The Charles W. Brown Jazz Collection

The Charles W. Brown Jazz Collection at CSU Libraries Archives

Charles W. Brown was an avid jazz collector who amassed over 500 78s and more than 75 LPs recordings dating from the 1920’s to the 1970’s.  Also included in his collection are sheet music and ephemera relating to the genre. 

Charles Wesley Brown was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 20, 1914.  He lived in New Jersey most of his life, developing his love of jazz in nearby New York City.  He haunted the jazz clubs in Harlem and met many jazz greats during this time while cultivating his collection of recordings.  After retiring from his career as a professional proofreader (he was recognized as an authority on proofreading), “Charley” Brown moved to Montrose, Colorado.  Following his death in 2009, his daughter, Patricia Fennell sought an archive for his many recordings.  The Charles W. Brown Jazz Collection found a home at Colorado State University.

As well as being a passionate collector of jazz, Charley Brown was a musician in his own right.  One of the unique recordings in the collection is his own recording, “Charley Brown’s Improvised Whistling of Traditional Jazz, 1960-1985,” accepted by the Library of Congress in 2002.

Here's a sample of the collection. Muskrat Ramble from Don Ewell's piano jazz  

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