Johnny Long was a native of Newell, North Carolina and a student at Duke University from 1931 to 1935. In 1931, Long and ten other Duke freshmen formed the Duke Collegians Orchestra, later the Johnny Long Orchestra. Long and the Orchestra recorded several hits and performed at jazz venues around the country. Long continued to perform until his death in 1972. The scrapbook contains photographs, clippings, gig posters and advertisements, album liner notes, and other assorted memorabilia related to the Duke Collegians and the Johnny Long Orchestra and other big bands from North Carolina with inclusive dates 1931-1990.
The scrapbook, created by C. Shelby Dale (Duke '35), bass player and original member of the Orchestra, contains material pertaining to the career of Johnny Long with the Duke Collegians and the Johnny Long orchestra with the inclusive dates 1931 through 1973. Material includes photographs, clippings, gig posters and advertisements, album liner notes and other assorted memorabilia. Additional material also covers reunions of the surviving members of the Duke Collegians and the careers of other big bands and band leaders such as Les Brown and His Band of Renown (formerly the Duke Blue Devils), a 1936 graduate of Duke; Jelly Leftwich, the first Director of Duke's Department of Music and conductor of the Duke University Club Orchestra; Hal Kemp, leader of the Carolina Club Orchestra formed while a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Joseph Franklin "Sonny" Burke, a 1937 graduate of Duke and leader of the Duke Ambassadors.