Judith Tick

Judith Tick is a music historian specializing in American music and women’s history. A Distinguished University Professor at Northeastern University, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2004 as an “innovator in the field of musical biography.” She is writing a biography of Ella Fitzgerald.



"Phoebe Jacobs Talks About Her Career in the Music Industry: A Thematic Interview with Judith Tick"

This presentation will be a thematic interview of a well-known figure in the New York jazz scene--Phoebe Jacobs (b.1918) . By “thematic” I mean that the interview will address two themes of the conference—mainly urban spaces and the opportunities which “public relations” and publicity opened to women in the 1950s and 60s. With regard to “place,” Jacobs oversaw public relations at two legendary venues in New York City, Basin Street East and the Rainbow Room and Rainbow Grill at Rockefeller Center. These two urban spaces attracted a particular elite demographic which has rarely been the subject of much scholarly scrutiny.

Jacobs also oversaw and produced the LP albums "Live at Basin Street East" with such musicians as Benny Goodman, Carmen McCrae and Dave Brubeck. Jacobs has much to contribute to our understanding of the music making which these spaces both enabled and constrained at a time during which jazz was fighting for its social life in the city. With respect to women’s history, public relations provided opportunities for women in an otherwise male dominated music industry. Jacobs served as the publicist for such musicians as Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Peggy Lee. In 2003 Jacobs received the Lincoln Center jazz award for leadership, presented by Ed Bradley.