Houston Public Library, Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Milton Larkin Collection MSS.0252



Descriptive Summary

Creator Larkin, Milt, 1910-1996
Title: Milton Larkin Collection
Dates: 1930-1990
Identification: MSS.0252
Quantity: 4.5 Linear feet, 2 document boxes, 3 photo negative boxes, 1 cassette tape
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library

Biographical Note

Milton Larkin (1910-1996) was born in Navasota, Texas. After his father's death, his mother brought him to Houston when he was six years old. Larkin started playing the trumpet when he was 16, and was mostly self-taught. He organized his own band in 1936, but he made his name in the early 1940s at Chicago's Rhumboogie Club. Members included Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Illinois Jacquet, Wild Bill Davis, and Arnett Cobb. Larkin took up the trombone while in the service during World War II. Following the war, he had his own group at the Celebrity Club in New York City, but he never regained the status he had prior to World War II.


Scope and Contents

The collection contains an oral history interview and photographs.


 

Arrangement


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

None.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Milton Larkin Collection must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.


Index Terms

Larkin, Milt, 1910-1996
Milton Larkin Orchestra (Musical group)
African Americans--Texas
Jazz musicians--Texas--Houston
Musicians--Texas--Houston
Trumpet players

Related Material

MSS 345 Jimmy Ford Collection

MSS 322 Arnett Cobb Collection

MSS 442 Herb Brochstein Collection

MSS 390 Campbell Tolbert Collection

MSS 403 Illinois Jacquet Collection

MSS 337 Jewel Brown Collection

MSS 349 I.H. Smalley Collection

MSS 336 Florence "Bu" Pleasant Collection

MSS 397 Art Foxall Collection

MSS 388 Ed Gerlach Collection

MSS 441 Nathaniel "Bill" Barnes Collection

MSS 375 David "Fathead" Newman Collection


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Milton Larkin Collection. Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library.

Acquisition Information

Donated by: Milton Larkin, September 11, 1984.

Processing Information

Processed by: Charles Stephenson and Tammy Jordan, April 20, 2007.

Digitized Materials

A portion of this collection has been digitized and is available through the Houston Area Digital Archives. Please view the digitized material at: http://digital.houstonlibrary.org/cdm/search/searchterm/MSS0252/order/nosort

An oral history related to this collection is available at: http://digital.houstonlibrary.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/Interviews/id/12/rec/5 Other digitized material related to this collection is available at: http://digital.houstonlibrary.org/cdm/search/searchterm/Milton%20Larkin/order/nosort


 General note 

Materials in the Milton Larkin Collection are arranged by item type or format. All developed photographs are described at the item level. The oral history tape is housed with the Oral History Collection OH 447, separate from MSS 252-the Milton Larkin Collection.


Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Oral History Interview

Box Folder
1 1 Personal interview transcript, January 5, 1988



 

