MS 735 - "Wild" Bill Davison Collection - MS 735
|Title||MS 735 - "Wild" Bill Davison Collection - MS 735|
|Subject||Arts & Entertainment|
The "Wild" Bill Davison Collection documents the life of a jazz cornetist. The collection focuses on his public and private life between 1906 through 1989. The collection consists of over 30 linear feet of correspondence, magazines, news clippings, photographs, posters, art work, and books.
The collection was donated by Anne Davison on March 10, 1995. Recordings and selected books and sheet music are housed in the Music Library and Sound Recording Archives, Bowling Green State University. The main collection is housed at the Center for Archival Collections. The collection is open to the public and duplication is permitted for research purposes. The collection was processed by Jennifer Hults, graduate assistant. The finding aid was completed in January 1997.
William Edward Davison was born on January 5, 1906, in Defiance, Ohio. From an early age he was interested in playing music. By the age of 15 he left Defiance and moved to Cincinnati, then Chicago, and finally New York City. William Edward Davison, known affectionately as "Wild" Bill, recorded his first album in 1925, at the age of 19. "Wild" Bill was known for his casual, but hot, Chicago-style jazz. Though accomplished on several instruments he is most famous for playing the cornet.
During the mid-1940's, "Wild" Bill was drafted into the army. While in the army he played in a touring Dixieland band. He received an honorable discharge in 1945 and was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, much to the amusement of his friends. After he was discharged, "Wild" Bill spent a successful dozen years playing in Eddie Condon's band and touring with them throughout the United States and Europe.
In 1954, "Wild" Bill met his fifth and last wife, Anne Stewart. Anne, a former actress under contract with 20th Century-Fox, became not only "Wild" Bill's wife but also his manager. During the last twenty years of his life "Wild" Bill concentrated on playing jazz in Europe and Asia. He and Anne spent several years living in Denmark and Japan. In Europe and Asia, "Wild" Bill found more success and appreciation than in the United States. "Wild" Bill Davison died on November 14, 1989, at the age of 83.
|Scope and Content|
The "Wild" Bill Davison Collection is comprised of correspondence, photos of "Wild" Bill with friends and jazz artists, foreign and domestic publications, contracts, sheet music, concert itineraries, awards, foreign and domestic news clippings, and art work. Each series in this collection is extensive, the largest series being the correspondence, sheet music, photos, and news clippings.
The correspondence covers a span of sixty years. This series consists of letters from friends, business associates, and fans to "Wild" Bill and Anne. There are also copies of letters sent from Anne Davison regarding "Wild" Bill.
The foreign and domestic news clippings are also an important series in this collection. These news clippings range from the 1940's through the year of his death, 1989, and well into the 1990's. The news clippings cover "Wild" Bill and Anne's private and public life. This series has extensive information on his career and life and is an integral part of this collection.
The photographs are largely identified although many are not dated. The photographs depict "Wild" Bill on his tours, as he is performing with various musicians and dignitaries, and with his family.
The sheet music may be of interest to musicians as many contain "Wild" Bill's notations. Contracts, dating 1950-1989, document the business aspect of a performer's life. Programs, posters, certificates, and awards complete this collection and highlight "Wild" Bill's popularity and abilities as a jazz cornetist.
The "Wild" Bill Davison Collection is an excellent source for any researcher or fan interested in researching his life and work. This collection is also a great resource for any researcher attempting to document the evolution of jazz in the 20th century in the United States, Europe, and/or Asia.
CORRESPONDENCE - OUTGOING
CORRESPONDENCE - INCOMING
LITERARY PRODUCTIONS - Boxes 5, 7-9
SCRAPBOOKS AND SCRAPBOOK MATERIALS - Boxes 10-12
FOREIGN NEWS CLIPPINGS
DOMESTIC NEWS CLIPPINGS
PRINTED MATERIALS - Boxes 14-23
PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIAL - Boxes 24-29
BADGES AND BUTTONS
TROPHIES AND PLAQUES
Posters and portraits.
Box 2 Correspondence to Bill and Anne Davison
Box 3: Correspondence to Bill and Anne Davison
Box 4: Correspondence to Bill and Anne Davison
Box 5: Correspondence, Literary Productions
Box 7: Printed Material (Sheet Music)
Box 8: Printed Material (Sheet Music)
Box 9: Printed Material (Sheet Music)
Box 11: Scrapbook Material (Newspaper Clippings)
Box 12: Scrapbook Material (Domestic Newspaper Clippings)
Box 13: Scrapbook Material (Domestic Newspaper Clippings)
Box 15: Printed Material (Magazines)
Box 16: Printed Material (Magazines)
Box 17: Printed Material (Concert Programs)
Box 18: Printed Material (Concert Programs)
Box 19: Printed Material (Concert Programs)
Box 20: Printed Material (Concert Programs)
Box 21: Printed Material (Concert Programs)
Box 22: Printed Material (Concert Programs)
Box 23 Printed MaterialPosters
Box 26Photographs(various dates)
Box 27Photographs(various dates)
Box 31: Artifacts
Box 32: Artifacts
Box 33: Artifacts
Box 34: Artifacts
Box 35: Artifacts
Box 36: Artifacts
Box 37: Artifacts
Box 38: Artifacts
Box 39: Artifacts
Box 40: Artifacts
Box 41: Artifacts
Box 42: Artifacts