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Wayman A. Carver Collection
2 linear feet
Wayman A. Carver (b. 1905 d. 1967) was a jazz musician and music educator.
A graduate of the class of 1929, Wayman Carver is among the most notable alumni of Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University). While attending Clark College he organized a jazz band, “The Collegians,” comprised of local musicians and students from Clark and Morehouse Colleges. They performed at social functions around the city. After graduation Carver headed for New York where he played and recorded with a number of musicians and organized his own jazz bands, competing with the top musicians of the day including Duke Ellington. In 1934 he joined Chick Webb and his Orchestra and played clarinet, flute and saxophone. He also played flute as a member of the Webb’s interior ensemble, affectionately called the “Little Chicks.” During his tenure with the orchestra, he composed “All’s Fair at the World’s Fair” and “Swingin on the Reservation,” and wrote the arrangement for “Spinning the Web.” After Webb’s death in 1939 Ella Fitzgerald took leadership of the band and Carver continued with the orchestra through 1941. In 1942, Carver, his wife Joyce and daughter Avis moved to Atlanta where he accepted a faculty position in the music department at his alma mater, Clark College. As an associate professor, Carver distinguished himself as an outstanding music educator and band director. He continued to compose music and among his compositions is the school’s fight song, “Hail Roaring Panthers,” that the university band continues to perform today.
This small collection of papers provides a glimpse into the life and accomplishments of Wayman A. Carver. The papers were donated by Carver’s daughter, Avis Carver Turner. There are news articles and programs documenting his activities and achievements. Copies of some of the music he composed and documents related to copyright and royalties are among the papers. Of note are photographs of Carver as a member of the Chick Webb and Ella Fitzgerald orchestras, as band director at Clark College, and as a student at Clark University and Vander Cook College. Also there are autographed photographs of jazz musicians, bands, orchestras, singers, and dancers including Benny Carter, Dizzy Gillespie, Peg Leg Bates, and the Nicholas Brothers.
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