Photographs

Number
MSS252.001 Milton Larkin
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MSS252.002 Milton Larkin
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MSS252.003 Milton Larkin
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MSS252.004 Milton Larkin
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MSS252.005 Earl Hines
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MSS252.006 Milton Larkin playing trumpet during a performance
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MSS252.007 Baby Briscoe who fronted a girls’ band
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MSS252.008 Earl Hines
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MSS252.009 Orlando Robinson, singer
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MSS252.010 Tiny Bradshaw, drummer and bandleader
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MSS252.011 Cab Calloway
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MSS252.012 Rex Stewart, trumpeter; Publicity photo for Jazz at the Philharmonic
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MSS252.013 Rex Stewart playing trumpet; publicity photo for Jazz at the Philharmonic
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MSS252.014 T-Bone Walker, singer-guitarist; sang with Milton Larkin and His Orchestra
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MSS252.015 Sherman "“Scatman”" Crothers
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MSS252.016 Coleman Hawkins, tenor saxophonist and bandleader
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MSS252.017 Buck Clayton, bass player
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MSS252.018 Jimmie Lunceford, bandleader
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MSS252.019 Wild Bill Davis, pianist
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MSS252.020 Trummy Young, trombonist; publicity photo for Jazz at the Philharmonic played in Louis Armstrong’s band
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MSS252.021 Avery Parrish, pianist with Erskine Hawkins’ Orchestra; famous for After Hour
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MSS252.022 Howard Callender, trumpeter in Lil Green’s Orchestra; husband of Lil Green
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MSS252.023 Milton "Tippy" Larkin, trumpeter; son of Milton Larkin
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MSS252.024 B. B. King, guitarist and singer; his first road trip was with Milton Larkin’s Orchestra through Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama
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MSS252.025 Buddy Tate, saxophonist
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MSS252.026 Ike Harris, dancer at Abe and Pappy’s Nightclub, Houston, Texas
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MSS252.027 Kid "Lipps" Hackette, drummer and dancer featured with Eddie Durham’s Band
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MSS252.028 Male dancer at Abe and Pappy’s Nightclub, Houston, Texas
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MSS252.029 Clarence Foster, comedian; Nickname: "Pops"
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MSS252.030 Mary Lou Williams, singer, composer and arranger, appeared with Andy Kirk and His Clouds of Joy; composed Moten Swing
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MSS252.031 Beverly White, singer, featured with Claude Hopkins and His Orchestra
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MSS252.032 Female singer at Abe and Pappy’s Nightclub, Houston, Texas
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MSS252.033 Ruth Ellington, sister of Duke Ellington
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MSS252.034 Singer at Abe and Pappy’s Nightclub, Houston, Texas
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MSS252.035 Mabel Franklin, singer with Milton Larkin’s Band
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MSS252.036 missing
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MSS252.037 Helen Humes, singer; publicity photo for Jazz at the Philharmonic
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MSS252.038 Velma Middleton, vocalist with Louis Armstrong; died in Africa
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MSS252.039 Peggy Thomas, singer
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MSS252.040 I. H. Smalley, Houston bandleader
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MSS252.041 Arthur Prysoc, singer
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MSS252.042 Arthur Prysoc, singer
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MSS252.043 Budd Johnson, saxophonist, who played with Cab Calloway and Count Basie; drawing by Don Hester
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MSS252.044 Illinois Jacquet, saxophonist; drawing by Don Hester
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MSS252.045 Arnett Cobb, saxophonist; drawing by Don Hester
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MSS252.046 Milton Larkin, singer; unsigned drawing, but similar to drawings by Don Hester
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MSS252.047 Earl "Fatha" Hines; Caricature by Wachstetter
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MSS252.048 Milton Larkin and unidentified man, a graduate of Prairie View A & M and manager of Apollo Theater
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MSS252.049 Click and Click, dancers at Abe and Pappy’s Nightclub, Houston, Texas
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MSS252.050 Unidentified man and Roy Branca of The Three Peppers
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MSS252.051 Sonny and Dotty who performed at Abe and Pappy’s Nightclub in Houston and at The Rhumboogie in Chicago
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MSS252.052 Nicholson Brothers, Harold and __?_; dancers
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MSS252.053 Joe Louis, prizefighter; Eddie Arcaro, jockey and "Bojangles" Robinson
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MSS252.054 Johnny Moore Trio; guitarist Moore played in Nat "King" Cole’s Trio
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MSS252.055 Cedric Haywood, pianist; Allan _?_ who played with Earl Hines, 1941, and “Hog” _?_
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MSS252.056 Dance team at Abe and Pappy’s Nightclub, Houston, Texas; no identification
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MSS252.057 Milton Larkin, bandleader and singer, during a performance
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MSS252.058 Milton Larkin and Ernest Hart in Los Angeles
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MSS252.059 Dennis Brooks; Cathy _?_ and Milton Larkin
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MSS252.060 Don Cannon, Secretary of the Musicians’ Union Local Cedric Haywood, pianist; and Ed Gerlach, Houston bandleader and Milton Larkin
