Story Bibliography
Jazz in Pennsylvania Bibliography
Further Reading

Cummings, Tony. The Sound of Philadelphia. London: Methuen Paperback, 1975.

Cummings, who is British, is very passionate about the popular music that came from Philadelphia. This is a valuable research tool, but as an outsider to Philadelphia and to the United States, Cummings makes many errors in fact and in judgment.

Dahl, Linda. Morning Glory: A Biography of Mary Lou Williams. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2001.

An excellent biography of one of jazz's great performers and composers, based on unprecedented access to the Mary Lou Williams archive.

Dance, Stanley and Earl Hines. The World of Earl Hines. New Rochelle, NY: Da Capo Press, 1983.

One of Dance's excellent oral history-based histories of jazz, it includes a long oral history with Hines himself, and many shorter excerpts of interviews with Hines' sidemen.

Hadju, David. Lush Life: A Biography of Billy Strayhorn. New York: Farrar, Strauss, Giroux, 1996.

A superb biography that strikes a good balance between the man and the music.

Hadlock, Richard. Jazz Masters of the Twenties. New York: Da Capo Press, 1986.

A good look at this early period of jazz.

Hardy, Charles. Philadelphia All the Time: Sounds of the Quaker City, 1896-1947. Rydal, PA: Spinning Disc Productions, 1992..

Audio recording and supplement. This audiocassette and 50-page print supplement documents the first half-century of the American recording industry through a Philadelphia perspective.

Holliday, Billie and William Duffy. Lady Sings the Blues. New York: Penguin Books, 1956.

Presented as Holiday's autobiography, the book is now assumed to have been mainly written by Dufty, a person close to the singer. It has some inaccuracies but is an important book nevertheless.

Kirchner, Bill, ed.. The Oxford Companion to Jazz. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

A terrific reference work, loaded with information.

O'Meally, Robert. Lady Day: The Many Faces of Billie Holiday. New York: Da Capo Press, 1991.

O'Meally is one of the more important African American jazz historians. He has done a good job of collecting information, including superb photographs and wisely does not attempt to make the book exhaustive.

Porter, Lewis. John Coltrane: His Life and Music. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2000.

Based on extraordinary original research and solid musical analysis, this is an outstanding Coltrane biography by an historian who is also a performing musician.

Sanford, Herb. Tommy and Jimmy: The Dorsey Years. New Rochelle, NY: Da Capo Press, 1972.

This entertaining biography of the Dorsey brothers also provides a good picture of the big band era.

Schuller, Gunther. The Swing Era: The Development of Jazz, 1930-1945. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Somewhat dense, but very valuable. Schuller is one of the great resources on twentieth-century music, both jazz and classical.

Simon, George T. and others. The Big Bands. New York: Schirmer Books, 1967.

A drummer for The Glenn Miller Orchestra, Gunther offers insights into the era and is able to place the music into a larger context.

Smith, Eric Ledell. Blacks in Opera: An Encyclopedia of People and Companies, 1873-1993. Jefferson, NC: MacFarland, 1994.

Smith is deeply knowledgeable about Black music in Pennsylvania and about African Americans in classical music.

Ward, Geoffrey. Jazz: A History of America's Music. New York: Knopf, 2000.

A lavishly illustrated history with contributions by leading jazz historians, this book is the print accompaniment to the video documentary series, "Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns."

Web Guide

AfroCentric Voices in Classical Music

A great resource for books and articles about Blacks in classical music.

John Coltrane Web Site

A new site, still evolving, one can listen to Coltrane's music, see photographs and more.

Long Oral History Interview with Mary Lou Williams

A superb interview printed in the British Music Journal "Melody Maker" in 1954.

PBS, "Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns"

This site offers commentaries from dozens of leading musicians and critics, and biographies of jazz greats. It contains useful material for students and teachers and includes valuable audio resources.

The JerryJazz site

A fascinating site which connects jazz to other American art forms–writing and painting. Has very good interviews with contemporary musicians. Includes a section of interviews about John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme", a section on writer Ralph Ellison and an interview with Gary Giddins about his biography of Bing Crosby.

Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

Out of many independent foundations devoted to jazz, this one offers one of the most comprehensive and useful web sites designed for students. It has a particularly strong timeline.

University of Pennsylvania Library, Keffer Collection of Sheet Music, ca. 1790-1895, Francis Johnson

This site contains a strong collection of materials on bandleader Francis Johnson.

Back to Top