Jefferson High School (Los Angeles)
|1319 East 41st Street
Los Angeles, California
United States 90011
|School district||Los Angeles Unified School District|
|Color(s)||Green and Gold|
|Athletics conference||Southern League, Los Angeles City Section CIF|
|Website||Jefferson HS website|
For schools with a similar name, see Jefferson High School (disambiguation).
Thomas Jefferson High School, usually referred to as Jefferson High School was founded in 1916, it is the fourth oldest public high school in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Located in South Los Angeles (formerly called South-Central), its surrounding communities are Downtown, Florence, Historic South-Central and South Park. Its colors are Kelly Green and Gold and the teams are called the Democrats or Demos.
- 1 History
- 2 Athletics
- 3 Music
- 4 Academic configuration
- 5 Notable alumni
- 6 Academic Performance Index (API)
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
In 1915, the citizen of Los Angeles voted to sell bonds to raise $4,600,000 to build schools in the Los Angeles area. Approximately $500,000 was appropriated to build Jefferson High School on the "Stadium East Grounds" (The Old Coliseum)[a] which held approximately 25,000 people in a circled amphitheater configuration. The "Stadium" as it was known was the site for hosting and entertaining travelers on the way to both the San Diego and San Francisco world expos in 1915. Numerous rodeos and bicycle races were held at the location.
Architect Norman F. Marsh was hired to design the new Jefferson High School complex, the property front 1235 feet on Hooper Avenue, 1149 feet on Compton Avenue, and 952 feet on 34th Street and 392 feet on 38th street. The buildings of the group would be of brick and concrete construction, being faced with rug tapestry brick and trimmed with artificial stone. All corridors and stairways would be made absolutely fireproof. The classical style would be followed, each of the main structures having a dignified entrance portico with stone pediment and columns.
Jefferson opened its doors on September 11, 1916, with 24 faculty members and two buildings completed. Theodore Fulton was installed as the school's first principal.
On March 10, 1933, a Magnitude 6.4 an earthquake in the city of Long Beach completely destroyed the infrastructure of the six buildings which composed the Jefferson High School Campus. The campus was closed from March 10 until April 6 while the school board assessed the situation. On April 6, tent bungalows provided by the school board were erected on the football fields. Classes were shortened to half day sessions in order to serve the entire student population.
In 1933, Architect Stiles O. Clements was hired to build a 45-unit campus with a budget of $353,000. The "Streamline Modern" building structures were completed in 1935. Ross Dickinson was selected and funded by Federal Art Project to paint four 11 feet by 5.5 foot murals with the theme "The History of Recorded Word". The murals were completed in 1937.
As of 1936, several notable alumni such as Ralph Bunche, Woody Strode and Samuel R. Browne had graduated from Jefferson High School. All three men were African American, the first of many Jefferson alumni to break racial barriers in the politics of diplomacy, the art of dance, the art of music and the interpretation of sports. Jefferson produced more jazz musicians and composers than any other high school west of the Mississippi. Many of the musicians were nurtured under the guidance of Samuel R. Browne.
Beginning in 1937, Jefferson won the first of 8 California State Championship in Track and Field (1937, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1956, 1962, and 1964). The four consecutive state championships in California (1949, 1950, 1951 and 1952) have not been surpassed today. Woody Strode is one of two men who broke the color barrier in the National Football League in 1946. Mal Whitfield and Charles Dumas both received Gold Medals in the Olympics. This is a rare instance when two Olympic Gold medalists have come from the same high school.
Jefferson High has produced more prominent Jazz Musicians / Composers than any public or private high school in California.
Jefferson is a traditional calendar school, composed of four Small Learning Communities (SLCs) and the Early College program which is located at L.A. Trade Tech. The goal of each SLC is to offer individualized attention to students. The SLCs are as follows:
- Academy of Business & Communication (ABC): focuses on building leaders in the liberal arts, retail, medical, legal and business fields.
- Creative Arts and Expression (CAE): focuses on the creative energy and leadership within each student through the arts.
- Global Outlook through Academic Leadership: focuses on building leaders in the social, political, environmental, health and economic fields
- TPA Small Learning Community: focuses on building leaders in the education and social services fields
The Early College Program (Jefferson/Trade Tech. Incentive) accepts students, based on recommendation and interview, who have "extenuating circumstances" requiring special support to achieve college acceptance.
|This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. The specific problem is: needs wikifying, sourcing and trimming. (January 2013)|
Dancer / Choreographer / Entertainer
- Alvin Ailey –  choreographer and activist who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York.
- Carmen De Lavallade – Dancer, Performer, Actor
- Dorothy Dandridge –  an American actress and popular singer. First African American to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for the movie Carmen Jones.