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MSS252.061 Bass player unidentified; George Thompson, drums; Tippy Larkin, trumpet; Fletcher Smith, piano; and Milton Larkin, trumpet and trombone
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MSS252.062 Arnett Cobb and unidentified man at the Savoy Ballroom, New York City
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MSS252.063 Tippy Larkin, trumpet, and Monty Owens, singer-guitarist, at a street concert in New York City
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MSS252.064 Monty Owens, guitarist and unidentified guitarist and Willie Bridge, saxophonist, during a street concert in New York City
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MSS252.065 Mrs. Milton Larkin and Willie Mabon, singer, who recorded "I’m Mad" and a song later used in a commercial
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MSS252.066 Milton Larkin, Warren Daniel and unidentified guitarist
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MSS252.067 Milton Larkin and Peg-Leg Bates, owner of a country club in upper New York State and who danced at the Cotton Club
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MSS252.068 Jitterbug dancers at Abe and Pappy’s Nightclub, Houston, Texas
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MSS252.069 Dancers at Abe and Pappy’s Nightclub, Houston, Texas
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MSS252.070 Dancers at Abe and Pappy’s Nightclub, Houston, Texas
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MSS252.071 Dancers at Abe and Pappy’s Nightclub, Houston, Texas
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MSS252.072 Trombone section; International Sweethearts of Rhythm
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MSS252.073 International Sweethearts of Rhythm, trumpet section, featuring Evelyn McGhee
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MSS252.074 Dixie Rhythm Girls
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MSS252.075 Louis Jordan dancing with girls; L. F. Simon, tenor saxophone; Wild Bill Davis, piano
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MSS252.076 Milton Larkin singing with his Orchestra at the Rhumboogie Club, Chicago, Illinois
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MSS252.077 Don Albert Band at the Tick Tock Tavern
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MSS252.078 Saxophone section; Andy Kirk and His Clouds of Joy
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MSS252.079 Billy Bowen Quintet
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MSS252.080 Milton Larkin Band (l-r): Monty Johnson, trumpet; Milton Larkin, trombone; Frank Scott, baritone saxophone; Charlie Ferguson; Duke _?_, piano; Ted Sturgis, bass; Vess Paine, drums; at the Celebrity Club
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MSS252.081 Milton Larkin, Mrs. Milton Larkin, Daisy Richards and unidentified person
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MSS252.082 Unidentified singer; Milton Larkin, playing trumpet
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MSS252.083 Milton Larkin Band: Skinny Brown, saxophone; Milton Larkin, trombone
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MSS252.084 Milton Larkin Band: Milton Larkin; Warren Daniels; Sid Melton; and Stella _?_
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MSS252.085 Milton Larkin, unidentified, and Warren Daniel
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MSS252.086 Milton Larkin Band: Milton Larkin; Warren Daniel; Stella _?_; Tippy Larkin at far right
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MSS252.087 Brass Section, Jimmy Lunceford Band
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MSS252.088 Pete Mays, Eric Lewis, Arnett Cobb; Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, a trumpeter from Duke Ellington’s band and Milton Larkin
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MSS252.089 Milton Larkin Band performing on a New York street: Milton Larkin; Tippy Larkin; unidentified saxophonist; Willie Bridges, who went into church music in 1988; and "Sonny" _?_
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MSS252.090 Charles Gordon; Milton Larkin; Arnett Cobb; _?_ Hart; and George Lane
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MSS252.091 Harold Singer; Dennis Brooks; Dick Boone; Mrs. Milton Larkin; Milton Larkin; and Mrs. Dennis Brooks
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MSS252.092 Milton Larkin; unidentified; the bandleader at Wiley College; Wild Bill Davis and a promoter
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MSS252.093 Copacetics Cookie Youngblood and Buster Brown with Milton Larkin. Copacetics were a dance team managed by Milton Larkin for two decades. Copacetics was Larkin’s recording label
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MSS252.094 Standing: Peg-Leg Bates and spectator; Arthur Prysock seated on the right
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MSS252.095 Milton Larkin; Conrad Johnson and Mrs. Milton Larkin
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MSS252.096 Milton Larkin Orchestra: postcard
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MSS252.097 Erskine Hawkins and His Orchestra
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MSS252.098 Dizzy Gillespie and His Orchestra
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MSS252.099 Floyd Ray and His Orchestra; Milton Larkin’s Orchestra replaced this orchestra on the West Coast in 1940 when Ray dismissed his entire group; Larkin retained the girls to sing with his orchestra
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MSS252.100 Sunset Royal Entertainers Band from Florida
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MSS252.101 Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra
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MSS252.102 Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson and His Orchestra
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MSS252.103 Milton Larkin Orchestra at the Aragon Ballroom, Houston, Texas: (l-r): H. F. Sloan; L. F. Simon; Lonnie Moore; Frank Dimangio; Willie Lott Tompkins; Lawrence Cato; George Lane; Clifford Mitchell; Charles Gordon; Arnett Cobb; Lester Patterson; Eddie Vinson and Milton Larkin
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MSS252.104 Unknown band
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MSS252.105 The 375th Army Service Forces Band of Camp Shanks, New York: Cy Oliver; Cholly Adkinson; Buck Clayton; Dan Minor; Bobby _?_ Barry Lanier; Milton Larkin; __?_ Blair; Frank Scott; Jack __?_; Freddy Williams; "Skinny" Brown; “Bunny” __?_ and Sgt. “Sarge” __?_
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MSS252.106 Ruth Brown, sister of Duke Ellington. Carl Mack Thompson, singer, at extreme right. Others unidentified
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MSS252.107 Father (Earl) Hines and "The Swinging Rays of Rhythm" from Piney Woods School, Piney Woods, Mississippi
