About the Museum

The Jack Teagarden Museum will be an elegant and attractive museum dedicated to educating the public about the life and music of the Greatest Jazz Trombonist of All Time. The interior was designed by local architect Don Wilson with an emphasis on a modern, clean, and classy look and feel.

The museum will primarily consist of the Joe Showler Archive. Showler, a native of Canada, has spent over 40 years collecting, collating, and codifying as much information about Jack Teagarden as he possibly can. His collection of Teagarden memorabilia is considered one of the most complete and comprehensive collections in the annals of Jazz history; literally thousands of photographs, hundreds of hours of movies, a quantity of research, letters, and data that has to be measured in linear feet, and so much more. All of this, then, will become the foundation for the museum’s exhibits, special collections, and repository as a research library for Jazz students, scholars, and aficionados.

A Rough Breakdown of the Contents of the Joe Showler Collection
-Over 1000 78 records (including rare and scarce pressings not available anywhere else)
-Over 5000 photographs (from Jack’s baby picture to the end of his life)
-Over 500 hours of film (commercial films plus home movies)
-Over 50 hours of interviews (surviving band members and wives)
-Over 1000 albums of studio and live performance recordings (including rare pressings)
-Over 500 hours of reel-to-reel tape (including private recordings & unpublished material)
-Over 400 books on the history of Jazz and motion pictures

Also included:
-Scrapbooks containing 20,000 clippings from newspapers and trade magazines
-Unpublished manuscripts from former band members and jazz critics
-Programs, souvenirs, and other ephemera from the whole of Jack’s musical career
-Research materials from the two previous books about Teagarden, much unpublished
-A travel itinerary for Teagarden that is now 80% complete

Vernon, TX in 1905

The estimated value of this unique collection is approximately $500,000 dollars.

“It is hoped that the Showler archive will eventually come to the trombonist’s home state as a resource for the study of the history of jazz as it developed in Texas and in particular through one of the  music’s major artists.”
Dave Oliphant, Jazz Mavericks of the Lone Star State

Our goals for the Jack Teagarden Museum and Archive are as follows:

We want to operate a clean and attractive museum in downtown Vernon, Texas that serves as a model for the businesses in the area and as a point of pride to the community;

We want to arrange, preserve, catalog, and make available to the public the materials held in its collections;

We want to collect, arrange, preserve, catalog, and make available to the public additional materials relating to the life and career of Jack Teagarden;

We want to serve as a reference source for information about Jack Teagarden;

We want to present public programs, such as concerts and lectures, that preserve and promote the cultural legacy of Jack Teagarden and Texas Musicians.