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Roy McCoy photographs

Identifier: PIMS-0101

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

This collection contains photographs, negatives, contact prints, and one photograph album of African American jazz musicians in Baltimore, primarily from approximately 1935 to 1965. Musicians featured in the photographs include Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Tracy McCleary, Bus Green, Cat Anderson, Bubby Johnson, A. Jack Thomas, Sammy Lewis, the Honeydrippers, and the Rivers Chambers Orchestra. Many photographs were taken at Pennsylvania Avenue musical venues such as the Royal Theater and Club Orleans. Most photographs were taken by or collected by McCoy.


  • Creation: 1934 - 1999


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for use at the Arthur Friedheim Library Archives of the Peabody Institute. Contact for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright. All requests for permission to publish or perform materials in this collection must be submitted in writing to the archivist of the Arthur Friedheim Library.

Biographical / Historical

Roy McCoy (1920-2001) began his musical career as a member of the Afro-American Drum and Bugle Corps in Baltimore. He studied with Clarence "Babe" Bright and A. Jack Thomas. He joined Sammy Louis's Band at the Ritz on Pennsylvania Avenue, where his towering height and size-14 shoes earned him the nickname "Tanglefoot." By 1937 he was a member of the house band at the Royal Theater. In 1942 he joined Lionel Hampton's band, with whom he toured and recorded. After a year on the road, McCoy returned to Baltimore, leading his own band at the Club Orleans. He also performed with the Rivers Chambers Orchestra. As a photographer, he took many pictures of his friends and associates in the Baltimore musical scene. He continued to perform until the time of his death.


1.1 Cubic Feet (2 small photographic negatives boxes, 2 medium binders, 1 large binder)

Language of Materials



Roy McCoy (1920-2001) was a jazz trumpeter from Baltimore who performed with such ensembles as the house band of the Royal Theater and the Lionel Hampton Band in the late 1930s and 1940s. McCoy took many pictures of his friends and associates in the Baltimore musical scene. The McCoy photographs collection contains prints, negatives, and a photo album of musicians and associates, primarily from approximately 1935 to 1965.


Gift of Roy McCoy in 1998. The McCoy photographs were initially acquired to serve an exhibit by the Peabody Archives on Baltimore African American music history called "The Storm Is Passing Over" (PIMS.0090) and later reused in a 2002 exhibit called "Sounds and Stories" (PIMS.0091). During initial processing, some additional photographs from the exhibits were probably interfiled with photographs acquired from McCoy, and some McCoy photographs may have been integrated into PIMS.0090 and 0091.

Existence and Location of Copies

The bulk of the processed photographs in the collection are digitized and available in the Baltimore African American Music digital collection at

Related Materials

The McCoy photographs were prominently featured in two exhibits by the Peabody Archives on Baltimore African American musical culture: "The Storm Is Passing Over" (PIMS.0090) and "Sounds and Stories" (PIMS.0091). Additional descriptive and contextual information about McCoy and the musical life he captured can be found in those collections.

Processing Information

Processed by Elizabeth Schaaf, approximately 1998-2002, and by Ryan Koons in 2018.


Guide to the Roy McCoy photographs
Matt Testa
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Peabody Archives Repository

Peabody Institute
1 E. Mount Vernon Place
Baltimore MD 21202 USA