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MSS252.108 Lil Green’s Orchestra: (l-r):Wild Bill Davis, kneeling; Milton Larkin, third from left; Big Bill Boozer also in picture. Others not identified
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MSS252.109 Sylvia and Her Rhythmettes, a dance act; individual photographs
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MSS252.110 Rhumboogie Girls
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MSS252.111 Kneeling: unidentified Houston singing group; (standing, l-r): May June; Jean Wurl; DeeDee _?_; Honey Cole, (Rear Center); Elsie Blow (front-center); Tonda Lear (center-right); __?_who married Sonny Stritch; one of the Brown Twins; Charlie Schaefer’s wife
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MSS252.112 Milton Larkin and Morris Merritt, kneeling. Standing, center: Queen of Jack Yates High School; at The Old Harlem Grill, Houston, Texas
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MSS252.113 Girls in front of Larkin Orchestra, known at the Copacetics: (l-r): Mrs. Charlie Schaefer; one of the Brown Twins; Elsie Blow, and Bea _?_; Performance at Broadway and 52nd Street, New York City
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MSS252.114 Buddy Tate, soloist, with Milton Larkin Orchestra; Jerome Doss, guitar; Hilton Jefferson, alto saxophone; Bobby Brown, alto saxophone; _?_, baritone saxophone; Back row: Joe Marshall, drums; Johnny Grimes and Tippy Larkin, trumpet. Photograph taken after intermission that opportunity for the band to change costumes completely
Number
MSS252.115 Arthur Prysock; Johnny Grimes to right of Prysock
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MSS252.116 Big Momma Thornton and the Copacetics, New York City
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MSS252.117 George Schmidt, singer
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MSS252.118 Milton Larkin Band playing at an outdoor concert in a Brooklyn schoolyard
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MSS252.119 Lester Williams, second from right, at Prince’s B-B-Q, Los Angeles. Others unidentified
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MSS252.120 Milton Larkin in military uniform at The Harlem Grill, Houston, Texas; _?_ Goldberg wearing Shriner’s cap
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MSS252.121 Milton Larkin, center; no other identification
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MSS252.122 Sam Taylor; Mrs. Milton Larkin; Mrs. Arnett Cobb; Mrs. Sam Taylor; Arnett Cobb’s Mother; Arnett Cobb
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MSS252.123 The 375th Army Service Forces Band, Camp Shanks, NY; identifications at bottom of photograph
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MSS252.124 Audience at a street dance in New York City; music provided by Milton Larkin Band
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MSS252.125 Milton and Tippy Larkin
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MSS252.126 Tippy Larkin at a New York City street concert; audience in background
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MSS252.127 Saxophonist, street concert, New York City
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MSS252.128 Phil Young, drummer, in Milton Larkin Band at a street concert, New York City
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MSS252.129 Young girl spectator during street concert in New York City
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MSS252.130 Milton Larkin during a street concert, New York City; audience in background
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MSS252.131 Tippy Larkin, Milton Larkin, and Phil Young, drummer, at street concert, New York City; pianist not identified
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MSS252.132 Milton Larkin, trombone, and Tippy Larkin trumpet
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MSS252.133 Phil Young, drummer, during a street concert by Milton Larkin Band
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MSS252.134 Photographic collage: Pearl Bailey; Co-Petites; Billboard; dancers
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MSS252.135 Photographic collage: (clockwise from upper right:) Not identified; Cook and Brown, a comedy team; T-Bone Walker; Sam "The Man" Taylor; T-Bone Walker; Milton Larkin; Derby Wilson; European acrobatic dancers. Center: Milton Larkin
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MSS252.136 Crowd at Negro Actors’ Guild Dance where music was provided by Milton Larkin Orchestra
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MSS252.137 Positive film strip: 1. Milton Larkin; 2. Milton Larkin; 3. Kathy Whitmire; 4. Milton Larkin Band; 5. Larkin Band; 6-13. Crowning of Milton Larkin as King ____; 14. Audience; 15-17. Milton Larkin; 18-20. Audience; in 1986 in Sam Houston Park, Houston, Texas
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MSS252.138 Dancer, unidentified
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MSS252.139 Milton Larkin after an automobile accident, New York City; in souvenir folder
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MSS252.140 Milton Larkin Orchestra, Houston, Texas, c.1937: Lonnie Moore; Eddie Vinson; Arnett Cobb; George Lane; Clifford Mitchell; Lawrence Cato; Lester Patterson; Cedric Haywood; Willie Lott Thompkins; T-Bone Walker; Milton Larkin; Charles Gordon; H. S. Sloan; Frank Dominguez
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MSS252.141 El Dorado Ballroom; Houston, Texas
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MSS252.142 Postcard photograph: Milton Larkin and His Famous Orchestra
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MSS252.143 Junior Parker
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MSS252.144 375th Army Band, original copy; rolled photo behind numbered photographs
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MSS252.145 The Late Johnny Ace
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MSS252.146 Milton Larkin and Louis J. Marchiafava, during personal interview
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MSS252.147 Milton Larkin
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MSS252.148 Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
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MSS252.149 Sammy Davis, Jr. and Milton Larkin’s Orchestra
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MSS252.150 Milton Larkin and Louis J. Marchiafava during a personal interview
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MSS252.151 Milton Larkin and His Orchestra
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MSS252.152 Milton Larkin and His Famous Orchestra; postcard
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MSS252.153 missing
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MSS252.154 Milton Larkin; _;___;_________;