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Michael Schreibman papers

 Collection 0347-SCPA-SCHREIBMAN
Michael Schreibman is a concert promoter from the Washington, DC area who was active from the mid-1960s until the 2010s. The Michael Schreibman papers contain files related to concerts and events that Schreibman promoted from 1970 through 2001. The papers also contain posters commissioned by Schreibman to advertise events he promoted from 1970 through 1987.

Dates

  • Majority of material found in 1979-1985
  • 1970-2001

Conditions Governing Use

Materials from this collection must be used in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library's Irving and Margery Morgan Lowens Special Collections Room. Some materials in this collection are restricted due to the presence of personally identifiable information. Please get in touch to make an appointment to view the collection in person or to ask us questions about the collection. Tel: 301.314.7614, Email: scpa@umd.edu

Extent

8 Linear Feet

Content Description

8 linear feet of papers and posters related to Michael Schreibman's work as a concert promoter in the Washington, D.C. area from the 1970s through the 1990s.

Scope and Contents

The Michael Schreibman papers covers the period from 1970 to 2001; the bulk of the materials date from 1979 to 1985. The collection consists of professional papers related to concerts Schreibman promoted in the Washington, DC area. It also includes posters commissioned by Schreibman to advertise the concerts he was promoting.

Historical Note

Michael Schreibman (b. 1944 in Washington, DC) is a concert promoter in the Washington, DC area and co-founder of the Washington Area Musicians Association (WAMA) who was active from the 1960s into the 2010s. Described by DC area music historian Mark Opsasnick as “one of the most influential figures on the local popular music scene,” Schreibman began working as a lighting and sound engineer at local clubs in 1965. After managing several nightclubs around the Georgetown and Adams Morgan neighborhoods -- including the Ambassador Theatre, which hosted Jimi Hendrix, The Hollies, Canned Heat and many others -- Schreibman began promoting larger concerts in the late 1960s, including a notable one co-promoted with Lester Grossman at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, featuring both The Who and Led Zeppelin on May 25, 1969. Schreibman brought The Who back to DC later that year on November 2 for a concert at Georgetown University's McDonough Gymnasium, an event later described by a Washington Post critic as “the most electrifying rock performance I have ever seen.”

From 1969 to 1971, Schreibman managed and promoted concerts at Emergency, "an important part of DC music history," according to filmmaker and historian Jeff Krulik. Founded as a teenage nightclub in Georgetown, Emergency saw a number of notable rock and blues artists – The Kinks, Grin (featuring Nils Lofgren), Rory Gallagher, Fairport Convention, Buddy Guy, The Amboy Dukes – take its stage. Schreibman also worked with DC music journalist Richard Harrington on an alternative arts newspaper called Woodwind that published from 1970 through 1973, although he continued promoting concerts for years with his company New Era Concerts (also known as New Era Follies).

Schreibman and DC area booking agent Michael Jaworek, formed the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA) in 1984. WAMA described itself as an organization dedicated to “raising the profile of the region’s diverse music community,” which it did, in part, through an annual awards show (nicknamed “The Wammies”) that honored musicians from various genres like go-go, punk, bluegrass, hip-hop, rock, folk, jazz and more. Schreibman, described by longtime DC music journalist Steve Kiviat as "a frank, low-key fellow," retired from concert promotion in 2004 but continued to lead WAMA into the 2010s.

Sources:

Gay, Tim. n.d. "The night the Who rocked Georgetown", Georgetown Magazine.

Harrington, Richard. 2020. Email to John Davis. February 6.

Kiviat, Steve. 1998. "What's WAMA worth?", Washington City Paper. October 2.

Krulik, Jeff. 2019. email to John Davis. August 6.

Opsasnick, Mark. 2019. Rock the Potomac : Popular Music and Early-Era Rock and Roll in the Washington, D.C. Area First ed. St. Petersburg, Florida: BookLocker.

Arrangement of Series

This collection is organized into two series
  1. Papers
  2. Posters

Custodial History

Gift of Michael Schreibman, via Richard Harrington, in two accessions on May 18, 2018 and August 31, 2018.
Title
Michael Schreibman papers
Status
Completed
Author
John Davis and Rachel Ruisard
Date
February 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Library Details

Part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library

Contact:
University of Maryland Libraries
8270 Alumni Drive
College Park MD 20742 United States