NOTE: Doc is available from the publisher at 40% off the cover price through January 1, 2022. Pick it up here and type the discount code HOLIDAYS21 at checkout for this deal.

Burgin Mathews is co-author, with Dr. Frank Adams, of Doc: The Story of a Birmingham Jazz Man (University of Alabama Press, 2012).

Doc Adams book

Doc tells the story of jazz elder statesman Frank Adams, highlighting his role in Birmingham, Alabama’s, historic jazz scene and tracing a personal adventure that parallels in many ways the story and spirit of jazz itself. A compelling work of oral history, the book draws from more than two years of weekly interviews with writer Burgin Mathews, bringing to life Adams’s warm and funny, inspiring storytelling voice.

John Szwed — author of Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World and Space Is the Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra — says this: “Frank Adams’s account of his life as a musician in Birmingham is fascinating on its own, with his rich stories of life on the road, the bands of Duke Ellington and Sun Ra, and the fabled music teacher Fess Whatley. But his memories of the development of the city’s culture, the role of African American educational institutions, life under segregation, and the struggle for civil rights give this fine book an epic feel, and show us sides of Birmingham that historians have missed.”

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Order the book from the publisher, order it from Amazon, or ask for it at your favorite local bookstore. And let me know what you think — drop me a line at