Houston Public Library, Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Jimmy Ford Collection MSS.0345

Descriptive Summary

Creator Ford, James M., 1927-
Title: Jimmy Ford Collection
Identification: MSS.0345
Quantity: 0.5 Linear feet, 1doc. box, 2 cassette tapes
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library

Biographical Note

Born in Houston, Texas in 1927, jazz musician Jimmy Ford's career spanned over six decades. His first training as a child of 12 was under the direction of Cliff Dresher, who was a picolo player for the Houston Symphony Orchestra in the 1930s. Later Ford performed playing tenor saxophone with seminal greats such as Milton Larkin, Maynard Ferguson, and Clark Terry, traversing mainly between New York and Houston. His musical style was influenced by Stan Getz, and above all, Charlie Parker. Ford actually played with Charlie Parker's trumpeter Red Rodney in 1951. Ford's talent, particularly at improvisation and innovative chord progressions, kept him employed continually. He was also known for his solid work ethic cultivated from Milton Larkin's influence. Ford returned to Houston somewhat permanently in 1978, and remained working there until his death in 1994.

Scope and Contents


The oral history tapes are housed with the Oral History Collection OH 465, separate from MSS 345 - the Jimmy Ford Collection.


Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions

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

Index Terms

Dresher, Clifford
Ferguson, Maynard
Ford, James M., 1927-
Larkin, Milton
Milton Larkin Orchestra (Musical group)
Sam Houston High School (Houston, Tex.)
Jazz musicians--Texas--Houston

Related Archival Materials note

The Jimmy Ford Collection is part of a larger record group; the Texas Jazz Collection.

Related Materials and Collections

JImmy Ford Oral History, HMRC Oral History Collection, September 1988

MSS 322 Arnett Cobb Collection

MSS 252 Milton Larkin Collection

MSS 403 Illinois Jacquet Collection

MSS 337 Jewel Brown 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

Jimmy Ford Collection. Collection Number MSS 345. Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library.

Acquisition Information

Donated by: Jimmy Ford, September 28, 1988.

Processing Information

Processed by: Charles Stephenson and Tammy Jordan, April 12, 2007.

General note

The material in the Jimmy Ford Collection chronicles the beginning of Mr. Ford's life and his musical career. The collection consists of a comprehensive taped interview of Mr. Ford on September 28, 1988. The interview is completely transcribed to 28 pages of text.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Oral History Interview

Box Folder
1 1 Personal interview transcript, September 28, 1988
2 Newspaper article: Jimmy Ford, Saxophonist. Houston Wave, 1 (5) August 1986