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D. Russell Connor collection of Benny Goodman interviews

Call Number: MSS 143

Scope and Contents

The collection is comprised of recorded interviews with and/or about Benny Goodman. The interviews were compiled by D. Russell Connor, who describes the interviews as biographical and candid, as many of the recordings are unedited. Connor included detailed notes describing the content of each tape, which form the basis of the descriptions in this finding aid. Fellow musicians and producers who appear in the interviews include Gene Krupa, Helen Oakley Dance, John Hammond, George Avakian and Martha Tilton.


  • 1952 - 1993


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was purchased from Donald Russell Connor in 1996.


The reels are arranged in the original order in which they were received. Note that "BG" is used for "Benny Goodman" in the description portion of the finding aid.

Related Materials

Researchers may wish to consult the Benny Goodman Papers (MSS 53), also held by the Gilmore Music Library. Within the Goodman Papers are several transcripts of similar interviews conducted for the American Masters PBS series.

Related Materials

A substantial number of D. Russell Connor's reel-to-reel recordings of Benny Goodman's live performances are held by the Institute for Jazz Studies at Rutgers University.


19 Audiotape Reels (reel to reel tapes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The collection is comprised of recorded interviews with and/or about Benny Goodman, compiled by D. Russell Connor.

Biographical / Historical

Donald Russell Connor (1921-2014) was a drummer and jazz enthusiast. Alhough Connor never worked as a musician (he was a banker), he became close friends with performers such as Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa. Connor is known for his published bio-discographies of Benny Goodman: "BG--Off the Record" (1975), "Benny Goodman: Listen to his Legacy" (1988), and "Benny Goodman: Wrappin' it Up" (1996). Connor's published works are among the most comprehensive listings of Benny Goodman's recordings and performances available today.

Guide to the D. Russell Connor collection of Benny Goodman interviews
Finding aid written by Emily DiLeo
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Gilmore Music Library Repository

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