Resources & Links

This is a great resource documenting Rhode Island’s thriving Garage Rock scene in the wake of the British Invasion. In addition to an ever-growing index of full articles on many of the top bands of the era (many of which have recent interviews with the original band members), there is a tremendous discography of every release they’ve been able to get their hands on. Most entries have label scans and many have streaming audio making this website not only an invaluable research tool, but a terrifically fun and entertaining one on every level.

Tremendous site for Rhode Island area music, old and new, run by musician and audio engineer Greg Bass. There’s a keen focus on the southern New England scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s during the heyday of the original music punk/new wave explosion which revolved around The Living Room in R.I. and clubs like The Rat and The Channel up in Massachusetts. There are loads of downloadable, beautifully digitized classic vinyl from most of the area’s top bands of the era. The site not only provides a great historical resource, but lots of fun and great memories, too.

Another terrific site that’s come together under the leadership of Steve Nelson, formerly manager of that most legendary of Massachusetts music venues, The Boston Tea Party. The site’s focus at this time is primarily on Boston artists, both those who made it to the big time, such as The J. Geils Band, and others who should have, such as The Neighborhoods. There’s also a wealth of information about Mass. venues and the people behind the scenes: the booking agents, artists management, disc jockeys, record producers, etc.

For those of you seeking in-depth information about the roots of the Rhode Island music scene stretching from the 1700s into the recording era, we recommend the following book available at, eBay, and other online booksellers:

Rhode Island’s Musical Heritage: An Exploration
Edited by Carolyn Livingston and Dawn Elizabeth Smith (©2008, Harmonie Park Press), the collection brings together twenty-six essays on diverse subjects of relevance to the social and cultural history of the United States.  Through the lives, institutions, and events chronicled, the book gives readers an intimate view of music and music-making in Rhode Island, past and present. (Ms. Livingston is Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of Rhode Island; Ms. Smith is director of instrumental music at Westerly High School.)

For readers interested in learning more about the Rhode Island jazz history, we recommend the following books available from the publisher and from and other online booksellers:

A Treasury of Rhode Island Jazz and Swing Musicians
Written by Dennis Pratt and Tom Shaker (©2015, Consortium Publishing), this book is the sequel to Who’s Who In Rhode Island Jazz (see below). This is a biographical collection of Jazz and Swing musicians who have played in Rhode Island. Some musicians are native Rhode Islanders and others are from elsewhere, but all have played in Rhode Island and have left their unique impression. For some, their musical talent has taken them well beyond Rhode Island, where they have earned national and even worldwide recognition. Also included is a short history of Jazz and Swing music in Rhode Island and other historical notes recognizing the prominent sites where this style of music was performed on a regular basis. Dr. Tom Shaker is a college professor, an R&B disc jockey and a filmmaker who co-produced and -directed “Do It Man: The Story of The Celebrity Club,” a documentary about a legendary Providence Jazz and R&B nightspot. Dennis Pratt is a graduate of the Navy School of Music and Berklee College of Music who found his way from Boston to Rhode Island as a high school band director and professional musician.

Who’s Who In Rhode Island Jazz c. 1925-1998

Written by Lloyd S. Kaplan and Robert E. Petteruti (©1991, Consortium Publishing), this deceptively slim volume is an encyclopedia which contains entries on virtually every important player in Rhode Island jazz history in the 20th century and contains a lengthy and scholarly preface tracing the roots of the scene back of to its origins in vaudeville during the Roaring ’20s. (Mr. Kaplan, who is still active as a performer, was a Professor of Music at Community College Of Rhode Island for many years and is a member of the CCRI Hall Of Fame. Mr. Petteruti is the dean of upright bassists in Rhode Island Jazz and taught the instrument at Dean Junior College, CCRI and Brown University. He was also proprietor of Twin City Music in the Olneyville section of Providence, an independent store run by three generations which operated from 1932 to 2009.)

Art & Music Department
The library maintains a collection on Rhode Island musicians and composers (including a large collection of newspaper clippings) and they have a complete run of The Providence Journal available for further research.
150 Empire Street
Providence, RI  02903

The Jazz History Database is an active and growing library of materials focused on the preservation and education of the History of Jazz in New England.