WILSON, EDITH, 1896-1981.
Edith Wilson papers, 1940-1979

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322

404-727-6887

rose.library@emory.edu

Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/f90vh


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Wilson, Edith, 1896-1981.
Title: Edith Wilson papers, 1940-1979
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 1280
Extent: .25 linear ft. (1 box) and 7 oversized papers (OP)
Abstract:Papers of African American singer Edith Wilson including comprised mostly of photographs of her as Aunt Jemima, printed material, musical scores, and correspondence.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Source

Purchase, 2012.

Custodial History

Originally received as part Robert Langmuir African American photograph collection.

Citation

[after identification of item(s)], Edith Wilson papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Processing

Processed by Susan Potts McDonald, December 13, 2013.


Collection Description

Biographical Note

Born Edith Goodall in Louisville, Kentucky, Wilson's first professional experience came in 1919 in Louisville's Park Theater. Lena Wilson and her brother, Danny, performed in Louisville; Edith married Danny and joined their act as a trio. Wilson signed with Columbia in 1921 recorded 17 tunes with Dunn's Jazz Hounds in 1921-1922 and remained a popular Columbia artist through 1925.

Wilson recorded far less than other female blues stars of the 1920s like Bessie Smith. She remained a nightclub and theater singer, working for years on the New York entertainment scene. Wilson also did extensive work as an actress, appearing on radio with Amos and Andy and on film in To Have and Have Not (1944). Shortly after World War II Wilson became the face of Aunt Jemima pancake mix. She retired from active performance in 1963, becoming executive secretary for the Negro Actors Guild. Wilson died in Chicago in March 1981

Born Edith Goodall in Louisville, Kentucky, Wilson's first professional experience came in 1919 in Louisville's Park Theater. Lena Wilson and her brother, Danny, performed in Louisville; Edith married Danny and joined their act as a trio. Wilson signed with Columbia in 1921 recorded 17 tunes with Dunn's Jazz Hounds in 1921-1922 and remained a popular Columbia artist through 1925.

Wilson recorded far less than other female blues stars of the 1920s like Bessie Smith. She remained a nightclub and theater singer, working for years on the New York entertainment scene. Wilson also did extensive work as an actress, appearing on radio with Amos and Andy and on film in To Have and Have Not (1944). Shortly after World War II Wilson became the face of Aunt Jemima pancake mix. She retired from active performance in 1963, becoming executive secretary for the Negro Actors Guild. Wilson died in Chicago in March 1981

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists primarily of material relating to Edith Wilson's portrayal of Aunt Jemima for the Quaker Oats Company. The material includes photographs of Wilson in Aunt Jemima costume, as well as various printed ephemera relating to Aunt Jemima. The collection also contains photographs of other family members as well as friends and colleagues.

Arrangement Note

Arranged by record type.


Selected Search Terms

Personal Names

Topical Terms

Form/Genre Terms


Container List

Box Folder Content
1 1 Biographical information on Aunt Jemima
1 2 Correspondence, 1943-1979
1 3 Newspaper clippings
1 4 Photographs: Aunt Jemima's Kitchen
1 5 Photographs: McClendon, Rose
1 6 Photographs: Razaf, Alicia and Andy
1 7 Photographs: Wilson family
1 8 Photographs: Wilson, Edith
1 9 Photographs: Wilson, Edith (as Aunt Jemima), 1940s-1950s
1 10 Photographs: Wilson, Lena
1 11 Photographs: Contact sheets
1 12 Photographs: Negatives
1 13 Photographs: Slides
1 14 Photographs: Unidentified
OP1 Placemats (2)
1 15 Programs, 1941-1953
OP2 Scores: "Aunt Jemima," Del Owen
OP3 Scores: "Aunt Jemima Buckwheat Cakes," Del Owen
OP4 Scores: "Aunt Jemima 'How do you Do' Song and Happy Song," Del Owen
OP5 Scores: "Aunt Jemima 'Stir Lightly' Song," Del Owen
OP6 Scores: "Aunt Jemima Whistle Song," Quaker Oats Company, 1948
OP7 Scores: "Who Was The Husband of Aunt Jemima: The Mammy of the Golddust Twins," W.C. Handy
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