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James Neal Montgomery collection

Identifier: aarl89-012

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains material (8 cubic feet) primarily on individual artists and performing groups, such as flyers, publicity announcements, concert announcements and printed programs; correspondence and information on entertainment industry agents and agencies from all across the United States; business records and correspondence to and from Southeastern Artists, Inc. of which he was president; and business records from the Sunset Casino, a nightclub located on Magnolia Street in northwest Atlanta, Georgia during the mid-1940's. There is 1½ cubic feet of photographs in very good condition of various entertainers and singers of the 1940's, including Fletcher Henderson; Nat King Cole; Billy Eckstine; and Count Basie, to name a few. Photographs of Mr. Montgomery with other unidentified persons also are included. Copies of his weekly newspaper column exist in their original format. Some records of Mrs. Callie Montgomery also exist, as well as a baby photograph of Maeneal Montgomery.


  • Majority of material found within Bulk, 1940-1950
  • Bulk, 1940-1950 1922-1975 1940-1950


Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on research use of this collection.

Copyright Restrictions

Prior permission from the Research Library must be obtained in writing before any portion of this collection can be published or reproduced.

Historical Sketch

Mr. James Neal Montgomery was born in Atlanta, GA March 6, 1903. He attended public school in Atlanta and graduated from Clark University Junior College Dept. in 1925 with a degree in education. He began working in the Atlanta Public school system in 1925 as a music teacher, general science instructor, and a school band instructor. He was a member of the Gate City Teachers Association and the American Federation of Musicians.

Mr. Montgomery entered the business world in the entertainment field in the late 1930's. He was affiliated with several business endeavors, either as owner, manager, or agent. These endeavors included Southeastern Artists, Inc. (begun 1939); Sunset Casino (1943-1953, approximately); Sunset Amusement Corp. (no dates); and New Era Enterprises (existed late 1940's). He also wrote a column for the Atlanta Journal and Constitution called "Weekly Roundup of News" about the Atlanta Negro community from 1952 to 1955. He was married to Mrs. Callie Montgomery who also taught in the Atlanta Public School system and they had one daughter, Maeneal Montgomery, born in 1947.


8.5 Linear feet




The collection consists of papers of James Neal Montgomery from 1922-1975. The papers include correspondence, financial records, printed material, photographs, and newspaper clippings. The materials document Montgomery's business activities in the entertainment field and include financial records and correspondence pertaining to the Southeastern Artists, Inc. (1944-1949) and the Sunset Casino (1943-1947); flyers, publicity announcements, concert announcements, and programs for various individual artists and performing groups; and correspondence or printed material from numerous entertainment agents and agencies throughout the United States.


The collection also contains a large number (3 cubic ft.) of photographs of various African American entertainers or singers of the 1940s and clippings of Montgomery's columns from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (1952-1955).


  1. I. [General], 1945-1967
  2. II. Entertainment Industry
  3. III. Sunset Casino Financial Records, 1943-1947
  4. IV. Matted Prints
  5. V. Ephemera
  6. VI. Photographs
  7. VII. Oversize Documents, 1915-1968
  8. VIII. Newspapers, 1950-1975, bulk 1952-1955, 1974-1975

Processing Information

Revised January 1997.
Inventory of the James Neal Montgomery Collection aarl89-012 aarl89-012
Finding aid prepared by Finding aid prepared by Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History
2004 September 15
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History Repository

101 Auburn Avenue NE
Atlanta GA 30303