Donald Dunn “D3” Duvall was born on March 7, 1946, in Washington, DC to George Thomas Duvall and Maude Dunn Duvall. He was raised in the Chevy Chase area of Maryland's Montgomery County and attended Chevy Chase Elementary School, Leland Junior High, and Bethesda–Chevy Chase High School, from which he graduated in 1964. He then enlisted in the United States Navy and enrolled at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio with an interest in studying United States history. Duvall married Bernice Bettum of Washington, DC in 1968. Duvall was honorably discharged from the Navy not long after they were married, and in 1970 the couple relocated from Ohio to Chevy Chase, Maryland, where Duvall lived the rest of his life. He spent over 20 years working for Vitro Corporation, a major US defense contractor, and also worked briefly in the insurance business and as a manager at Poch's Hardware in Potomac, Maryland. After leaving Vitro Corporation in 1993, he spent a few years working as a freelance consultant before joining the information technology (IT) consulting firm Princeton Information, where he worked until his death on August 7, 2010.
While not a trained musician, Duvall had a great love of music that was inspired in part by his maternal uncle, Claude Dunn. Dunn was born in Baltimore, Maryland on January 13, 1902. He enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and served as a quartermaster during World War II. Dunn was an avid fan of music, especially the “Big Band” era of jazz, and was also a social dancer. He regularly bought Hit of the Week records, produced by the short-lived Hit of the Week record label (1930–1932) founded by the Durium Corporation. These weekly releases consisted of a single hit song pressed on one side of a record that was made from a sturdy paper base coated with Durium, a lightweight synthetic resin. Dunn was married to Nancy “Nan” Bradburn and died on July 23, 1990. A large number of the 78s that form the Duvall collection belonged to Dunn or were part of the personal collection of his parents, Joseph and Elizabeth Dunn.
After Claude Dunn moved into a retirement home, Donald Duvall took possession of the record collection and organized it, transferring much of the collection onto cassette tapes for Dunn to listen to on headphones. Duvall held onto the collection after his uncle’s death in 1990, and upon Duvall’s own death in 2010, it was passed to his son Peter Duvall, who donated it to the University of Maryland’s Special Collections in Performing Arts in 2011.
--Authored by Peter Duvall and edited by Rachel Ruisard