Guide to the Joel Dorn Papers, 1966-1987
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0536
Creators:
Dorn, Joel, 1942-2007
Dates:
1966-1987
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
8 Cubic feet
17 boxes
Repository:
Recording session logs, correspondence, newsclippings, photographs, and accounting sheets and ledger documenting Dorn's career as a producer for Atlantic Records.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The Dorn Papers consist of correspondence, publicity files, and session reports. The correspondence includes letters, memoranda, contracts, lyrics, and demo records/tapes documenting the personal and business interactions between Dorn and the artists. The publicity files include press packets, black and white photos, and newspaper and magazine articles. The session reports include receipts for studio and equipment rental. Also included in the collection are the financial records, accounting ledgers, royalty statements, and bills from Dorn's two production companies, The Masked Announcer and Please and Thank You Music. The papers are arranged alphabetically by either the performers last name or the name of the music group. Oversized materials have been placed at the end of the collection but are listed alphabetically.
The papers document Joel Dorn's career as a producer between 1966 and 1982. During this period his work with several important artists stands out: Roberta Flack, Eddie Harris, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Yusef Lateef, Les McCann, Bette Midler, Charlie Mingus, David "Fathead" Newman, Leon Redbone, and Max Roach.
Of special interest are Dorn's production files for the soundtrack to the film "Boardwalk" and for the play "The Me Nobody Knows". The Best of Series Notes contains song lists and memos regarding several "Best of..." albums, including Rahsaan Roland Kirk, David Newman, and Yusef Lateef. In addition there is the Commodore Series containing information on various compilations of classic artists on the Commodore label, and a catalog of Rahsaan Roland Kirk recordings that survived the Longbranch fire of 1979.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into one series.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Joel Dorn began his career in 1961 as a disc jockey for WHAT FM, a Philadelphia jazz station. His tenure at WHAT FM lasted until 1967 when he joined Atlantic Records as an assistant for Nesuhi Ertegun, one of the founders of Atlantic. Dorn remained at Atlantic until 1974, eventually rising to the position of Vice President His accomplishments at Atlantic included the discovery and signing of Roberta Flack and Bette Midler, and the production of their early recordings. Dorn produced many other records for Atlantic, including recordings from notable artists such as Les McCann, Eddie Harris, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Max Roach, Herbie Mann, Yusef Lateef, and David (Fathead) Newman.
Joel Dorn won four Grammy's while at Atlantic: two
Records Of The Year
for "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and "Killing Me Softly" by Roberta Flack,
Jazz Record Of The Year
for AKeith Jarrett and Gary Burton", and
Best Original Cast Album
for "The Me Nobody Knows." Dorn left Atlantic Records in 1974 and continued to produce recordings through his two production companies, The Masked Announcer and Please And Thank You Music. Over the next eight years Dorn produced recordings for Leon Redbone, Peter Allen, and the group Asleep At The Wheel. During this period Dorn was awarded
Best Country and Western Instrumental
for, "One O'clock Jump" by Asleep At The Wheel and two Gold albums for his Leon Redbone recordings.
In 1982 Dorn took a two-year sabbatical from the recording industry. After this sabbatical he briefly promoted music for the World Wrestling Federation. In 1986 Dorn began work on a compilation of unreleased live recordings from various American musicians. In 1989 he established Night Records, a label dedicated to live jazz, and released albums by Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Les McCann, and Eddie Harris. Dorn is currently a full time consultant for Rhino Records, and has been working on re-releasing the classic Atlantic Records jazz catalog. Dorn's other recent projects include: a seven CD history of John Coltrane's Atlantic years and a series devoted to Coltrane's live European performances, a series of five CD's and five videos from the Montreux Jazz Festival archives, a three CD history of classic performances at the Newport Jazz Festival, a four CD history of Ella Fitzgerald's Decca years, a new album by Charles Lloyd ,an album by Cuban guitarist Rene Toledo, and releases of rare performances by Horace Silver with Joe Henderson, and Mose Allison.

Administration
Processing Information
Noah Wester and Scott Schwartz
November 6, 1996
Revised January 18, 2001
Author
Noah Wester and Scott Schwartz
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Mr. Joel Dorn, Gift, 9/8/1995.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Joel Dorn Papers, 1967-1982, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Other Finding Aids
Other Finding Aids
Inventory available.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Music -- Publishing Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Music -- 20th century Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jazz musicians -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jazz musicians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African American musicians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Account books -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Musicians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Musicians -- Salaries, etc Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1950-2000 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence -- 1930-1950 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Atlantic Records. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives