Houston Public Library, Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Jewel Brown Collection MSS.0337

Descriptive Summary

Creator Brown, Jewel
Title: Jewel Brown Collection
Dates: 1950-1988, 1960-1969
Dates (Bulk): Bulk, 1960-1969
Identification: MSS.0337
Quantity: 5.0 Linear feet, 2 document boxes, 1 negative box
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library

Biographical Note

Jewel Brown is the true to life, born-and-bred Houston jazz artist. She was born in Houston’s Third Ward on August 30, 1937. She attended Black Elementary School and then Jack Yates High School. At an early age she began singing in the choir at Rosehill Baptist Church and first perfomed at the age of nine at the Masonic Temple in the Fourth Ward. Her first professional singing job was at the age of 12 at the Manhattan Club in Galveston.

She continued singing professionally while in school; however, her singing was secondary in importance to her studies. Even before she graduated, her vocals were in demand. During her senior year, she was invited to accompany Lionel Hampton’s group to tour Europe. Upon graduation it was understood in Ms. Brown’s immediate family that she would pursue a singing career full time; she had decided against college, because she felt it would be a burden on her parents. Until that time, she sang locally with her brother’s group, performing at clubs with her mother accompanying. When she did begin singing with (all male) groups on tour, however, her career was almost stifled by the concerns of an extended family member that the entertainment business was unsavory. Ms. Brown’s mother relented against the cynicism and encouraged her daughter toward her chosen goals.

Ms. Brown is best known as a vocalist with Louis Armstrong’s All Star Band. Whether or not Ms. Brown would audition for this position was precarious at the time, because the former singer for the band had died recently and it wasn’t known how well received Ms. Brown would be under the circumstances. The audition did turn out to be a success, and Ms. Brown was soon welcomed into the All Stars. During her career, Ms. Brown toured internationally with Armstrong’s band and also performed with Carrol Garner, Earl Grant, Arnett Cobb, as well as many others. She also performed on her own and took responsibility for managing herself. Among the many venues in which she was hired included the Ebony and Angelo’s in Houston, the Tidelands in San Antonio, and the Sovereign Club in Dallas. In 1971, Ms. Brown retired from singing for 15 years to care for her ailing parents.

When not singing, Ms. Brown has owned and operated the Sir Brown’s Hair Palace on Dowling St. in Houston with her brother Alphonse. She has also worked as a successful insurance agent and owns a child care facility. In 1988, Ms. Brown was celebrated as Jazz Artist of the Year at the annual Houston Jazz Festival.

Scope and Contents

The Jewel Brown Collection is comprised primarily of photographs that span the career of Ms. Brown. There are two oral history interviews of Jewel Brown which are transcribed.


Series 1: Promotional Materials and Reviews
Series 2: Photographs


Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions

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

Index Terms

Armstrong, Louis, 1901-1971
Brown, Jewel
Performance artists--Texas--Houston

Related Archival Materials note

Oral History tapes #OH-451 and #OH-452

Related Archival Materials note

Jewel Brown Oral History, HMRC Oral History Collection, October 3, 1988

MSS 322 Arnett Cobb Collection

MSS 252 Milton Larkin Collection

MSS 403 Illinois Jacquet Collection

MSS 345 Jimmy Ford Collection

MSS 442 Herb Brochstein Collection

MSS 390 Campbell Tolbert Collection

MSS 349 I.H. Smalley Collection

MSS 336 Florence "Bu" Pleasant Collection

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Jewel Brown Collection. Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library.

Acquisition Information

Collection donated by Jewel Brown.

Processing Information

Processed by: Charles Stephenson and Tammy Jordan, January 2007.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Promotional Materials and Reviews

Box Folder
1 1 This Month in Dallas; Jewel Brown, p. 51 January, 1961
Fabulous Las Vegas;March 3, 1962 (2 copies)
Fabulous Las Vegas; March 17, 1962
Souvenir program, Louis Armstrong and His All Star Concert Group, Fresno, California, March 29, 1962. Photographs: Louis Armstrong; Billy Cronk; Trummy Young; Billy Kyle; Jewel Brown; Joe Dariensbourg and Danny Barcelona.
Souvenir program: Louis Armstrong e son Orchestre, Palais des Expositions, Paris, France; 17 mai 1962. “Satchmo the Great,” a brief biography of Louis Armstrong with selected photographs; other photographs: Danny Barcelona, Billy Cronk and Jewel Brown
Jerry of Jericho Road, program presented by Jack Yates High School A Cappella Choir and Glee Club, Wednesday, May 14, 1958
The Music Reporter, Vol. VI, No. 31, February 26, 1962
Downbeat, Vol. 29, No. 7, March 29, 1962
Downbeat, Vol. 30, No. 13, June 6, 1963
Souvenir program from Denmark
Box Folder
1 2 Zest Houston Chronicle, "Houston Jazz Singer Jewel Brown ends 15 years of retirement" Cover story by Michael Spies, August 21, 1988
Program, Louis Armstrong, Auditorio Nacional, Mexico, 1961 (2 copies)
In Sepia Dallas Dec. 2-8; Dec. 9-15; Dec. 16-22; Dec. 23-29 (2 copies) June 2-8, 1961
Advertisement: “Louis Armstrong and His All Stars; New Latin Quarter, Magatacha, Chiyodu-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Box Folder
1 3 Personal letter from Dennis Paget, William Morris Agency; February 5, 1962; Attached is a column by Charley Channel; Sunday News, February 4, 1962
Personal letter to Jewel Brown from her Mother, Mrs. Inez K. Brown, February 3, 1962
Personal letter from Robert B. Pope, a disabled veteran, Dorchester, Massachusetts
Christmas Card to Jewel Brown from Lucille and Louis Armstrong
American National Red Cross certification of Jewel Brown having completed a course in first aid, December 14, 1951
Handwritten letter authorizing Carl E. Justice III to use Jewel Brown’s picture on advertisements and labels, October 23, 1961
Blank contract, AGVA Standard Form of Artists Engagement Contract; American Guild of Variety Artists, National Headquarters, 110 W. 57th Street, New York, New York
"Roaring 20’s, S.D" Nitery Reviews, Variety February 7, 1963: Review of performance of Louis Armstrong and His All Stars. One paragraph devoted to Jewel Brown;
"Girl with a Song," music manuscript of song written for Jewel Brown by Jack Oglesby, 138 E. 12th St., Oakland, California
Box Folder
1 4 Correspondence: Management Contract Agreement with Sunset Enterprises, 1501 Broadway, New York, N. Y., December 13, 1961
Contract from Jewel Brown stipulating conditions to Sunset Enterprises to serve as Jewel Brown’s manager and advisor; December 13, 1961; with copies
Newspaper clippings
Statement of Account, Dallas Branch, American Guild of Variety Artists, to Jewel Brown
Box Folder
1 5 Catalogues of exhibits containing the works of Mrs. Cherry
Newspaper clippings
"Louis Armstrong and his All Stars are rocking the Fairmont’s Venetian Room;" Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, California; No date
"The fabulous Club Ebony presenting special holiday shows: featuring Jewel Brown and Wynonie Harris;" No date
"Armstrong and Basie add Female Vocalists" and "Jewel Brown sings with enthusiasm at Basin Street East;" The New York Times; date missing
Club Ebony advertisement: 4415 Dowling at Rosewood, Houston, Texas, featuring Arthur Prysock Revue; I. H. Smalley Orchestra; Joe Blueitt, M.C.; Jewel Brown et al; newspaper title and date missing
Club Ebony Advertisement: 4415 Dowling at Rosewood, Houston, Texas; featuring Anita Echols, Jewel “Teasin’” Brown, et al; newspaper title and date missing
"Old Satchmo’s Hello Dolly Wows ‘Em;" Bill Taylor, Houston Chronicle; date missing
"High Spirits at the Music Hall;" Review of Louis Armstrong; newspaper title and date missing
"Ol’ Satchmo Shows off a Jewel;" See Hear, column by Mike Tytherleigh; The Province; Monday, February 12, 1962; contains remarks about Jewel Brown; (2 copies)
"Armstrong and the All Stars: Louis, the Showman;" Ralph Gleason; newspaper title and date missing
Newspaper column by Tony Zoppi, Dallas Morning News, Thursday, May 25, 1961; Picture of Jewel Brown and comments about her lucrative offer from Louis Armstrong
"Old Satchmo Is As Good As Ever;" Daily Telegraph, Sydney, Australia, March 28, 1963
"Satchmo Gives With the Smiles and the Blues;"The San Diego Union, Tuesday, February 5, 1963
Box Folder
1 6 "Satchmo gets huge ovation;" John Herron, Staff Reporter, The Albertan (Canada); Friday, January 19, 1968
"The Greatest Night For The Cats;"The Domif performance of Louis Armstrong and His All Stars; one paragraph devoted to Jewel Brown
"Satchmo and Friend," photograph of Jewel Brown performing with Louis Armstrong; Headline: Satchmo, Trumpet in Hand, Says Swings Around World Fun, but Like Leans, Too”; Lewiston (Idaho) Morning Tribune Friday, February 15, 1963
Advertisement: "Louis Armstrong and His Concert Group featuring Houston’s own Jewel Brown;" Music Hall, Houston; Houston Post, May 4, 1964
"Singing in Public since 12;" Newspaper story about Jewel Brown; The Dominion, Auckland, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 1963
"The X-Factor in Jazz;" Melody Maker Supplement; April 28, 1962
"He Blew Up a Furious Musical Storm: Audience Goes Wild over Satchmo;" George Liu, China Mail, Hong Kong, Saturday, April 16, 1963
Newspaper story about Louis Armstrong and Jewel Brown; Berlingske Aftenavis, Thursday, August 30, 1962
"Blues Singer Began Career at Age of 12" Newspaper story, The Evening Star, New Zealand, March 18, 1963
Column: Around Town with Ivan Paul, one paragraph devoted to Louis Armstrong and Jewel Brown; San Francisco Examiner, Saturday, January 12, 1963
Point of View, column by Donald Freeman, Radio-TV Editor, San Diego Union, Wednesday, "Satchmo Plus Welk – Why Not?” November 28, 1963 contains one paragraph about Jewel Brown
"Voice Ticket for Travellin’ Gal" Terry French; The Province, Saturday, December 15, 1962
Box Folder
1 7 "Louis on short ration says Bob Dawhorn " Melody Maker, May 6, 1962 "A Trumpet, A Smile and Goodwill " The Otaga Daily Times, Monday, March 16, 1963
"A Delicious Jazz Banquet" critique, The Otaga Daily Times, Monday, March 16, 1963
"Jazz at Town Hall, Astonishing Talent by Armstrong" Dunedin, New Zealand Town Hall; The Evening Star, Monday, March 18, 1963
"Stor Succe for Armstrong" Aftonbladet, Thursday, May 24, 1962 contains remarks about Jewel Brown; photograph of Jewel Brown with Louis Armstrong in the background
"From Church Choir to Jazz and a Gown Every 3 Songs" Newspaper story about Jewel Brown; The Otaga Daily Times Monday, March 16, 1963
"Jazz Corner: Satchmo Held Them In His Hand " Belfast Ireland News-Letter, Thursday, April 26, 1962 ( 2 copies)
"Who’s Who in Satchmo’s All Stars" Melody Maker (2 copies)
Box Folder
1 8 "A Gem of a Twister" a story about Jewel Brown; New Zealand Truth, Welling, N. Z., March 19, 1963
"Crowd-pleaser Jewel Pleases" Melody Maker, London, May 5, 1962
"About Satchmo and His Singer" Point of View column; Donald Freeman, Radio-TV Editor, San Diego Union, Thursday, February 7, 1963
"Satchmo Gives with Smiles and the Blues"San Diego Union Tuesday, February 5, 1963
"A Great Show with Satchmo" Nick Lapole, New York Journal American; Friday, December 22, 1961
"Voice Ticket for Travelin’ Gal" Terry French, The Province, Saturday, December 15, 1962
"Armstrong’s Magic Casts Spell" New Zealand Herald, Friday, March 22, 1963
NY Juvel Armstrongs Basta Sangerska; Aftonbladet, Friday, May 25, 1962
Box Folder
1 9 "Rousing ovation for jazz troupe" The Christchurch Star, New Zealand, Monday, March 11, 1963
"Armstrong (dyrast I TV) pa ‘straland gott humor"Expressen Lordagen den 26 maj, 1962
"Louis Armstrong plante come un roc dans le temps et les modes" Hier soir, au Palis des Expositions a Nice; Nice-Matin; Vendredi, 18 mai, 1962
"Armstrong drog 12000 men gjorde knappast succe" one paragraph devoted to “Yngsta medlemmen Jewel Brown; Expressen, Thursday, May 24, 1962
"Nasduksdrama pa gronan – Louis s-n-o-t sig!"Expressen, Thursday, May 24, 1962
"‘Loset Sie’ in Zurich: Satchmo durfte nichte rauchen, King of Jazz wie eh und je" Blick, Zurich, Switzerland, April 5; Photograph of Jewel Brown
"Satchmo Great as Legend About Him"The Evening Post London, Thursday, March 14, 1963
Box Folder
1 10 Billboard Music Week, February 24, 1962
Concert program in Japanese
Box Folder
1 11 "Brown and friends gather at Miller Theatre Honoring the Crown Jewel of Houston Jazz " Tim Carman; The Houston Post, Friday, August 26, 1988


Box Number
2 MSS-337.042 Louis Armstrong, trumpeter and singer; Jewel Brown in background
MSS-337.043 Jewel Brown and a fan at The Brant Inn, Ontario, Canada
MSS-337.044 Louis Armstrong playing trumpet, Norway
MSS-337.045 Jewel Brown and Trummy Young, Norway
MSS-337.046 Louis Armstrong and Trummy Young, Norway
MSS-337.047 Louis Armstrong
MSS-337.048 Jewel Brown during a performance in Norway
MSS-337.049 Louis Armstrong: publicity photograph by Associated Booking Corporation, Joe Glaser, President
MSS-337.050 Jewel Brown and Eddie Curtiss, lyric man; at wedding at Eagle Street home, Houston, Texas. Miss Brown was seventeen years old
MSS-337.051 Jewel Brown wearing academic cap and gown
MSS-337.052 Jewel Brown: publicity photograph by Associated Booking Corporation, Joe Glaser, President
MSS-337.053 Jewel Brown, publicity photograph
MSS-337.054 Jewel Brown and Howard Duff, actor, Los Angeles, California
MSS-337.055 Cora Woods who performed with Jewel Brown in San Antonio, Texas. Handwritten message suggests being in a wheelchair later
MSS-337.056 Jewel Brown; autographed photograph
MSS-337.057 Louis Armstrong: rear view, nude, in dressing room, New York City
MSS-337.058 Close-up photograph of Ray Charles during a concert with Louis Armstrong in France
MSS-337.059 George Gobel, comedian
MSS-337.060 Autographed photograph of Chuck Edwards, Houston guitarist who recorded exclusively for Duke Records, Houston, Texas
MSS-337.061 Jewel Brown during a performance at Club Ebony at Dowling and Rosewood Sts, Houston, Texas; in 1988 name changed to Club Supreme
MSS-337.062 George Gobel, comedian: with personal autograph for Jewel Brown
MSS-337.063 Louis Armstrong, Jewel Brown and Trummy Young, composer of the song “Strange Fruit,” 1961
MSS-337.064 Jewel Brown during a performance at the Living Room Club, Chicago, Illinois, 1965-1966
MSS-337.065 Jewel Brown at a club in the Catskill Mountains, 1963-1964
MSS-337.066 Jewel Brown in her dressing room, Leipzig, Germany, c. 1962-1963
MSS-337.067 Eddie Curtis, guitarist, and Jewel Brown’s ex-husband; personal autograph to Jewel Brown, New York City
MSS-337.068 Jewel Brown, 1958
MSS-337.069 Jewel Brown during a performance, 1961
MSS-337.070 Jewel Brown during a performance, 1965-1966
MSS-337.071 Jewel Brown during a performance, 1963-1964
MSS-337.072 Collage of Louis Armstrong and His Band during a performance: nine photographs
MSS-337.073 Jewel Brown during a performance
MSS-337.074 Eddie Curtis, guitarist for Decca Records; ex-husband of Jewel Brown; personal autograph to Jewel Brown
MSS-337.075 Eddie “King” Curtis playing vibraphone
MSS-337.076 Preston Keeling Brown, brother of Jewel Brown; Louis Armstrong; Mildred Brown, wife of Preston Brown and Jewel Brown. Photograph of folding cover from the Chi-Chi Starlite Room, Palm Springs, California
