Walton, Charles Papers

Dates: 1928-2005. Size: 28 linear feet. Accession #1996/05. Chicago Public Library, Woodson Regional Library, Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature. Born in Alabama, Charles Walton came to Chicago as a child. He became a jazz drummer immediately after World War II. He went on to direct the music education program at Malcolm X College and served as an officer in American Federation of Musicians Local 10-208. In his “retirement,” he worked relentlessly to document Chicago’s black music history, conducting at least 343 interviews with 179 interviewees. The interviews were part of his research for his unfinished book, Bronzeville Conversations. His papers include drafts of his book, the oral history interviews, essays, rare documents and photographs. Subjects include performers, venues, business relationships and the history of American Federation of Musicians locals in Chicago. [Finding aid]