Jonas Bernholm Rhythm and Blues Collection

Collection ID:
Bernholm, Jonas, 1946-
Collection is in
. Some materials in
Physical Description:
8 Cubic feet
Collection documents Jonas Bernholm's interest and work promoting African American Music, specifically rhythm and blues.

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
Series 1: Correspondence, 1972-1994, undated
This series is divided into four subseries: Subseries 1.1 (Artists), Subseries 1.2 (Collaborators), Subseries 1.3 (Douglas Seroff), and Subseries 1.4 (Record Companies). Subseries 1.1 (1972-1993) consists mostly of correspondence exchanged between Bernholm and recording artists, as well as letters about the artists from their agents, family members, etc. Other types of materials included in this subseries are: copies of newspaper clippings, death certificates, contracts, and receipts. This subseries is, mostly, in alphabetical order by the artist's last name. Subseries 1.2 (1978-1985) is largely a collection of letters between Bernholm and those helping him create his albums. Topics include: photos, financial transactions and technical information about creating an album. Bills and receipts are also found in the subseries. Two folders deal specifically with correspondence Bernholm exchanged between Felix Prochaska and Lou Doggett. Subseries 1.3 (1979-1986) documents the correspondence between Bernholm and independent music scholar, music producer and businessman Douglas Seroff. It includes an exchange of letters regarding the start of a new record label for gospel music and the creation and reissue of gospel LPs. It also includes auction results, bills, postage labels, and information on a 1985 Grammy nomination. Subseries 1.4 (1977-1990) consists of correspondence between Bernholm and such recording companies as Clanka Lanka, Rounder Records, Big J Records, Blues King Records, Bogus Records, J.D. Productions, Fleetville Records, La Val Records and Relic Records. Also included are contracts/agreements, statements, artist promotion, as well as information on taping sessions and royalties.
Series 2: Promotional/Publicity Materials, 1971-1991, undated
This series is divided into two subseries: Subseries A (Promotion and Collaborator Correspondence) and Subseries 2.2 (Fan Club Materials). Subseries 2.1 (1976-1991) consists mostly of correspondence about artist or album promotion; including published articles, photographs, and information about concerts, tours, and radio stations throughout the US and Europe. Subseries B contains artist biographies, newsletters, promotional material, and information regarding contemporary artist-related events from record companies, talent agencies and official fan clubs.
Series 3: Research Materials, undated
This series is divided into four subseries: Subseries 3.1 (Artists), Subseries 3.2 (Record Company), Subseries 3.3 (Ray Funk), and Subseries 3.4 (Record Labels). Subseries A is composed of album liner notes for individual artists, as well as photocopies of magazine/newspaper articles that detail biography and album information for several artists. Other information includes correspondence about artists, and album song listings. Subseries 3.2 is an alphabetical listing, by record company name, of their discographies. Subseries C includes music related articles and correspondence from and by Alaskan writer, music aficionado and radio host Ray Funk. Copies of artist photos from Norbert Hess are also available. Subseries 3.4 contains listings of songs from specific artists and the labels they can be found on.
Series 4: Production Materials, undated
This series is composed of production notes used in the assembly of albums. This includes artist biographies and discographies, as well as song listings for specific albums. This subseries is organized alphabetically by artist.

Series 1, Correspondence, 1972-1994, undated
Series 2, Promotional/Publicity Materials, 1965-1991, undated
Series 3, Research Materials, undated
Series 4, Production Materials, undated

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Jonas Bernholm (1946-) is a music executive, and African-American music aficionado from Sweden. He is best known for reissuing works of jazz, blues, and R&B artists on his own labels; the most well-recognized being Route 66, and Mr. R&B. His passion was ignited by the energy and charisma seen in the likes of Elvis Presley and Little Richard. He began collecting music from abroad and eventually visited the United States during the summer of 1968. During his trip Bernholm realized that many recording artists from the 40s and 50s were out of work and their music was no longer in circulation. Upon his return to Sweden he resolved to reissue the work of many artists on his own labels. His labels included: Route 66, MR R&B, Jukebox Lil, Whiskey Women, Earth Angel , Dr. Horse, Crown Prince, Gospel Jubilee, and Blues Boy.

Processing Information
Processed by Rob Harding May, 1996; revised by Adrienne Cain, intern, 2006; supervised by Alison Oswald, archivist.
Rob Harding
Immediate Source of Acquisiton
Collection donated by Jonas Bernholm, 1996.

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
Collection is open for research and access on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Preferred Citation
Jonas Bernholm Rhythm and Blues Collection, 1976-1991, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
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.

Related Materials
The Division of Music, Sports and Entertainment holds artifacts related to this collection including: posters and sound recordings. See Accession #1996.0153.

Custodial History
Custodial History
The Museum purchased a very large collection of recordings, posters, photographs and other reference materials from Bernholm in 1996. Correspondence and research files transferred to the Archives Center from the Division of Music, Sports and Entertainment (now Division of Cultural and Community Life) in 2002.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Articles -- 1950-2000 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Blues musicians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African American music -- 20th century Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African American musicians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Notes Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Popular music -- Publishing and writing Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence -- 1970-2000 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Newsletters -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Press releases Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rhythm and blues music Topic 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