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Jack Holden papers

Identifier: M041

Scope and Content of the Papers

The Jack Holden Papers contain photocopies of correspondence, clippings, music, and radio station publicity materials relating primarily to the career of Jack Holden and to the Holden Brothers performing duo. Also found in the materials is the photocopied sheet music for two songs, "No Wars in Heaven" and "Standing By His Side." The photographs include images of Jack Holden, Fairley Holden, the Holden Brothers, and a variety of other country musicians, as well as one image of an undated handbill advertising an appearance of the Holden Brothers.


  • Creation: circa 1939-circa 1976


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research use.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Georgia State University is the owner of the physical collection and makes reproductions available for research, subject to the copyright law of the United States and item condition. Georgia State University may or may not own the rights to materials in the collection. It is the researcher's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and obtain permission from the copyright holder before publication, reproduction, or display of the materials beyond what is reasonable under copyright law. Researchers may quote selections from the collection under the fair use provision of copyright law.

Biography of Jack Holden

Jack Holden, who was born Milton Jackson in Pickens County, Georgia on March 13, 1915, grew up listening to gospel music and learned to play guitar from one of his uncles. During the 1930s he teamed up with Fairley Holden, who also played guitar, and the two put together a guitar and vocal duo. They began performing together on a freelance basis, and soon after started their radio career on WATL in Atlanta. In 1936 they moved to Akron, Ohio, where they eventually chose for themselves the name "The Holden Brothers." From 1936 through the opening of World War II, the Holden Brothers built an active and successful performing career. Shortly after their wartime service, Jack and Fairley followed separate careers, reuniting only for a brief period during 1947 and 1948. Jack moved to Atlanta in 1949, where he continued a performing and radio career. His wife, Frances Thompson Holden (using the stage name "Frances Kay") frequently performed and co-authored songs with him.


0.2 Linear Feet (in 5 folders)

Language of Materials



Jack Holden (born Milton Jackson) teamed up with Fairley Holden as a guitar and vocal duo on WATL in Atlanta. The pair moved to Ohio and built an active and successful performing career as "The Holden Brothers." After wartime service, they followed separate careers. Jack moved to Atlanta in 1949, where he continued a performing and radio career, frequently performing with his wife, Frances Thompson Holden (using the stage name "Frances Kay"). The Jack Holden papers contain photocopies of correspondence, clippings, music, and radio station publicity materials relating to the careers of Holden and the Holden Brothers, and 27 photographs of them and other musicians.

Off-Site Storage

Collection is stored offsite. Allow at least 2 working days for retrieval.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Jack Holden, April 4, 1985 (M1985-07).

Related Archival Materials

The Popular Music and Culture Collection includes numerous photographs that have been digitized and are available online in Georgia State University Library Digital Collections.

Separated Materials:

During processing various materials were separated to other Popular Music and Culture Music Collections. Consult the University Library's online catalog or contact Special Collections for access to sheet music.

Popular Music Sheet Music Collection

  1. "Standing By His Side"
  2. "No Wars in Heaven"


A longer and more thorough history of Jack Holden and the Holden Brothers may be found in:
  • Daniel, Wayne. "Roots of Bluegrass: The Holden Brothers," Bluegrass Unlimited 16/5 (November 1981): 24-30.

Processing Information

Processed by Christopher Ann Paton and Christine de Catanzaro at the file level, October 29, 1991.

Jack Holden:
A Guide to His Papers at Georgia State University Library
Georgia State University Library
October 29, 1991
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404-413-2881 (Fax)