Television / Film Personality
- Woody Strode – (Actor, Football Player) Veteran of 30 movies including "The Ten Commandments −1956", "Spartacus −1960", "Posse" −1993 (See Football)
- Mablean Ephriam – Television Personality – "Judge Mablean"
- Merry Clayton – Actress, Singer –  Eight Episode of "Cagney and Lacey", Acted in "Maid to Order" with Alley Sheedy (See Singer below)
- Juanita Moore – Actress –  – The 4th African American nominated for an Oscar. Participated in over 50 movies; best known for her role as the mother in the movie "Imitation of Life"
- Matthew Beard (American actor) – Actor (Our gang Little Rascals Series)
Television / Film Production, Direction, Design
- Iwao Takamoto – Animator, Design the character image of the Hanna-Barbera Production cartoon Scooby-Doo.
- John Meehan Known as "Francis"–Jefferson Plays,U.S.C Architecture,then Motion Picture Art Director. Won Academy Awards for Art Direction for the films: "The Heiress","Sunset Blvd","20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", Television Art Direction:Emmy Nomination-G.E.Theatre. Graduated Class of 1922.
Politician / Judicial
- Ralph Bunche –  – Educator, UN mediator on Palestine and Nobel Peace Prize Winner
- Thelton Henderson –  – Federal Judge in the Northern District of California.
- Willard H. Murray, Jr. –  California State Assembly Member 1988–1996 (District 52); California Institute for the Preservation of Jazz. Current director of the Water Replenishment District 1. Father of Former State Senator Kevin Murray ref: Testimony of Buddy Collette & Marl Young
- Augustus F. Hawkins –  U.S. House of Representatives from California's 21st and 29th district from 1963–1991; California assembly from 1935–1963
- David W. Williams –  Judge for the United States District Court for the Central District of California; first African American Federal Judge from states west of the Mississippi.
- William R Clay –  Appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to Superior Court judge in October 1976
- Earl C. Gay (1902–75), Los Angeles City Council member, 1933–45
- Stanley Crouch – Syndicated Columnist and Novelist. Created nine Non-Fiction novel and 2 Fiction novels. He is a Controversial anti-rap critic; His novel "Ain't No Ambulances For No Nigguhs Tonight" was typical writings against the non-sophisticated black man.
Composer / Writer /Music Director
- Floyd Dixon – Songwriter, Singer –  Hit Songs "Telephone Blues", "Call Operator 210" and "Hey Bartender", the latter enjoying wide exposure by the release of 1980 hit "The Blues Brothers".
- Roy Ayers – Jazz Composer and Vibraphone player –  Arranged Musical Score for 1973 movie "Coffy" and classic albums "Running Away 1976" and "Mystic Voyage 1975".
- Richard Berry – Songwriter, Singer –  Wrote Classic Hit Song "Louie Louie" made popular by The Kingsmen.
- Rickey Minor – Emmy-nominated music director, composer, and music producer; widely known for the title 'Music Director" for television series The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, American Idol and Don't Forget The Lyrics!
- Barry White – Record Producer, Singer Song Writer; Five times Grammy Award Winner; attended Jefferson for sophomore and junior year.
- Horace Tapscott – Jazz Piano player and composer Subject of UCLA Jazz Archive called the Horace Tapscott Collection. Creator of "The Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra (P.A.P.A.)".
- Jesse Belvin – Songwriter, Singer –  Co-Wrote "Goodnight My Love" used to end Alan Freed Show; co-credited as one of writers of "Earth Angel" made popular by The Penguins.
- Johnny "Guitar" Watson – American Blues and Funk guitarist/singer.
- Young Jessie – Songwriter, Singer –  famous for the hit song "Mary Lou".
Singer – Musician
- Dexter Gordon – Jazz Saxophonist player known for his music and supporting role in the movie "Round Midnight"
- Sonny Criss – Jazz Saxophone player – Transferred from Jordon to Jefferson
- Addison Farmer – Jazz Bassist
- Frank Morgan (musician) – Jazz Saxophone Player
- Chico Hamilton – Jazz Drummer Player
- Lee Young – Jazz Drummer player
- Jack McVea – Jazz and dixieland saxophone player Created the musical riff for the song "Open the Door, Richard"
- Art Farmer – Jazz Trumpet player
- Bill Douglass – Jazz Drummer player (First black member of Benny Goodmans Band)
- Ernie Royal – Jazz Trumpet Player
- Marshall Royal – Jazz Saxophone Player
- Lammar Wright, Jr. – Jazz Trumpet player
- Vi Redd – Jazz Saxophone player
- Jackie Kelson – Jazz saxophone player
- Ginger Smock – Concert and Jazz Violinist
- Don Cherry – Jazz Trumpet Player – Step Father to entertainer Neneh Cherry
- Melba Liston – Jazz Trombone Player – Attended Jefferson, but transferred to Polytechnic.
