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Jim Rooney Papers

1960-2014
5 boxes (5.5 linear foot)
Call no.: MS 1016

A producer, performer, writer, and pioneer in Americana music, Jim Rooney was born in Boston on January 28, 1938 and raised in Dedham. Inspired to take up music by the sounds of Hank Williams and Leadbelly he heard on the radio, he began performing at the Hillbilly Ranch at just 16 years old, taking to music full time after an undergraduate degree in classics at Amherst College and an MA at Harvard. As manager of Club 47, Rooney was at the epicenter of the folk revival in Boston, becoming director and talent coordinator for the Newport Folk Festival beginning in 1963, a tour manager for jazz musicians in the late 1960s, and by 1970, a producer. After managing Bearsville Sound Studios in Woodstock, NY, for Albert Grossman, he moved to Nashville, where he has produced projects by Hal Ketchum, Townes Van Zandt, Iris DeMent, John Prine and Bonnie Raitt, among others, winning a Grammy award in 1993 for his work with Nanci Griffith.

Documenting a varied career in American music, the Rooney collection contains material from two of Rooney's books on the history of American music, Bossmen: Bill Monroe and Muddy Waters (1971) and Baby, Let Me Follow You Down (1979), his autobiography In It For the Long Run (2014), and his record production career in Nashville.

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Background on Jim Rooney

A music producer, performer, writer, and pioneer in the genre of Americana, Jim Rooney was born in Boston on January 28, 1938. A native of Boston, Rooney was inspired by the music of Hank Williams and Leadbelly he heard over radio station WCOP, Rooney began performing as a hillbilly singer in the mid-1950s, making his debut at the age of 16. While studying classics at Amherst College, he broadened the range of his musical, drawing from folk, bluegrass, jazz, blues, and gospel, among others. As he went on to study for an MA in classical literature at Harvard, music became his career. As a manager of Club 47 and director and talent coordinator for the Newport Folk Festival starting in 1963, and he then managed the Bearsville Sound Studios in Woodstock, N.Y., where he produced albums by some of the biggest names in rock and folk.

He has produced projects by some of the most celebrated Americana musicians including, Nanci Griffith, Hal Ketchum, Townes Van Zandt, Iris DeMent, John Prine and Bonnie Raitt. He won a Grammy Award as a producer in 1993 for Nanci Griffith's album Other Voices, Other Rooms.

By 196x, Rooney landed a position as

In recent years, Rooney has become well known as an historian of the Folk Revival Bossmen: Bill Monroe and Muddy Waters (1971), co-wrote Baby, Let Me Follow You Down: The Illustrated History of the Cambridge Folk Years (1979), as well as his autobiography, In It For the Long Run: A Musical Odyssey (2014).

Scope of collection

The materials contained in these 4 boxes focus on the three books Jim Rooney contributed to: * Baby, Let Me Follow You Down: The Illustrated History of the Cambridge Folk Years * In It For the Long Run: A Musical Odyssey * Bossmen: Bill Monroe and Muddy Waters They also contain multimedia materials focused on Rooney's record production career in Nashville, Tennessee as well as his radio show, In It For the Long Run. Materials include: photographs, recordings, interview notes, media clippings which provide a window into the Cambridge Folk Revival scene of the 1960s as well as his production collaborations with key Americana musicians.

Inventory

Series 1. Baby, Let Me Follow You Down
1929
Baby Let Me Follow You Down, 2nd Ed. book
No folder
Box 1

Paperback copy of book; Copyright: June 1, 1994

Correspondence from publishers : Re: Copyright, notes on manuscript and reviews
1 folder
Box 1
Typewritten letter from Doubleday and Company Inc./UMass Press
Photo captions for reference (p. 60) typewritten w/handwritten notes; edits typewritten and pasted on with tape
Corrections/edits for Baby Let Me Lay It On You chapter
Typewritten publishing agreement from Doubleday and Company Inc to Jim Rooney in 1897 attached from David P. Reyes; Contract, About Rights (reprint rights) : all on Doubleday letterhead
Halliday Lithograph : Doubleday certificate of copyright registration, dated 18 May 1979 (Consumer and Corporate Affairs : Canada; Certificate of Copyright registration : US
Transfer of copyright letter from Doubleday (Stephen Rubin) to Eric Von Schmidt and Jim Rooney, dated 1992
Original envelope addressed to Jim (The Human Computer) Rooney, from "The Merchant" (aka Eric Von Schmidt)
Handwritten index of photographers, # of photos, payments made, including unknowns
Anchor Books letter from Bill Strachan to Eric Von Schmidt and Jim Rooney
Index of singers and songs
Index of main photographers/artists with Eric Von Schmidt's handwritten notes
Eric Von Schmidt's handwritten list of photographers' payments
Letter for music licensing requests regarding Muddy Waters
Letter for music licensing requests regarding This Land Is Your Land by Woodie Guthrie
Handwritten letter regarding list of checks from Eric Von Schmidt to Jim Rooney
Handwritten index of accounting by Eric Von Schmidt
Invoice from Rick Sullo to Eric Von Schmidt and Jim Rooney for reproduction rights for Janis Joplin photo
Account of Royalty from Doubleday Company Inc.
Handwritten note regarding ASCAP Award for book, 1980 (ASCAP Deems Taylor Awards for Outstanding Book)
Letter from Doubleday to Jim Rooney regarding Baby Let Me Follow You Down going Out-of-Print
Article from Amherst Magazine, 1980; And Article from CHOICE magazine, 1979 of Eric Von Schmidt
Review from The Saturday Oklahoman and Times under Books
Review from the Boston Phoenix, 1979
Review from Pickin', 1979
Review frim Journal of Country Music, Vol VIII
Review from [Unknown]
Signed License Agreement with UMass Press for paperback reprint, 1993
Fax regarding corrections to UMass Press
Review from Nashville Scene, 1994
Artist Interview: By Eric Von Schmidt with Bob Neuwirth (Notes included by Jim Rooney)
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Press clippings

