Graham W. Jackson papers
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Graham W. Jackson papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA 30305. 404.814.4040. reference@atlantahistorycenter.com
Creator: Jackson, Graham W., 1903-1982
Title: Graham W. Jackson papers
Dates: 1923-1983, undated
Quantity: 6.75 Linear ft. (seven document cases, one record center box, two oversize boxes, and six reel-to-reels)
Identification: ahc.MSS526

Biographical/Historical Note

Graham Washington Jackson (22 February 1903- 15 January 1983) was born in Portsmouth, Virginia, and began his musical career at age seven accompanying silent movies. He played piano, organ, accordion, and led singing groups. Jackson attended Morehouse College, Chicago Musical College, Hampton Institute, Loyola (Chicago) University, and Atlanta University. He was a music teacher, an orchestra leader, and a radio station organist at WERD. In 1924 he moved to Atlanta, Georgia as leader of a musical group, the Seminole Syncopators. He later became the orchestra leader and pianist for Bailey's 81 Theater on Auburn Avenue. In 1928, Jackson began teaching at Booker T. Washington High School, where he remained until 1940. Jackson married Helen Balton of Birmingham, Alabama, in 1953 and had two sons, Graham Jackson, Jr. and Gerald Wayne Jackson.

In 1933, Jackson first met and performed for President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the Little White House in Warm Springs, Georgia. In 1942, he enlisted in the United States Navy where he was assigned to recruitment and entertainment duties. The U.S. Treasury Department commended him for bond sales totaling more than $2 million. Jackson obtained worldwide recognition following the publication of the April 17, 1945 issue of Life magazine which published a photograph taken by Ed Clark. The image of him playing Going Home on his accordion for President Roosevelt's funeral procession, as it left Warm Springs, became one of the most remembered images surrounding President Roosevelt's death. Graham Jackson built a home in Atlanta modeled after Franklin Roosevelt's Little White House in Warm Springs. The original address was 60 Abbott Street, Atlanta, Georgia, but Jackson had the name of the road changed to White House Drive.

Graham Jackson played for five other U.S. presidents: Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Jimmy Carter. In 1969, Georgia Governor Lester Maddox, a well-known segregationist, appointed Jackson to the State Board of Corrections. He was the first African American to hold such an office in Georgia since Reconstruction. Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter named Jackson the state's official musician on November 30, 1971. Graham Jackson appeared on Ed Sullivan's Toast of the Town and Dave Garroway's Today Show. In 1985, Jackson was inducted posthumously into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.


Scope and Content Note

This collection contains materials pertaining to the musical career of Graham Washington Jackson, including advertisements, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, correspondence, musician contact records, a recital program, and a certificate for the WSBeaver Award from WSB Radio. In addition, this collection includes some of Jackson’s personal papers, such as his driver’s license, some postcards, birth announcements, business and membership cards, and event programs.


Index Terms

African American musicians--Georgia--Atlanta
African Americans--Georgia--Atlanta
American Negro Music Festival.
Comedy
Georgia. State Board of Corrections.
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.
Maddox, Lester, 1915-2003
Music--Georgia--Atlanta
Musicians--Georgia--Atlanta
Navy League of the United States.
Pittypat's Porch (Atlanta, Ga.).
Rockefeller, Winthrop, 1912-1973
Roosevelt Warm Springs Foundation.
Roosevelt, Franklin D., (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945
WERD (Radio station : Atlanta, Ga.).

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements note

Audio recordings were made on 1/4" reel-to-reels and can be made accessible only through conversion to digital surrogates. Patrons who request access to the audio content in this collection are responsible for digital conversion costs.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Graham W. Jackson papers, MSS 526, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1983


Restrictions

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscipts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.


Related Material

Graham Jackson photographs, VIS 34, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.


Container List

 

Box

Fldr

111920s
 
21930s
 
31940
 
41941
 
51942
 
61943
 
71944
 
81945
 
91946
 
101947
 
111948
 
121949
 
131950
 
141951
 
151952
 
161953
 
171954
 
181955
 
191956
 
201957
 
211958
 
221959
 

Box

Fldr

211960
 
21961
 
31962
 
41963
 
51964
 
61965
 
71966
 
81967
 
91968
 
101969
 

Box

Fldr

311970
 
21971
 
31972
 
41973
 
51974
 
61975
 
71976
 
81977
 
91978
 
101979
 
111980-1981
 
121982-1983
 
13Undated correspondence and greeting cards
 
14Undated clippings
 

Box

Fldr

41Ads and PR
 
2GWJ ads, PR
 
3Lyrics
 
4Sheet music
 
5Comedy material
 
6Programs and scripts
 
7Music catalogs
 
8American Negro Music Festival
 

Box

Fldr

51Biographical data
 
2Marriage and divorce documents
 
3GWJ, Jr. and Gerald
 
4Board of Corrections, clippings
 
5Board of Corrections, reports
 
6Board of Corrections, correspondence
 
7Roosevelt family, correspondence
 
8Warm Springs Memorial Commission, correspondence
 
9Winthrop Rockefeller
 
10Roosevelt and Warm Springs, miscellaneous
 
11Autographs
 

Box

Fldr

61Poem and poetry books
 
2Central Detective Agency
 
3Menaboni Christmas cards from Robert Woodruff
 
4Kennel Club and humane society papers
 
5Picture postcards, unused
 
6Navy League
 
7United States Navy
 
8Kappa Alpha Psi
 
9Westminster School
 
10Inglis House and Overbrook School
 
11Menus
 
12Clippings, miscellaneous
 
13Miscellaneous, undated
 

Box

Fldr

71Autographs
 
2Pamphlet, New York World's Fair
 
3Program, A. M. Byers Company, 1943
 
4Philately
 
5Publication, Center of Light
 
6Publications
 
7Periodicals
 
8Certificates and diplomas
 

Box

8Twenty-five autograph, guest, and diary books; business cards; American Cancer Society plaque
 

Box

MSS OS box 1.88Advertising ephemera, diplomas, and certificates
 

Box

MSS OS box 4.150Song requests and business cards
 

Location

AV-MSS 337.001.001Reel-to-reel: Christmas Choral music by Graham Jackson, 1962
 

Location

AV-MSS 337.002.001Reel-to-reel: Drexel Catholic High School Annual Spring Concert, 1965
 

Location

AV-MSS 337.003.001Reel-to-reel: Graham Jackson final Ball, Darlington School, 1960
 

Location

AV-MSS 337.004.001Reel-to-reel: St. Paul of the Cross Choir, Midnight Mass, 1962
 

Location

AV-MSS 337.005.001Reel-to-reel: 1st Glee Club Program, undated
 

Location

AV-MSS 337.006.001Reel-to-reel: St. Paul of the Cross Baptism and High Mass, Graham Jr., 1962