, 10 mins, June 30, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-121B2
Track 1 - Interview with Carl Grubbs, 30 mins, Feb. 8, 1972
CD 12 JAD-2008-0299-122A
Track 2 - Interview with Carl Grubbs, 9 mins, Feb. 8, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-122B
Track 3 - Interview with Mal Waldron, 16 mins, Jan. 6, 1974
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-123A1
Track 4 - Interview with Elvin Jones, 10 mins, Jan. 6, 1974
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-123A2
Track 5 - Interview with unidentified subject, 5 mins, Jan. 6, 1974
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-123A3
Track 1 - Interview with Mal Waldron, 45 mins, Jan. 6, 1974
CD 13 JAD-2008-0299-123B
Track 2 - Interview with Jimmy Garrison, 15 mins, no date
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-124A
Track 3 - Interview with Jimmy Garrison, 15 mins, no date
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-124B
Track 1 - Interview with George Russell, 5 mins, June 17, 1972
CD 14 JAD-2008-0299-125A1
Track 2 - Interview with Johnny Coles, 38 mins, June 19, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-125A2
Track 3 - Interview with Pat Patrick, 30 mins, August 20, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-126A
Track 1 - Interview with Pat Patrick, 23 mins, August 20, 1972
CD 15 JAD-2008-0299-126B
Track 2 - Interview with Mrs. Hughes (and unidentified interviewees from High Point), 27 mins, no date
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-127A
Track 3 - Interview with Mrs. Dunavant, 29 mins, no date
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-127B
Track 1 - Interview with Michael Lawson, 30 mins, July 5, 1972
CD 16 JAD-2008-0299-128A
Track 2 - Interview with Michael Lawson, 25 mins, July 5, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-128B1
Track 3 - Interview with Pete LaRocca, 5 mins, July 5, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-128B2
Track 1 - Interview with Calvin Massey, 30 mins, June 29, 1971
CD 17 JAD-2008-0299-129A
Track 2 - Interview with Calvin Massey, 30 mins, June 29, 1971
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-129B
Track 1 - Interview with Calvin Massey, 30 mins, June 28, 1971
CD 18 JAD-2008-0299-130A
Track 2 - Interview with Calvin Massey, 23 mins, June 28, 1971
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-130B
Track 1 - Interview with Gary Bartz (and unidentified associates), 43 mins, June 9, 1972
CD 19 JAD-2008-0299-131A
Track 1 - Interview with Roy Haynes, 40 mins, June 8, 1972
CD 20 JAD-2008-0299-131B
Track 2 - Interview with Gary Bartz (and unidentified associates), 8 mins, no date
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-132A
Track 3 - Interview with Wayne Shorter, 30 mins, July 6, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-133A
Track 1 - Interview with Wayne Shorter, 5 mins, July 6, 1972
CD 21 JAD-2008-0299-133B
Track 2 - Interview with Larry Young (Khalid Yasin), 15 mins, no date
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-134A
Track 3 - Interview with Orrin Keepnews, 31 mins, Jan. 18, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-135A
Track 4 - Interview with Orrin Keepnews, 10 mins, Jan. 18, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-135B
Track 5 - Interview with Jimmy Garrison, 13 mins, April 18, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-136A
Track 1 - Interview with Jimmy Garrison, 13 mins, April 18, 1972
CD 22 JAD-2008-0299-136B
Track 2 - Interview with McCoy Tyner, 30 mins, Jan. 27, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-137A
Track 3 - Interview with McCoy Tyner, 6 mins, Jan. 27, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-137B
Track 4 - Interview with McCoy Tyner, 30 mins, Jan. 27, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-138A
Track 1 - Interview with McCoy Tyner, 30 mins, Jan. 27, 1972
CD 23 JAD-2008-0299-138B
Track 2 - Interview with Zita Carno, 30 mins, July 3, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-139A
Track 1 - Interview with Zita Carno, 26 mins, July 3, 1972
CD 24 JAD-2008-0299-139B
Track 2 - Interview with Jimmy Heath, 31 mins, no date
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-140A
Track 1 - Interview with Jimmy Heath, 31 mins, no date
CD 25 JAD-2008-0299-140B
Track 2 - Interview with George "Big George" Russell, 26 mins, Jan. 20, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-141A
Track 1 - Interview with George "Big George" Russell, 24 mins, Jan. 20, 1972
CD 26 JAD-2008-0299-141B
Track 2 - Interview with George "Big George" Russell, 26 mins, Jan. 19, 1972.
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-142A
Track 1 - Interview with George "Big George" Russell, 30 mins, Jan. 19, 1972.
CD 27 JAD-2008-0299-142B
Track 2 - Interview with Jimmy Garrison, 32 mins, Jan. 6, 1973
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-143A
Track 1 - Interview with Jimmy Garrison, 21 mins, April 18, 1972
CD 28 JAD-2008-0299-145A
Track 2 - Interview with Jimmy Garrison, 21 mins, April 18, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-145B
Track 3 - Interview with Rahsaan Roland Kirk (and Ron Burton), 30 mins, no date
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-147A
Track 1 - Interview with Rocky Boyd, 14 mins, no date
CD 29 JAD-2008-0299-147B
Track 2 - Interview with Franklin Brower, 40 mins, July 20, 1972

Partial transcript available in folder.

Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-148A
Track 1 - Interview with Franklin Brower, 43 mins, July 20, 1972

Partial transcript available in folder.

CD 30 JAD-2008-0299-148B
Track 2 - Interview with George Braith, 31 mins, April 23, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-149A
Track 1 - Interview with George Braith, 30 mins, April 23, 1972
CD 31 JAD-2008-0299-149B
Track 2 - Interview with Larry Young (Khalid Yasin), 32 mins, April 15, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-150A
Track 1 - Interview with Larry Young (Khalid Yasin), 31 mins, April 15, 1972
CD 32 JAD-2008-0299-150B
Track 2 - Interview with Jimmy Oliver, 31 mins, Feb. 18, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-151A
Track 3 - Interview with Jimmy Oliver, 12 mins, Feb. 18, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-151B1
Track 1 - Interview with Hasan Abdullah, 9 mins, Feb. 18, 1972
CD 33 JAD-2008-0299-151B2
Track 2 - Interview with Harold Lovette, 15 mins, no date
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-152A
Track 3 - Interview with Archie Shepp, 4 mins, Jan. 29, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-153A1
Track 4 - Interview with Rashied Ali, 27 mins, Jan. 30, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-153A2
Track 1 - Interview with Rashied Ali, 30 mins, Jan. 30, 1972
CD 34 JAD-2008-0299-153B
Track 2 - Interview with George Russell, 42 mins, June 17, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-154A
Track 1 - Interview with Elvin Jones, 39 mins, June 15, 1972
CD 35 JAD-2008-0299-154B
Track 2 - Interview with Cuthbert Simpkins, 2 mins, June 27, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-155A1
Track 3 - Interview with Pandit Ronu Majumdar, 11 mins, June 27, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-155A2
Track 4 - Interview with Art Blakey, 21 mins, June 27, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-155A3
Track 1 - Interview with Harold Lovette, 45 mins, June 2, 1972
CD 36 JAD-2008-0299-155B
Track 2 - Interview with Mrs. Ingram, 9 mins, June 28, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-156A1
Track 3 - Interview with Odean Pope, 5 mins, June 28, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-156A2
Track 4 - Interview with Johnny Coles, 11 mins, June 28, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-156A3
Track 1 - Interview with unidentified subject, 19 mins, June 28, 1972
CD 37 JAD-2008-0299-156A4
Track 2 - Interview with Jymie Merritt, 17 mins, June 30, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-156B
Track 3 - Interview with Michael Babatunde Olatunji, 31 mins, May 31, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-157A
Track 1 - Interview with Reggie Workman, 35 mins, June 23, 1972
CD 38 JAD-2008-0299-157B
Track 2 - Interview with Ornette Coleman, 42 mins, May 20, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-158A
Track 1 - Interview with Ornette Coleman, 15 mins, May 20, 1972
CD 39 JAD-2008-0299-158B
Track 2 - Interview with Ornette Coleman, 15 mins, June 1, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-159A1
Track 3 - Interview with Sonny Rollins, 14 mins, June 1, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-159A2
Track 1 - Interview with Reggie Workman, 44 mins, June 23, 1972
CD 40 JAD-2008-0299-159B
Track 2 - Interview with Rashied Ali, 30 mins, Jan. 30, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-160A
Track 1 - Interview with Rashied Ali, 30 mins, Jan. 30, 1972
CD 41 JAD-2008-0299-160B
Track 2 - Interview with Albert Dailey, 44 mins, May 25, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-161A
Track 1 - Interview with Max Roach, 9 mins, no date
CD 42 JAD-2008-0299-162A
Track 2 - Interview with Art Blakey, 7 mins, June 21, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-162B1
Track 3 - Interview with Sun Ra, 38 mins, June 29, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-162B2
Track 1 - Interview with Max Roach, 44 mins, June 9, 1972
CD 43 JAD-2008-0299-163A
Track 2 - Interview with Max Roach, 5 mins, June 9, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-163B
Track 3 - Interview with Sun Ra, 27 mins, June 29, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-164A
Track 1 - Interview with Sun Ra, 28 mins, June 29, 1972
CD 44 JAD-2008-0299-164B
Track 2 - Interview with Warren McClinton, 30 mins, June 30, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-165A
Track 1 - Interview with Franklin Brower, 45 mins, July 20, 1972
CD 45 JAD-2008-0299-115A
Track 2 - Interview with Franklin Brower, 19 mins, July 20, 1972
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-115B
Track 1 - Interview with Ornette Coleman, 20 mins, July 7, 1972
CD 46 JAD-2008-0299-144A
Track 2 - Interview with Thelonious Monk, 8 mins, no date
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-146A1
Track 3 - Interview with Larry Young (Khalid Yasin), 38 mins, no date
Box 2 JAD-2008-0299-146A2

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.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and our local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.