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Boogie in Black and White Documentary Collection, circa 1988

(Manuscript Collection #1086)

Descriptive Summary Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Title: Boogie in Black and White Documentary Collection
Creator: Albright, Alex
Repository: ECU Manuscript Collection
Languages: English
Abstract: Collection (circa 1988) of research material and interview transcripts compiled by the donor for his UNC-TV documentary Boogie in Black and White, a film about the making of the movie Pitch a Boogie Woogie. This movie was shot in Greenville, North Carolina in 1947 using a local cast of African American musicians and actors, by John W. Warner, then owner of the Plaza Theatre in Greenville. The material in this collection includes an outline, subject background and questions regarding "The Block", a popular area in Greenville, all used for the making of Boogie in Black and White. Also included are questions for interviewees. Photocopy typescripts.
Extent: 0.0070 Cubic feet, 7 items, 1 archival box.

Administrative Information Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Accessions Information

October 20, 2006, 7 items, 0.007 cubic feet; Collection (ca. 1988) of research material and interview transcripts compiled by the donor for his film Boogie in Black and White, a Public Broadcasting System (PBS) documentary about the making the movie Pitch A Boogie Woogie, filmed in Greenville, North Carolina in 1947 with a local cast of African American musicians and actors, by John W. Warner, owner of the Plaza Theatre, including an outline, subject background and questions on "The Block" neighborhood, and questions for interviewees Beatrice Atkinson, Purvis Cohens, Don Lennon, and Sam Underwood, Jr. Typescript. Donor: Alex Albright

Access Restrictions

No restrictions

Copyright Notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Preferred Citation

Boogie in Black and White Documentary Collection (#1086), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.

Acquisition Information

  • Gift of Alex Albright

Processing Information

  • Processed by Molley Brisendine, May 8, 2008

  • Encoded by Mark Custer, January 2, 2008 (preliminary) and April 29, 2010 (processed)


Biographical / Historical Note Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Boogie in Black and White is a UNC-TV documentary written and produced by Alex Albright about the making of the movie Pitch a Boogie Woogie. The movie was filmed in Greenville, North Carolina in 1947 with a local cast of African American musicians and actors. John W. Warner, owner and manager of the local Plaza Theatre, filmed the movie. Warner was known for the practice of filming local people and events and previewing the productions at his theater. The documentary contains interviews with local residents who discuss postwar Greenville, including "The Block", a two block district on Albemarle Avenue where many notable African American artists and musicians came to play in local clubs and warehouses. Also discussed are the movie's production, discovery and preservation. Interviewees include Beatrice Atkinson, Pervis Cohens, Bill Shepherd, Alex Albright, Donald R. Lennon, Sam Underwood, Jr. (Warner's attorney), "Little," "Guy," "Forbes," "Carlson" and "Woods." Albright is currently Associate Professor in the English Department at East Carolina University in Greenville.

Description Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Note: Only documents 1 and 2 contain both questions and answers. The remaining documents consist of only questions.

Document one is an outline of the documentary film Boogie in Black and White (1988). The outline contains transcription of interviews with locals, cast members of the movie, and those involved with finding the movie in the Roxy Theater, and the work to preserve the film and the story behind it. The outline also contains information about businesses on "The Block" and the neighborhood surrounding it.

Document two contains subject backgrounds and interview questions concerning "The Block", John Warner and the Plaza Theater. It also provides background material on E.H. "Red" Eaton, Millard Fillmore Bell, Bill Jones, Pervis Cohens, Sam Underwood, Jr., Donald R. Lennon and Bill Shepard.

Document three consists of a list of questions to ask interviewees about "The Block" and life after World War II on "The Block. The questions themselves give insight into people and places on "The Block", including theaters, restaurants and clubs.

Document four is entitled Beatrice Atkinson: questions to ask and information needed. Atkinson had a small part in the movie Pitch a Boogie Woogie, and was an important source of information to the documentary producer. Atkinson was working at East Carolina University when the film was brought in to be preserved. She was recognized in the credits, and she provided assistance in locating people and recollections of life on and surrounding "The Block".

Document five consists of a list of questions to ask Pervis Cohens.

Document six consists of a list of questions to ask Sam Underwood, Jr., who was John Warner's attorney. The questions were meant to uncover who John Warner was, why he made the movie and what he wished to accomplish by its creation.

Document seven consists of a list of questions to ask Donald R. Lennon, then head of Joyner Library's Special Collections Department at East Carolina University, about the discovery and preservation of the movie Pitch a Boogie Woogie.

Related Collections Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

Container List Click here to collapse or expand the contents in this section of the finding aid

  • Box 1#1086.1
    • Folder a#1086.1.a
      • Boogie in Black and White (1988). Typed outline for documentary. 1 item. 10 p.  (item #1)
      • Boogie in Black and White (1988). Typed document, Subject backgrounds and Interview Questions: The Block, John Warner, Plaza Theatre. People to interview for documentary and their backgrounds. 1 item. 2 p.  (item #2)
      • Boogie in Black and White (1988). The Block: Typed questions to ask interviewees concerning the local area for the documentary. 1 item. 3 p.   (item #3)
      • Boogie in Black and White (1988). Beatrice Atkinson: Information needed and questions to ask. 1 item. 2 p.  (item #4)
      • Boogie in Black and White (1988). Pervis Cohen: typed interview questions concerning The Block, John Warner, and the Plaza Theatre. 1 item. 1 p.  (item #5)
      • Boogie in Black and White (1988). Sam Underwood, Jr.: typed interview questions for Mr. Underwood, John Warner's attorney. 1 item. 1 p.  (item #6)
      • Boogie in Black and White (1988). Donald R. Lennon, Head of Special Collections at East Carolina University: Typed interview questions for documentary concerning the movie and its preservation. 1 item. 1 p.   (item #7)

Online access to this finding aid is supported with funds created through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). These funds come through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services which is administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. This grant is part of the North Carolina ECHO, Exploring Cultural Heritage Online, Digitization Grant Program.

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Special Collections Division, J.Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University. The materials described here are physically available in our reading room. None of the original documents in this collection are digitally available online at this time.
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