Click on each of the three illustrations above to view scans of each document.
The Second North American Tour by the Barber Band was a six-week undertaking that lasted from September 18, 1959 to November 2. During the tour the band visited many places in the United States, ranging from major cities such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and – perhaps most importantly – New Orleans – as well as relatively obscure towns in Oklahoma, Iowa, Illinois, New Mexico, and so on. They also made a couple of cross-border trips to Canada, playing concerts in Hamilton and Toronto, Ontario.

"What's On In America" "On The Band Wagon"
The Barber-Purser archives contain two original documents about the Second North American Tour. The first, entitled "What’s On In America: The Diary of a Six-Week Tour", is a detailed day-by-day account that tells where the band went, whom they met and heard in jazz clubs and concerts, and – not surprisingly, given Chris's predilection for "motor cars" – details of travel and adventures on the road. The second document, "On The Band Wagon", is a continuous essay written by Chris himself – again, heavy on the automotive details – that is particularly notable from an archival perspective for Chris's handwritten corrections on the text and in the margins. Both documents are reproduced below in their entirety.

By all accounts the tour, though a gruelling cross-country odyssey of many thousands of miles under less than ideal travelling conditions, was a great success. Three performance highlights stand out – the band's appearance at the Monterey Jazz Festival in California, visits and impromptu performances at Muddy Waters's Chicago club, Smitty's, and a formal concert in New Orleans hosted by the New Orleans Jazz Club, where Chris was made an honorary citizen of "The Land of Dreams" and received the key to the city.
"What's On In America": The Diary of a Six-Week Tour
  Page 1
  • Arrival at New York and Jazz Musicians
  • New York and Gospel Singers

    Page 2

  • Starting the Tour
  • First Job
  • More Driving
  • Hamilton, Ontario & Jack Teagarden
  • More Driving
  • State Fair
  •   Page 3
  • New York Again
  • Hello 'Frisco and Hallo Hangover
  • Still 'Frisco and Music
  • On to Monterey: Rehearsals and Personalities
  •   Page 4
  • The Monterey Festival
  •   Page 5
  • Relaxing in Monterey
  • Goodbye California; Greetings Vegas
  • Oh, Monty!
  • Route 66
  •   Page 6
  • Work Again
  • Did We Say "Work"?
  • Oklahoma State University at Stillwater
  • "Tromp Tulsa"
  • "Kansas City, Here I Come"
  •   Page 7
  • 240 More Miles
  • Grinnell, Iowa
  • River Falls, Wisconsin
  • Minneapolis & Doc Evans
  • Wartburg College
  • Chicago
  • "That Toddling Town"
  •   Page 8
  • Texas
  • Austin, Texas
  • Dallas, Texas
  • Chicago Again
  • Back to Work
  • The Sinton Hotel, Cincinnati
  •   Page 9
  • Indianapolis
  • "The Land of Dreams"
  • New Orleans Encore
  •   Page 10
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Buffalo
  • Hamilton
  • New York Again
  • Postscript
  • On The Band Wagon
      Page 1
  • Arriving in New York
  • Transportation

    Page 2

  • Pittsburgh, Hamilton, Springfield
  •   Page 3
  • Jazz Festival in Springfield
  • Back to New York
  • Flying to San Francisco
  • Time Zones
  •   Page 4
  • San Francisco
  • Monterey
  • Las Vegas
  • The Grand Canyon
  •   Page 5
  • On the road from New Mexico, to Oklahoma, Kansas City, and Iowa
  •   Page 6
  • More travelling
  •   Page 7
  • New Orleans
  • Last dates of the tour
  • Back to the From the Archives page.