MSS-337.077 Theater marquee advertising performance of Louis Armstrong and His Band with Jewel Brown as soloist, South America
MSS-337.078 Souvenir folder from Gerry Dunn’s Pavilion, Bala, Ontario, Canada: crowd listening to Jewel Brown
MSS-337.079 Jewel Brown, publicity photograph
MSS-337.080 Louis Armstrong playing his trumpet, in Norway
MSS-337.081 Souvenir folder from Birdland, New York City: Jewel Brown and friend, Alton _____, whom she met in San Francisco, California
MSS-337.082 missing photograph
MSS-337.083 Initialized ring of Louis Armstrong on Louis Armstrong’s hand which is holding a cigarette: blurred face in background; somewhere in Scandinavia
MSS-337.084 Louis Armstrong and His Band in Toronto, Canada: Billy Kyle, piano; Trummie Young, trombone; Jewel Brown, singer; Joe Dannenburg, clarinet; Danny Barcelona, drums; Billy Cronk, bass, with Louis Armstrong, center-left
MSS-337.085 Jewel Brown during a performance in Europe
MSS-337.086 A-L Bound album of photographs of Jewel Brown in Prague, Czechoslovakia
Box Number
3 MSS-337. 001 Opinion, Auckland, New Zealand, Thursday March 14, 1963; newspaper personal account - Jewel Brown
MSS-337.002 Members of the Louis Armstrong Band: Doc Pugh, Armstrong’s personal valet; Trummy Young, Trombonist; Joe Darrenburgh, clarinetist; and Danny Barcelona. Sun Valley, 1962. In 1988, Danny Barcelona was doing seminars for a drum manufacturing corporation
MSS-337.003 Preston Brown, brother of Jewel Brown; Louis Armstrong and Jewel Brown; c. 1961 or 1962
MSS-337.004 Preston Brown, brother of Jewel Brown; Louis Armstrong and Jewel Brown. Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1962
MSS-337.005 Inez Keeling Brown, mother of Jewel Brown
MSS-337.006 Jewel Brown
MSS-337.007 Jewel Brown, age 15
MSS-337.008 Jewel Brown, age 7
MSS-337.009 Jewel Brown, age 15
MSS-337.010 Jewel Brown
MSS-337.011 Billy Kyle, piano; Trummie Young, trombone; Billy Cronk, bass; Joe Dannenburg, clarinet: members of Louis Armstrong Band
MSS-337.012 Jack Carter, comedian
MSS-337.013 Billy Kyle, piano; Billy Cronk, bass; Joe Dannenberg, clarinet; Danny Barcelona, drums; Louis Armstrong. Sun Valley, Idaho, 1962
MSS-337.014 Members of Louis Armstrong Band: Doc Pugh, Armstrong’s personal valet; Trummy Young, trombonist; Joe Dannenburg, clarinet; Danny Barcelona, drums; Jewel Brown
MSS-337.015 Robert Sherman and Louis Armstrong, Sun Valley, Idaho, 1962
MSS-337.016 Son of Jewel Brown, age 8
MSS-337.017 Trummy Young; Jewel Brown, Billy Kyle; Louis Armstrong; Joe Dannenburg and Danny Barcelona, April, 1962
MSS-337.018 Eddie Curtis, guitarist; once married to Jewel Brown; Divorced in 1956
MSS-337.019 Buckingham Palace
MSS-337.020 Louis and Lucille Armstrong
MSS-337.021 Lola Sung and Jewel Brown
MSS-337.022 Pete Sellers and Jewel Brown
MSS-337.023 Jewel Brown; postcard photograph
MSS-337.024 Jewel Brown, postcard
MSS-337.025 Jewel Brown