University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Jimmy and Marian McPartland Collection 1923-1990

© 2008 University of Chicago Library


The Jimmy and Marian McPartland Papers were processed and preserved as part of the "Uncovering New Chicago Archives Project," funded with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Descriptive Summary


McPartland, Jimmy and Marian. Collection




2.5 linear feet (2 boxes)


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


Jimmy and Marian McPartland, cornetist and pianist. The Jimmy and Marian McPartland Papers contain photographs, reviews, concert ephemera, correspondence, and material from the making of The Magic Horn, a television program part of the television series The Alcoa Hour.

Information on Use


The collection is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

Photographs of Bix Beiderbecke, Box 1, Folder 16-17, may not be reproduced.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: McPartland, Jimmy and Marian. Collection, [Box#, Folder#], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

Jimmy McPartland was born in 1907 in Chicago, IL. A cornetist, McPartland and his brother Dick received early training from their bandleader father. They later attended Chicago’s Austin High School where with Bud Freeman (saxophone), Jim Lanigan (string bass), and Frank Teschemacher (clarinet), formed their first jazz band in 1922, the “Austin High Gang.” It was also at this time that McPartland began listening to the music of Bix Beiderbecke through the recordings of the Wolverines. When Bix left the Wolverines in 1924, McPartland was chosen to replace him.

By 1927, McPartland was invited to join the Ben Pollack Orchestra, sitting alongside such famous jazz musicians as Benny Goodman and Jack Teagarden. During the same year he recorded with McKenzie and Condon’s Chicagoans, which included the Austin High School Gang. These recordings are often considered to be definitive expressions of the Chicago jazz style. Upon leaving Pollack, McPartland began leading and recording with his own small groups in New York and Chicago. While in Europe during WWII, McPartland met and married English pianist Marian Turner.

After becoming one of the most influential figures in the history of jazz in Chicago, Jimmy McPartland died in 1991.

Marian (Turner) McPartland was born in 1918 and was classically trained. She was traveling Europe with a four-piano vaudeville act, entertaining Allied troops when she met her future husband. After the war, the two as part of a quartet recorded in Chicago.

As Marian McPartland’s musical focus shifted to bebop, she struck out on her own, establishing her own trio and taking up what would become an eight year residency at the Hickory House in New York City. The Hickory House became a gathering place for colleagues such as Oscar Peterson, Benny Goodman, and Duke Ellington. Marian also founded her own record label, Halcyon, which recorded such artists as Earl Hines, Teddy Wilson, and Dave McKenna. In addition to performing, she composed songs that were recorded by popular artists like Tony Bennett and Peggy Lee.

Marian hosts the longest running and most widely carried jazz program on National Public Radio. Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz went on air for the first time in 1978. She has received numerous awards for her broadcast work, including an induction into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2007.

Scope Note

The Jimmy and Marian McPartland Papers are divided into three series: Series I, Personal; Series II, Photographs; and Series III, Oversize.

Series I, Personal, contains correspondence to Jimmy McPartland, some of which regards the television program The Magic Horn. The concert ephemera include programs and advertisements from concerts given by Jimmy and Marian McPartland. There is biographical information and articles on Jimmy McPartland as well as performance reviews.

Series II, Photographs and Oversize, contains photographs of the McPartlands and other prominent jazz musicians such as Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Bing Crobsy, and Bix Beiderbecke. Also included are posters from jazz events.

Related Resources

Browse finding aids by topic.

Subject Headings


Series I: Personal

Box 1    Folder 1

Articles, 1961-1990

Box 1    Folder 2

Biographical, 1991

Box 1    Folder 3

Concert Ephemera, circa 1940s-1990

Box 1    Folder 4

Correspondence, 1961-1971

Box 1    Folder 5

Correspondence, The Magic Horn, 1956

Box 1    Folder 6

The Magic Horn, Advertisements, 1956

Box 1    Folder 7

The Magic Horn, Script, 1956

Box 1    Folder 8

Reviews, 1961-1990

Series II: Photographs and Oversize

Box 1   Folder 9

Al Haid Orchestra and Jimmy McPartland, 1923

Box 1   Folder 10

Anita O'Day, Joe Rushton, and Jimmy McPartland, circa 1940s

Box 1   Folder 11

Austin High Gang, 1923-1926

Box 1   Folder 12

Austin High Gang, 1960

Box 1   Folder 13

Billie Holiday and Jimmy McPartland, circa 1940s

Box 1   Folder 14

Billy Butterfield and Jimmy McPartland, circa 1970s

Box 1   Folder 15

Bing Crosby and Jimmy McPartland, 1947-1950

Box 1   Folder 16

Bix Biederbecke, circa 1920s-1970s

Box 1   Folder 17

Bix Biederbecke and his Rhythm Jugglers, 1925

Box 1   Folder 18

Bobby Hackett, George Wettling, and Jimmy McPartland, 1950

Box 1   Folder 19

Boyd Brown, Bud Johnson, and Jimmy McPartland, 1939

Box 1   Folder 20

Bud Freeman, 1946

Box 1   Folder 21

Dell Jones, Larry Madison, Herb Hall, and Jimmy McPartland, circa 1970s

Box 1   Folder 22

Dizzy Gillespie and Jimmy McPartland, 1955

Box 1   Folder 23

Harold Arlen, Louis Onzer, and Jimmy McPartland, 1972-1973

Box 1   Folder 24

Hoagy Carmichael and Jimmy McPartland, undated

Box 1   Folder 25

Jack Stive and Jimmy McPartland, circa 1980s

Box 1   Folder 26

Jim Galloway and Jimmy McPartland, circa 1970s

Box 1   Folder 27

Jimmy McPartland, 1927-1990

Box 1   Folder 28

Jimmy McPartland, 1946

Box 1   Folder 29

Jimmy McPartland and grandson, 1957

Box 1   Folder 30

Jimmy and Marian McPartland, 1946-1970s

Box 1   Folder 31

Jimmy McPartland and Others, Three Deuces, 1937

Box 1   Folder 32

Jimmy McPartland and Others, 1948-1949

Box 1   Folder 33

Jimmy McPartland and Others, circa 1960s

Box 1   Folder 34

Jimmy McPartland and Others, 1985

Box 1   Folder 35

Jimmy McPartland and Others, undated

Box 1   Folder 36

Jimmy McPartland and Others, undated

Box 1   Folder 37

Jimmy McPartland and Others, undated

Box 1   Folder 38

Joe Tarto, undated

Box 1   Folder 39

Louis Armstrong, Muggsy Spanier, and Jimmy McPartland, circa 1950s

Box 1   Folder 40

The Maroon Six, 1924

Box 1   Folder 41

McPartlands and Other Musicians, circa 1940s-1960

Box 1   Folder 42

Paul Whiteman Orchestra, undated

Box 1   Folder 43

Pee Wee Russell and Jimmy McPartland, undated

Box 1   Folder 44

Roy Eldridge, Bud Freeman, and Jimmy McPartland, 1937

Box 1   Folder 45

Squirrel Ashecraft and Jimmy McPartland, 1970

Box 1   Folder 46

Tony Parenti, Bobby Pratt, Freddy Moore, and Jimmy McPartland, circa 1960s

Box 2   Folder 1

Jimmy McPartland and Marian McPartland, circa 1930s-1940s

Box 2   Folder 2

Poster, Barrelhouse Jazzband, 1975

Box 2   Folder 2

Poster, International Jazz Festival, 1949

Box 2   Folder 3

Poster, Jazzball Hot Dogs 20 Jahre, undated

Box 2   Folder 2

Poster, Jazzkoncert, 1975