Scope and Contents
The collection documents the life and career of Ramsey Lewis Jr., famous jazz pianist, and later, host of a popular syndicated radio talk show. Though the majority of the collection consists of press clippings relating to Lewis's social appearances, performances, and CD releases from the early 1990s to the present, it also includes photographs from his early life and career, as well as selected correspondence tied heavily to events mentioned in the press clippings and a very small amount of personal materials. The collection contains programs and menus from social and fundraising galas, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, photographs, slides, awards, honorary degrees and diplomas, and a medal. Those interested in Ramsey Lewis, as well as the social scene of Chicago in the 1990s, will find this collection useful.
Series 1, Press Clippings and Career Ephemera, 1950-2007; undated, includes event programs, fliers, mailings, newspaper and magazine articles, and other publicity materials relating to events or jobs (such as his radio show or the PBS television series Legends of Jazz). There is a small amount of sheet music for the theme song to the Legends of Jazz, PBS miniseries. A very small amount of correspondence closely tied to a specific event or media article is also included among these materials. Personal materials include a birthday card from Lewis's sister and a church program about his father, Ramsey Lewis Sr. The materials are arranged in chronological order. Materials from the 1980s are an addendum to the collection and are located in box eight.
Series 2, Awards, Honors, and Honorary Degrees, 1993-2000, presented to Ramsey Lewis from the early 1990s to the present are found among these materials. The materials are arranged first by type and then in alphabetical order.
Series 3, Photographic Materials, 1945-2007; undated, includes photographs, slides, and reproductions of photographic prints of Lewis's life and career, mostly from the early 1990s to the present, with some from his childhood and earlier life. There are a number of images of Lewis with actors and musicians including Sidney Poitier, Jerry Lewis, Stevie Wonder, Nat King Cole, Nancy Wilson and Billy Taylor. Photographs of Lewis's performances, social events, award and fundraising galas are also included among the materials. The materials are arranged in chronological order to the extent possible; many are undated.
Subseries 4, Scrapbooks, 1972-1982; undated, consists of two albums including news clippings, advertisements, announcements, programs, articles and reviews, and other ephemera related to Lewis's performances and career. The scrapbooks are arranged in chronological order.