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Guide to the Charles E. Banks Papers
MS 213  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Bay area blues musician and artist Charles E. Banks (1938-2000) was born Charles Edward Banks in Taylorville, Illinois, December 4, 1938. The Charles E. Banks Papers include assorted biographical material, concert flyers, posters, programs, song lists, club advertisements, entertainment calendars, reproductions of artwork, photographs, handwritten poems, and three audiocassettes featuring Blues on Tap's live and studio recordings.
Background
Bay area blues musician and artist Charles E. Banks (1938-2000) was born Charles Edward Banks in Taylorville, Illinois, December 4, 1938 to parents Edward and Grace. His mother, Grace Drasdale, played piano at the local Baptist church, and his father was a day laborer who sang in the church choir. Banks graduated from Taylorville High School in 1956 and joined the United States Air Force. While completing his tour in Spokane, Washington, he met J.J. Malone who taught him to play the electric bass. Banks was given a room to rent at Malone’s home and would take guitar lessons from him on weekends. Together they formed their first band, The Rockers (later the Tops in Blues), playing radio stations, and hospital wards and frequently for Nez Perce audiences across the Idaho State line. After leaving the service, Malone and Banks formed the Rhythm Rockers in Fresno, California, adding C.A. Carr, Calvin Peele, and former rockabilly Troyce Key to the lineup.
Extent
.75 linear feet (1 box + 1 oversized box)
Restrictions
Permission to publish must be obtained from the African American Museum & Library at Oakland.
Availability
No access restrictions. Collection is open to the public.