Scope and Contents
This collection documents the later life and career of jazz violinist Claude "Fiddler" Williams. Materials include correspondence, photographs, unpublished writings, awards, business records, financial records, programs and a few music manuscripts. There is one scrapbook and several audio recordings. There are also an autographed poster from 1997 honoring five inductees to the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, including Claude Williams, Merle Haggard, Patti Page, Woody Guthrie and Eddie Burris. While there are some materials from Williams's youth, the vast majority of the collection dates from 1970. Williams's second wife, Blanche Y. Fouse-Williams, was vigilant about saving his papers. She also managed his career for the last few years of his life. This accounts for the increased volume of materials documenting his later years. Materials generally are arranged in chronological order within series and subseries.
Series 1, Business Records, 1973-2005, undated, is divided into seven subseries and includes business records, information relating to tours and performances, awards and certificates, business and personal correspondence, financial papers, articles and newspaper clippings, and biographical information.
Subseries 1, Events, 1977-2004, undated, includes contracts, copies of newspaper clippings, performance programs, brochures, ticket stubs, travel itineraries, travel receipts, correspondence, materials regarding his work as a fiddle teacher, advertisements for performances, a certificate of recognition, and napkins saved from a Washington Education Television Association (WETA) performance at the White House in 1998. Materials are arranged in chronological order.
Subseries 2, Itineraries, 1990-2001, includes lists and correspondence detailing locations, musicians, travel and lodging plans, and financial compensation for William's performances. Materials are arranged in chronological order.
Subseries 3, Awards and Certificates, 1978-2002, contains awards and certificates of appreciation from the Steamboat Delta Queen, Annual Black Musicians Conference, Kansas City Chapter of the International Association of Jazz Record Collectors, and the Manhattan School of Music, as well as an invitation to a reception honoring Kansas City Jazz musicians from the Consul General of Japan. Materials are arranged in chronological order.
Subseries 4, Correspondence, 1975-2004, consists of information relating to travel arrangements, tours, remuneration, music recordings, press kits, contracts, public television performances, involvement with the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well as Williams's Smithsonian Folkways recording. Materials are arranged in chronological order.
Subseries 5, Financial Papers, 1990-2005, includes information about travel and payment, hotel bills and receipts, invoices for performances, music recordings sales, royalty statements and copies of checks. Materials are arranged in chronological order.
Subseries 6, Press, 1973--005, undated, includes magazines, newspaper clippings and articles, about Williams's performances and music, appearances and jazz festivals, as well as the Kansas City Jazz scene. Magazine titles include
Kansas City Magazine
The Masters Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program
Jazz Ambassador Magazine
Kansas City Ambassador to Jazz
The Mississippi Rag
. Materials are arranged by type and then in chronological order.
Subseries 7, Music, 1989-1995, undated, contains thirteen audio tape recordings, one CD, sheet music and set lists of music performed by Williams. There is an audio recording of
Black and Blue: A Musical Revue
, a Folk Master performance at Carnegie Hall. Williams's work with James Chirillo, an appearance on
, as well as recordings of live and studio performances are also included among these materials. There is a copy of Williams's CD
Swingtime in New York
and an interview from1992. Materials are arranged in chronological order.
Series 2, Personal Papers, 1978--005, undated, is divided into two subseries and contains letters, cards, postcards, invitations, copies of email, and requests for information and interviews. Most of the correspondence was addressed to Williams but there are materials that were sent to Blanche Williams. The correspondence is generally from fans, friends and family.
Subseries 1, Correspondence, 1978-2005, undated, consists of birthday cards from school age children, postcards, copies of newspaper clippings, White House and other government correspondence, congratulations or birthday wishes, as well as personal correspondence from friends inquiring about Williams's health and well-being. Also included is a draft for a chapter in a book on Claude Williams's contributions to jazz. Requests relating to research about Williams are also included. Materials are arranged in chronological order. Materials are arranged first by type followed by general correspondence in chronological order.
Subseries 2, Miscellaneous, undated, contains ephemera, autographs, affiliates list, well-wishes to Blanche Williams, a funeral program, mailing lists, lists of affiliated organizations, and a Count Bassie autograph.
Series 3, Photographs, 1977-2004, undated, includes personal and professional photographic prints and negatives of Williams. Subjects include performances and festivals, headshots and publicity, images of other musicians, family, friends, and posters with photographs created for his funeral. The majority of these photographs are of performances. Materials are arranged by subject.