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Popular Music & Culture Collection

The Popular Music and Culture Collection, within the Georgia State University Special Collections and Archives, collects and preserves unique and rare historical materials documenting twentieth-century American Popular Music and Culture.

Highlights of the collection include Johnny Mercer and music of his era; early country, bluegrass and Southern gospel music; WSB and radio broadcasting in Georgia; and Popular Culture Literature. Additionally, the collection contains more than 14,000 pieces of published sheet music, Tune-Dex cards, and arrangements by American songwriters, as well as 50,000 recordings from a variety of genres.

Music | Radio Broadcasting | Popular Culture
Johnny Mercer Collection | Sheet Music Database
Billboard and Variety Magazine Country Music Index

A portion of the photographs and select publications are accessible in the
Popular Music and Broadcasting collections within the GSU Digital Collections.


Bobby Atcheson Papers, ca. 1932-1973 (bulk 1940s-1953) Materials related to the fiddler/vocalist who performed on WSB, WATL, and in numerous country acts. (M040)

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Records (M233) Materials related to the founding, operation, and governance of the orchestra.  [contact the archivist for more information]

Anne Bolton Collection Photographs and press releases related to the Central Alabama Music Park. (M208)

Lou Busch Scores Collection, ca. 1950-1966 Scores and arrangements of original compositions, classical pieces, jazz standards, popular songs, and novelty tunes written by others. (M215)

Cotton Carrier Papers, ca. 1940-1950; 1984 Handbills, photographs, and other items documenting his career as a musician, broadcaster, and promoter. (M029)

Billy Carrier Papers, ca. 1935-ca. 1957 Photographs, datebook, and scrapbook from the guitarist of the Swanee River Boys. (M032)

Grady and Hazel Cole Papers, 1930s-1976 Materials of the musical family who appeared on WGST and WNOX. (M050)

Curley Collins Collection, 1928-2002 Ephemera documenting the career of the multi-instrumentalist country musician. (M190)

Alex Cooley Collection, 1969-1976; 1978 Administrative information and promotional materials for festivals and concerts in the Atlanta area and Puerto Rico. (M207)

Wayne Daniel Collection, 1891-2008 Documents, photographs, oral histories, and audio-visual materials collected by the author of Pickin’ on Peachtree: A History of Country Music in Atlanta, Georgia. (M108)

Tex Forman Papers, 1939 – 1984 (bulk 1939-1940s) Songbooks, handbills, and photographs highlighting the career of the country music guitarist. (M037)

Jack Holden Papers, ca. 1939-ca. 1976 Materials related to his career as part of the Holden Brothers on WATL and later with wife Frances Kay. (M041)

Jazz and Swing Foundation Records, 1986-1988 Files of a non-profit organization founded to collect and preserve jazz and swing sound recordings and information about musicians. (M069)

Emma Kelly Collection, ca. 1900-2001 (bulk 1980-1999) Materials and artifacts relating to both her personal history and her professional career as a musician. (M183)

Don Kennedy Papers, 1956-2013 Materials pertaining to the Big Band Jump radio program, Officer Don, WKLS, Georgia Network, and WATL-TV. (M223)

Harpo Kidwell Papers, 1937-1978 Print materials and photographs of harmonica player active in Atlanta’s early country music scene and WSB Radio’s “Cross Roads Follies.” (M033)

Chick Kimball Papers, ca. 1942-ca. 1949 Materials of the producer and promoter of WSB Radio’s “Barn Dance.” (M051)

Florence Kopleff Papers, 1900-2012 (bulk 1932-1973) Documentation of the contralto’s professional life as a performer, vocal teacher, and associate of Robert Shaw. (M224)

David Lennox Concert Recordings Collection, 1968-2001 Audio and video recordings of rock music performances, primarily by the Grateful Dead. (M203)

Bill Lowery Music Group Records (M222) [contact the archivist for more information]

Clayton McMichen Papers, 1944-1984 Papers documenting the career of the Skillet Lickers and Georgia Wildcats fiddle player. (M059)

Ruel Parker Papers, ca. 1950s-1986 Biographical information, news clippings, and photographs of the country music multi-instrumentalist. (M057)

Ivey Peterson Papers, 1930s-1963 Printed materials and photographs of this WSB Radio “Barn Dance” performer and co-owner of The Covered Wagon nightspot. (M044)

Hoyt Pruitt Papers, 1940s-1960s News clippings and photographs relating to Mr. Pruitt’s career in Atlanta’s country music radio scene. (M042)

Riley Puckett Collection, ca. 1920s-1946 Biography and photographs of this vocalist, guitarist and banjo player who performed on Atlanta radio and in numerous country groups. (M047)

Katherine Smith Collection on Claude Davis, ca. 1928-ca. 1940s (bulk 1930s) Materials of a member of the Carolina Tarheels. (M106)

Doug Spivey Papers, ca. 1930s-ca. 1940s News clippings, photographs, and handbills related to the guitarist/vocalist of the Pine Ridge Boys. (M043)

Eddie Wallace Papers, 1940-1983 Photographs and printed materials of the founding member of The Sunshine Boys. (M054)

Margaret Whiting Collection Scrapbooks, photographs, news clippings, and audio-visual materials of prominent vocalist of the Great American Songbook. (M064)

Richard A. Whiting Collection, 1896-2006 (bulk 1950-2006) Documents the life and career of the composer with correspondence, photographs, periodicals and sheet music. (M209)

Gene Wiggins Photograph Collection, 1910s-1970s 34 photographs pertaining to the history of country music. (M056)

Boots Woodall Papers, 1940s-1960s Photographs that document the career of this country music guitarist. (M039)

Music Printed Collection: Periodicals, 1932-Present Collection of serial publications about popular music, rock, jazz, country, bluegrass and gospel genres of music, radio broadcasting, and related music industries.

Music Printed Collection: Ephemera Various articles related to the collecting areas.

Radio Broadcasting

Georgia Radio Hall of Fame Collection (M226) [contact the archivist for more information]

Don Naylor Papers, 1934-1970 Scrapbooks, sound recordings, correspondence and scripts from Mr. Naylor’s service at WGST and WAGA radio and WAGA-TV in Atlanta. (M103)

Jack Tarver Research Collection, 1955-1969 Recordings of WSB, WABE and WAOK radio programs assembled by the prominent newspaper columnist and publisher. (M187)

Frances L. Wallace Papers, 1903-1995 (bulk 1940-1991) Materials that document the life and career of the pianist and organist for WSB, WAGA, and WCON. (M182)

Jim Wesley Papers (M217) [contact the archivist for more information]

WRAS Radio Records, 1966-2009 Document the operation of the station, and includes station-produced content (interviews, promos, drops) and sound recording submissions for the Georgia Music Show. (M218)

WSB Radio Records, 1920-1985 (bulk 1960-1980) Photographs, sound recordings, artifacts, program logs, and other materials related to Atlanta’s first radio station. (M004)

Additional Georgia Radio Resources

History of Radio Broadcasting in Georgia Exhibit

WSB Radio Program and Date Logs (1922-1949)

WSB Radio History Research Guide

Popular Culture

7 Stages Theatre Records Digitized materials including programs, posters, photographs, scripts, and business records of the theatre in Little 5 Points. (M219) [contact the archivist for more information]

Popular Culture Literature Collection Serial publications including pulp magazines, Armed Services Edition paperbacks, Big Little Books, dime novels, and comic books.