Murray "Ray" Bertrand Avery (1920-2002) was a jazz photographer and jazz record collector. He opened this first jazz record shop, The Record Roundup, in 1947 and ended his retail experience at Ray Avery’s Rare Records in Glendale, CA, in 1986. The business allowed him to also pursue his interest in jazz photography. His store became a Mecca not only for the serious jazz record collector but also for record industry professionals and musicians – contacts that led to invitations to recording sessions, jazz concerts, and festivals.

Avery took his first jazz photos in the early 1950s and many of his early photographs document the birth of West Coast jazz and the artists who defined this period. Over the years his works have appeared in more than 100 jazz books, on more than 150 LP covers, more than 100 CD covers, and in numerous jazz film documentaries. His subjects included musicians like Art Blakey, Wardell Gray, Thelonious Monk, Chico Hamilton, and Billie Holiday.

Part of Avery’s record collection consisted of more than 300 radio transcription discs, which he donated to the Thousand Oaks library in 1997. After his death, another part of the collection, more than 60,000 records, was sold to the UCLA Music Library.

A finding guide to the collection is here

This collection is currently inaccessible during the transition of the American Radio Archives from the Thousand Oaks Library Foundation to UCSB’s Special Research Collections. Please monitor this page for updates.

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