Letter

Artist Interview: Ethan Signer
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Mimi Farina
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Articles on Mimi and Dick Farina

Artist Interview: Eric Andersen
1 folder
Box 1

Letter

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Debbie Anderson
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Paul Arnoldi
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: David Barry
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Dan Bump
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Banana
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Broadside
1 folder
Box 1

Broadside articles and announcements

Artist Interview: Bill Burke
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Rolf Cahn
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Joe Chambers
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Joyce (Kalina) Chopra
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: John Cooke
1 folder
Box 1

Typewritten interview notes on John Cooke by Eric Von Schmidt

Letter to Eric Von Schmidt hand-signed "Country musically yours, John"

Letter to Eric Von Schmidt hand-signed, "Best, John"

Letter to Eric Von Schmidt hand-signed, "Best, John"

Letter to Eric Von Schmidt hand-signed, "Ah, for the Good Ole Days, John"

Artist Interview: Dates
1 folder
Box 1

Handwritten notes (Eric Von Schmidt's calligraphy handwriting) on significant dates

Artist Interview: Earliest Draft/Eric
1 folder
Box 1

Typewritten and handwritten drafts and notes including letter-art

Artist Interview: Steve Fassett
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Geno (Clay) Foreman
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Fredericksons
1 folder
Box 1

Notes

Artist Interview: Manny Greenhill
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Manny File : Manny Clips
1 folder
Box 1

[TK]

Artist Interview: Mitch Greenhill
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Peter Guralnick
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Jill Henderson
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Hillbillies at Harvard; Lynn Joiner and Brian Sinclair
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Midge Huffman
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Clay Jackson
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: R.L. Jones
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Paula Kelley
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Bill Keith
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Spider John Koerner
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Barry Kornfeld
1 folder
Box 1

[TK]

Artist Interview: Kweskin/Mel De Long
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Carol Langstaff
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Lily Everett
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Byron Linardes
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Don McSorley
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Buzz Martin/Charlie F.
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Taj Mahal
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Maria Muldaur
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Geoff Muldaur
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: John Nagy
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Bob Neuwirth
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Bonnie Raitt
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Fritz Richmond
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Ralph Rinzler
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Jas. K. Rooney
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Paul R. Rothchild
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Peter Rowan
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Tom Rush
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Tony Saletan
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: John Sebastian
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Betsy Siggins
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Siggins and Field
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Chris Smither
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Song Lyrics
1 folder
Box 1

Song Lyrics for Booker White's Fixing to Die

Song Lyrics for Skip James' Hard Time Killin' Floor Blues Song Lyrics for Mississippi John Hurt's I Shall Not Be Moved

Song Lyrics for I Shall Not Be Moved

Song Lyrics for I Shall Not Be Moved

Song Lyrics for It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Rooney?)

Song Lyrics for Children of Darkness (Von Schmidt?)

Artist Interview: Mark Spoelstra
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Phil Spiro
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Rick Stafford
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Nancy Sweezy
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Joe Val
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Jackie (Landon) Washington
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Dick Waterman
1 folder
Box 1

Article

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Roland White
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: David Wilson
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Peter Wolf
1 folder
Box 1

Interview notes

Artist Interview: Eric Von Schmidt
1 folder
Box 1

Artwork

Reviews Baby Let Me Follow You Down
1 folder
Box 1

Book reviews

Melody Maker, Atlanta-Journal Constitution

Chapter Manuscript: Leavin' Home
1 folder
Box 1

Chapter typescript

Chapter Manuscript: Sail Away Ladies Mimi and Dick
1 folder
Box 1

Chapter typescript

Chapter Manuscript: Black Is the Color
1 folder
Box 1

Chapter typescript

Chapter Manuscript: Baby, Let Me Lay It On You
1 folder
Box 1

Chapter typescript

Chapter Manuscript: We Shall Not Be Moved
1 folder
Box 1

Chapter typescript

Chapter Manuscript: Overseas Stomp
1 folder
Box 1

Chapter typescript

Chapter Manuscript: California to the New York Island
1 folder
Box 1

Chapter typescript

Chapter Manuscript: Ocean of Diamonds
1 folder
Box 1

Chapter typescript

Chapter Manuscript: Nobody's Business
1 folder
Box 1

Chapter typescript

Chapter Manuscript: Foggy Mountain Top
1 folder
Box 1

Chapter typescript

Chapter Manuscript: Storybook Ball
1 folder
Box 1

Chapter typescript

Chapter Manuscript: Fixin' To Die
1 folder
Box 1

Chapter typescript

Chapter Manuscript: Where Do You Come From? Where Do You Go?
1 folder
Box 1

Chapter typescript

Chapter Manuscript: Children of Darkness
1 folder
Box 1

Chapter typescript

Chapter Manuscript: It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
1 folder
Box 1

Chapter typescript

Chapter Manuscript: Got My Mojo Workin'
1 folder
Box 1

Chapter typescript

Chapter Manuscript: Wet Birds Fly at Night
1 folder
Box 1

Chapter typescript

Series 2.
1929

SCOPE

Series 3. Radio shows
1929

SCOPE

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Provenance

Gift of Jim Rooney, Mar. 2018.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, Feb. 2018.

Language:

English

Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: Jim Rooney Papers (MS 1016). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Employers' associations--Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts--Economic conditions--20th century
  • Montague Farm Community (Mass.)

Contributors

  • Rooney, Jim, 1938- [main entry]

Genres and formats

  • Newsletters

Link to similar SCUA collections