The Troyce Key papers include correspondence, photographs, financial records, flyers, publicity material, and publications
documenting the musical career of blues musician and nightclub owner Troyce Key. The papers are organized in to four series:
Eli Mile High Records, Eli’s Mile High Club & Restaurant records, photographs, and assorted material.
Blues musician and night club owner Troyce Key (1937-1992) was born on September 7, 1937 in Jordon Plantation, Louisiana to
Verdell and Lula May Key. In 1938, the Key family decided to move to Oregon but only made to Bakersfield, California after
they ran out of gasoline and money. The family stayed in California and worked as migrant workers picking cotton and grapes
and eventually settling in Fresno, California where Troyce Key attended various schools. His father played the guitar and
harmonica and often sang at local house parties. Troyce Key began playing guitar as a teenager and began touring throughout
California in 1956 and eventually joined The Campus Kings . In 1958, he traveled to Hollywood with a demo tape and signed
a record contract with Warner Brothers Records in 1958. That year, Key released four singles-“Drown My Tears,” “Baby Please
Don’t Go,” “Most of All,” and “She’s Sumpin’ Else,” - with Eddie Cochran on guitar, Howard Roberts on rhythm guitar, and Eddie
Palmer on drums. Warner Brothers sent Key on a promotion tour and he toured the country performing on various teen dance television
4.5 linear feet
(10 boxes + 1 oversized box)
Permission to publish from the Troyce Key Papers must be obtained from the African American Museum & Library at Oakland.
No access restrictions. Collection is open to the public.