Scope and Contents
The collection is comprised of photographs, correspondence, certificates, magazines and scrapbooks of newspaper clippings dating from 1947-1980. The materials document Adams's career in radio and film, as well as touching upon his military experience with the Tuskegee Airmen. Various documents and newspaper features depict Adams's relationship with a multitude of local and national celebrities; of particular note is the long list of musicians represented, such as Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra. Public figures, including several former mayors of Los Angeles and members of law enforcement, also appear.
The collection also includes magazines featuring articles on Adams and other celebrities and public figures. Adams appears in many advertisements for a variety of products that sponsored his radio shows. There are photographs, programs and advertisements for the movies, shows and plays in which Joe Adams appeared, including Disc Jockey and Carmen Jones. There is correspondence from public relations employees during the Ray Charles tour and from other radio personalities and journalists. There are also several certificates given in appreciation for Adams's community service. Newspaper articles and photographs feature "Joe Adams Day," declared by the mayor of Los Angeles, and document Adams's overseas USO tour to entertain the men and women of the Armed Forces, which was also broadcasted on Armed Forces Radio.
Series 1, Photographs, circa 1947-1980; undated, documents Joe Adams's personal and professional life. The photographs are arranged by subject, including Adams's work in radio and film, his public appearances, celebrities, Joe Adams Day, his work with the military and his later years. There is some overlap among the subject categories. The majority of the photographs cannot be dated. Featured programs, places, organizations and celebrities include the 7th United States Infantry Division, Emma Adams, Jim Ameche, Armed Forces Radio, Milton Berle, Eugene Biscailuz, Ruth Bowen, Fletcher Bowron, Tom Bradley, Tommy Butler, California Artichoke Foundation, Ray Charles, Nat King Cole, Paul Compton, Billy Daniels, Disc Jockey, the movie, Egyptian Shriners, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Suzette Gomez, Amos Green, Lionel Hampton, Eddie Harbin, Shirley Haven, Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association, Lena Horne, Jamaica, the Broadway play, Joe Adams Day, Danny Kaye, KDAY radio, Korea, KOWL Radio, Joe Lewis, Julie London, Nellie Lutcher, Will Martin, Clarence Metcalf, Husky Miller, MGM Studios, Roy Milton, David "Fathead" Newman, One Night Stand radio program, Pantages Nightclub, Pigalle Nightclub, Pub of Pittsburg, Pa., Lillian Randolph, Willis Reed, "Sugar Ray" Robinson, Kenny Rogers, Timmie Rogers, Ruth Bowen Agency, Wylie "Captain Death" Seldon Jr., Lionel "Chico" Sesma, George "Geo" Shearing, Frank Sinatra, "Star of Stars" Charity Show, Barry Sullivan, The Trenier Twins, The Tuskegee Airmen, USO, Viscount Airlines, Ches Washington, Dinah Washington, and Ben Webster.
Series 2, Scrapbooks, circa 1947-1954; undated, consists of newspaper articles, photographs, advertisements, and playbills. The scrapbooks document Adams's start in radio, his permanent appointment to KOWL, his service in the military and the inner-city community, his unique perspective and his philanthropy. They contain newspaper advertisements for Adams's radio shows on KOWL and the Armed Forces Radio Broadcasts. The scrapbooks include advertisements for his television shows as well as events and benefits where Adams was the featured emcee. Ink drawings of Adams used to advertise various products also appear in the newspaper articles. There are news stories on Joe Adams Day, a bus accident involving Lionel Hampton, the release of Ray Charles's song "Georgia" (1979), and advertisements for the movies Carmen Jones and The Manchurian Candidate. Numerous photographs document Adams's broadcasts and musical performances domestically and abroad as well as his interactions with many celebrities in the musical world. Aside from some newspaper clippings that include the date of publication, the contents of the scrapbooks are not dated. Featured programs, places, organizations and figures include Emma Adams, Ira Adams, Don Allen, Armed Forces Radio, Pearl Bailey, George A. Baron, Count Basie, Harry Belafonte, Irvin Berman, Eugene Biscailuz, Manny Borun, Fletcher Bowron, Charley Browning, Carmen Jones, the movie, Ray Charles, Club de Lisa, Arthur Croghan, Clay Cunningham, Dorothy Dandridge, Sammy Davis Jr., Warren Dorn, Billy Eckstine, Egyptian Shriners, Bob Ellis, Kay Francis, Robert D. Funk, Georgia (by Ray Charles), Lee Gillette, Golden Grooves radio show, Curley Hamner, Lionel Hampton, Hunter Hancock, Addie Hansen, Leon Helflin, Billie Holiday, H. Claude Hudson, Jamaica, the Broadway play, Al Jarvis, Herb Jeffries, Joe Adams Day, Leon King, KOWL Radio, June Kristy, Chuck Landis, Mauri Lyn, The Manchurian Candidate, MGM Studios, Husky Miller, Lucky Millinder, Tim Moor, Otto Preminger, Paul Price, Lillian Randolph, Leonard J. Roach, Caesar Romero, Nina Russell, Lionel "Chico" Sesma, Jerry Simons, Mike Thompson, Sonny Tufts, Sarah Vaughan, T-Bone Walker, Dinah Washington, Leon H. Washington Jr. and Artie Wayne.
Series 3, Other Materials, 1948-1980; undated, includes magazines, correspondence, certificates and newspaper articles. The magazine cover stories are dedicated to fashion or to public figures such as John F. Kennedy, but they each contain a feature on Joe Adams and his involvement in the broadcast industry and the jazz music scene. There are fashion photographic spreads using musical stars that Adams knew well such as Nat King Cole. Two certificates thank Adams for community service to the Hollywood Canteen and the Hollywood Junior Chamber of Commerce (the "Out of this World series" celebrity baseball game). The correspondence is from other members of the broadcasting industry and pertains to matters in and outside of the business realm. The series also contains publicity concerning Ray Charles's tour through South Africa and the story of how Adams came to be his manager. Aside from magazines and newspaper clippings where the date of publication is featured, the majority of these materials are not dated. Featured programs, places, organizations and figures include Ami Artzi, Eddie Chamblee, Ray Charles, The Ray Charles Band, Nat King Cole, Madi Comfort, The Cotton Club, Arthur Croghan, Hilary Falkow, Roberta Flack, Joe Greene, Hollywood Canteen, Hollywood Junior Chamber of Commerce, Lena Horne, Charlotte Moton Hubbard, Karen Hutchinson, Jamaica, the Broadway play, Lyndon B. Johnson, James Earl Jones, Danny Kaye, John F. Kennedy, Lew Lauria, Robert Lewis, Sonny Liston, Paul R. McClure, Ricardo Montalban, Willa Moultrie, Lee Harvey Oswald, Breau Palmer, and Jack Ruby.