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Jimmy and Jeannie Cheatham Collection

Identifier: MS-0149

Scope and Contents

The Jimmy and Jeannie Cheatham Collection was gifted to the UMKC Miller Nichols Library by Jeannie Cheatham in February 2009. The collection documents the personal and professional lives of Jimmy and Jeannie Cheatham. Also highlighted is the history of the Sweet Baby Blues Band, which was birthed by the Cheathams in 1983. Included are biographical information, correspondence, contracts, programs, album covers, music manuscripts, miscellanea, and several hundred photographs. A significant element of this collection is the manuscript materials relating to Jeannie Cheatham’s autobiography, Meet Me With Your Black Drawers On: My Life in Music. The papers document the step by step process, from her handwritten drafts to a final bound manuscript. Another highlight is an commemorative album of tributes and testimonials from former students of Jimmy Cheatham on the occasion of his 80th birthday.

The collection also contains audio documentation of live recordings, jam sessions, master and demo recordings, radio interviews; video documentation of television appearances and live concerts; as well as copies of various releases by Jimmy and Jeannie Cheatham and the Sweet Baby Blues Band.

Several addendums to this collection have been received from Jeannie Cheatham since the original donation. Addendum I was gifted in June 2010 and March 2011, and consists of miscellaneous items including letters of appreciation, a mayoral proclamation, books and media. Addendum II was gifted in September 2015 and consists of additional music manuscripts, fragments and notes. Addendum III was gifted and subsequently processed in May 2018, and consists of miscellaneous items including information on Jeannie Cheatham's book, interview transcripts and a certificate of recognition.


  • 1939 - 2012


Conditions Governing Use

Donor has transferred copyright they own


14.5 Linear Feet (LaBudde: 6 Manuscript Boxes, 13 Music Manuscript Boxes, 3 Photograph Boxes.)

9.75 Linear Feet (Marr: 51 VHS Tapes, 1 SVHS Tape, 10 U-matic Tapes, 1 Betamax Tape, 69 Compact Cassettes, 4 DATs, 14 Open Reel Audiotapes, 1 Lacquer Disc, 1 Vinyl Disc, 19 Pressed CDs, 9 CD-Rs, 8 DVD-Rs.)

Language of Materials


LaBudde: Teresa L. Gipson, Peiying Yuan, Stuart Hinds (supervising archivist); Addendum 1: Gipson, Hinds; Addendum 2: Gipson, Hinds; Addendum 3: Lydia Bechtel-Edmonson, HInds. Marr: Rebekah Green.
LaBudde: March 2009; Addendum 1: 2011; Addendum 2: 2015; Addendum 3: May 2018. Marr: 2019.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Special Collections and Archives Repository