- Ed Thigpen – Jazz Drummer Player
- Big Jay McNeely – Jazz Saxophone Player – Transferred from Jordan to Jefferson
Singers – Groups
- The Penguins – 3 group members – Curtis Williams, Bruce Tate, and Ray Brewster – The Group sang the Original Song "Earth Angel"
- The Platters – 3 original group members – Gaynel Hodge, Alex Hodge, Cornell Gunter and 1 alumni, Ray Brewster
- The Coasters – 1 group member – Cornell Gunter
- The Cadillacs – 1 group member – Ray Brewster
- The Hollywood Flames −1 group member- Ray Brewster
- Mighty Clouds of Joy – 1 group member – Johnny Martin –  – Recorded over 25 albums and received two Grammy Award and a host of other awards
- Etta James – Blues singer –  "famous for hit song "At Last"
- Ernie Andrews – Jazz Blues Singer
- Merry Clayton – (Singer, Actress) Solo and Backup. Recorded "Gimme Shelter" duet with Mick Jagger. "Who can I count on" with Bobby Darin. (Also see Television/film)
- O.C. Smith – Jazz Singer, Minister Performed with Count Basie Orchestra; he recorded the first version of the song "That Life" made famous by Frank Sinatra. He had numerous hit songs in his long career.
- Mel Walker – Lead Singer with the Johnny Otis Orchestra " No 1 hits "Mistrustin' Blues" and "Cupid Boogie"
- Cornell Gunter – Lead Singer –  Original member of the The Platters and a member of The Coasters singing group. Transferred to Manual Arts his senior year.
- Jennell Hawkins – Lead Singer –  famous for her hit "Moments to Remember"
- Ivie Anderson – Lead Singer – Performed with Duke Ellington orchestra between 1931 and 1942
- Arthur Lee Maye – of Arthur Lee Maye and the Crowns, was lead singer of the pioneering groups of the Doo Wop genre in the early 1950s.
- Richard Berry -Singer, songwriter, musician. Most famous for writing Louie Louie, Berry performed with numerous Los Angeles doo-wop groups including The Flairs.
- Emmett Ashford – First African American Umpire in Major League Baseball
- Andy Bakjian – National Track and Field Hall of Fame Official was a longtime coach at Jefferson.
- Don Bishop – NFL Football – (Cowboys, Steelers and Bears) Seven Year veteran, 1 Pro bowl
- Milt Davis – NFL Football – Played four years for the Baltimore Colts from 1957 to 1961; including winning the 1958 NFL Championship games known as the "Greatest Game ever Played"
- Charles Dumas – Olympic Track –  – High Jump (Olympic and World Record Holder), the first person to clear seven feet (1956 Olympic trials); Attended Jefferson in his sophomore and Junior years; transferred to Centennial High School in Compton
- Robert Garrett - 5 Time CIF LA CITY DIVISION ONE FOOTBALL COACH from Crenshaw High School (Los Angeles)
- Joe Kelly (American football) – NFL Football – Drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals
- Edgar Lacey (1945–2011), UCLA basketball, "Game of the Century"
- Lee Maye – MLB Baseball –  13 years in baseball " played first 6 years with the Milwaukee braves with Hank Aaron. (See singer)
- Glenn McDonald – NBA Basketball, Boston Celtics
- Billy 'the Hill' McGill – NBA Basketball, - Played on the Chicago Zephyrs (now Washington Wizards), the New York Knicks, the St. Louis (now Atlanta) Hawks, and the Los Angeles Lakers.
- Bernard Quarles – NFL Football – Rams 1987 – Quarterback NFL and CFL veteran
- Woody Strode – NFL Football – Actor, Football Player –  Played for the Rams in 1946; ending George Preston Marshall gentleman agreement to ban black players.
- Mal Whitfield – Olympic Track –  gold medalist middle distance runner in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and father of current CNN news anchor Fredricka Whitfield
Jazz Era Music Teacher and Mentors
- William Grant Still –  Gave Music Clinics to Jefferson student in Samuel R Browne era.
- Jimmie Lunceford – Gave Music Clinics in 1930's to Jefferson student
- Caughey Roberts – - Jefferson band teacher in 1930's
Academic Performance Index (API)
|School||2007 ||2008 ||2009 ||2010 ||2011 |
|Francisco Bravo Medical Magnet High School||807||818||815||820||832|
|Marc and Eva Stern Math and Science School||718||792||788||788||809|
|Oscar De La Hoya Animo Charter High School||662||726||709||710||744|
|James A. Garfield High School||553||597||593||632||705|
|Abraham Lincoln High School||594||609||588||616||643|
|Woodrow Wilson High School||582||585||600||615||636|
|Theodore Roosevelt High School||557||551||576||608|
|Thomas Jefferson High School||457||516||514||546||546|
|Santee Education Complex||502||521||552||565|
- The Old Coliseum precedes the "Los Angeles Coliseum built in 1929 that hosted two Olympics. It was the main amphitheater in Los Angeles in the late 1800s.
- The Los Angeles Times: Data Desk: Mapping L.A.: Neighborhoods
- Jefferson "High" to cost Quarter-Million – Los Angeles Times – July 4th, 1915
- Golden West as Pageant – Los Angeles Times – April 2nd, 1915
- New High School faculty Name – Los Angeles Times – September 2nd, 1916
- Last schools to reopen – Los Angeles Times – April 4th, 1933
- Plans to be Prepared for Building Project – Los Angeles Times – September 30th, 1934
- School Mural Depicts Writing, Graving, Printing – Los Angeles Times – May 16th 1937
- Jazz High by Kirk Silsbee – LACityBeat Magazine
- Top Track teams of all times
- Thomas Jefferson H.S. Alumni
- Rocks BackPages Diary – 2009 – Harvey Kubernick Merry Clayton on the Rolling stones "Gimme Shelter" Session
- Mapp, Edward (2008). African Americans and the Oscar: decades of struggle and achievement. Lanham Maryland: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-6106-2. pp. 13.
- Nobel Prize Biography
- Federal Judge Northern District of California
- Testimony of Buddy Collette & Marl Young
- Black Americans in Congress
- Woo, Elaine, "David Williams Dies." Los Angeles Times, May 10, 2000. http://articles.latimes.com/2000/may/10/local/me-28552
- Retired Judge, LAPD Veteran William R. Clay Dead at 85
- Crouch, Stanley (2006). Considering Genius: Writings on Jazz. New York: Perseus Book Group. ISBN 0-465-01517-4. pp. Prologue.
- Deffaa, Chip (2000). Blue Rhythms: Six Lives in Rhythm and Blues. New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-316-37794-5. pp. 159.
- Bird, Christiane (2001). The DA CAPO JAZZ AND BLUES LOVER'S GUIDE TO THE U.S. Cambridge MA: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-81034-4. pp. 407.
- Louie Louie
- Isoardi, Steve (2001). Songs of the Unsung: the musical and social journey of Horace Tapscott. North Carolina: Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-2531-4. pp. 28.
- Guralnick, Peter (2005). Dream boogie; the triumph of Sam Cooke. New York: Time Warner Book Group. ISBN 0-316-37794-5. pp. 185.
- year=1974, Blues unlimited, Issues 107–138 Magazine
- Guralnick, Peter (2005). Dream boogie; the triumph of Sam Cooke. New York: Time Warner Book Group. ISBN 0-316-37794-5. pp. 252.
- Britt, Stan (1989). Dextor Gordon: a music biography. London: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80361-5. pp. 4, 26.
- Porter, Roy (1991). There and Back. Oxford: Bayoo Press. ISBN 1-871478-30-8. pp. 162.
- Stokes, W.Royal (1991). The Jazz Scene:an informal history from New Orleans to 1990. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-508270-2. pp. 125.
- Bryant, Clora (1998). Central Avenue Sounds: Jazz in Los Angeles. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-22098-6. pp. 28, 198, 206, 211, 257.
- Marv Golberg R&B Notebook The Penguins
- Marv Golberg R&B Notebook The Platters
- Coaster Bio
- The Cadillacs
- Marv Golberg R&B Notebook The Hollywood Flames
- Uncloudy Days:The Gospel Music Encyclopedia
- Etta James and the Roots Band 2008 – September 29 2008 by Lisa Robyn Lawerence
- Doo Wop Club – Floyd Dixon
- Rev. Dr O.C. Smith Bio
- The Coasters Website
- The 1950 Team – The Best Track and Field Team Ever!?
- Funeral in Downey today for UCLA player, California Mr. Basketball 1963 Edgar Lacey, Long Beach Press Telegram, April 8, 2011
- The Rare Double-Play of Arthure Lee Maye by Phil Milstein
- UCLA's Rasshan Set to Make History Saturday
- Modern NFL 1946 – Forward
- The Whitfield Foundation
- 2006-07 Accountability Progress Reporting (APR) Retrieved on September 25, 2009
- 2007-08 Accountability Progress Reporting (APR) Retrieved on September 25, 2009
- 2008-09 Accountability Progress Reporting (APR) Retrieved on September 8, 2012
- 2009-10 Accountability Progress Reporting (APR) Retrieved on September 8, 2012
- 2010-11 Accountability Progress Reporting (APR) Retrieved on September 8, 2012
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jefferson High School (Los Angeles).|
- Jefferson High School
- Behind the Scenes: Poverty, gangs plague some L.A. students
- The Los Angeles Times: Data Desk: Mapping L.A.: Neighborhoods
- Bringing music to the people by Anthony Macías