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Jim (Buddy) Ball papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: Coll2014-004

Scope and Contents

Contents include financial records, mailing lists, order forms and promotional materials for the Aldan Company Inc., Ball Record Company, Major Studio Productions, and Venice Tool Works. The collection also includes constitutional records from the Mark 40 Defense Fund, handwritten notes, greeting cards, letters, Christian and motorcycle club materials, contact sheets, headshots, negatives, Polaroids, slides, transparencies, scripts and screenplays for several works including "Night of the Demon" and "Prophecy of Blood."

Dates

  • 1959-1987

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to researchers. Restricted access to some membership and financial records. Please consult archivist.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the ONE Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Biographical note

During the years between 1960 and 2000, James L. Ball, Ph.D., (also known as Buddy Ball, Jim Ball, Jim L. Ball, Jim Lloyd Ball, Mr. Jim L. Ball B.A., M.A., and Jimmy Ball) was active in several fields, including being the credited editor, writer and producer of horror films and craft instructional materials for his Aldan Company, Inc. (earlier known as Aldan Producers & Distributors of Motion Pictures). Ball also worked in the gay erotic video industry and sold Christian church supplies through his Major Studio Productions company. He recorded alternating subjects including drug abuse counseling, fortune-telling, Christian hymn, and teen heartthrobs with his Ball Record Company and Velvet Records. Ball's businesses operated in Southern California out of his homes in Los Angeles and Winnetka, California as well as the French Market in West Hollywood, California.

Ball attended Baylor University and Texas Christian University. Before returning to school at the University of Southern California for his Doctorate in Communication, the Waco resident taught "Child Expression," a course for children to learn how to deport themselves on stage. He compared working as a student in 1957 on "I was a Teenage Werewolf" to the Andy Hardy camaraderie of Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney urging the gang to put on a show. In 1962 Velvet Records released "No Camping" which featured recordings of Jose Sarria performing in drag at the Black Cat Cafe in San Francisco the year before the bar was closed, and included clandestine recordings of Hollywood fortune telling. Buddy Ball also worked with California churches, releasing record albums of their choirs and soloists, as seen in advertisements in "The California Eagle," a long-running Los Angeles African-American newspaper.

Jim "Buddy" Ball is best known for being the story writer and producer of the Sasquatchploitation horror film initially titled in a 1977 script "Revenge of Bigfoot" that had a limited theatrical release in the United States between 1980–1983 through the Aldan Company as "Night of the Demon," but was banned in several countries and was prosecuted in the United Kingdom as a result of the Video Recordings Act 1984 as one of its "video nasties". In the late 1980's and early 1990's, Jim Ball distributed several gay adult erotic videos through Major Studio Productions and is credited as editor on videos with adult film director and producer Kennith Holloway. Ball is not to be confused with another Jim Ball who was a contemporary in the horror film genre known for writing the music for 1981's "Night of Horror" and appearing in 1982 as Bill in "The Curse of the Screaming Dead" (alternately titled "Curse of the Cannibal Confederates").

There is evidence of Buddy Ball's support of gay activism in his service as a chairperson for the Mark 40 Defense Fund which had been organized to provide legal representation for men charged in the wake of a Los Angeles Police Department "slave auction" raid in 1976. Buddy Ball was also conversant with many facets of the gay experience, keeping in touch with a fellow Wacoan's updates on that city's tea house cruising scene, producing videos for men who prefer uncircumcised men, joining Southern California motorcycle clubs, and appearing in drag as "the beautiful Sister Simple, the Chinese Firecracker" on a flyer parodying the 1993 film "Jurassic Park" in "King Kong Park, the Musical."

Source: Doctor Kiss. (2011, April 11). Does know 80's and 90's horror films received theatrical distribution? Retrieved February 24, 2015, from http://monsterkidclassichorrorforum.yuku.com/topic/37220/Does-know-80s-90s-horror-films-received-theatrical-d#.

Extent

4 Linear Feet (2 archive boxes + 1 flat archive box)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

James L. Ball, Ph.D., known as "Buddy" Ball, produced films, records, and videos from about 1977 to 1997 for a variety of audiences including African American churches and other Christian groups, crafters, gay men, and horror fans. The collection includes corporate records, personal papers, and photographs documenting his varied activities from his early career as an educator to his involvement in motorcycle clubs to his inclusion in the banned-in-Britain "Video nasties" list.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in the following series:

Series 1. Corporate records, 1961-1998

Series 2. Personal records, 1959-1997

Acquisition

Date and method of acquisition unknown.

Separated materials note

Separated to the ONE library periodical and performing arts collections:

Above and Beyond Tours, Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, March 1, 1997.

Evita. Playbill [Program. June 1980] Shubert Theatre [ABC Entertainment Center. Century City]. Beverly Hills, CA.: Performing Arts.

RSVP Travel Productions, 1996-1997.

In a Changing Voice: Verses including juvenalia by Jim Kepner, 1996, both letter-sized copy and $2.75 staple-bound pamphlet; 36 p.; 22 cm.

Klondyke Kontact. v.18, no. 6, December 1996/ January 1997, R.A.W., formerly 15%.

Jim Kepner's Song and Dance, #8, March 1996.

Separated to the ONE audio visual collection:

VHS labeled “60 Minutes" video recording - Repayment of Vietnamese commandos/adoption of Ukranian babies. Spring 1997 Final: Army plans to end sexual discrimination 9/11/1997”. The videotape includes: a 20/20 episode with John Stossel on transgender firefighters and police; the "Escape from New York" episode of "Wings" with a drag queen contest; "The Ambiguously Gay Duo" cartoon episode from "Saturday Night Live"; "Extra" episode about Allen R. Schindler, Jr. gay sailor murder; "Crosstalk" episode with Pat Harvey mediating African American debate with Reverend Peterson and Reverend Hayes, a lesbian minister about the gay rights bill; k.d. Lang on "The Tonight Show"; ABC "Primetime" news program "Boy or Girl?" Dr. Nancy Snyderman on sex reassignment of babies; CBS News Los Angeles report on Cardinal Mahoney welcoming Catholic gays; "World News Tonight" Army sexual misconduct; and a Los Angeles Channel 9 News Army sexual harassment report.

Processing Information

Originally housed in box 103-232. Collection processed by Jeff Snapp, 2014.
Title
Finding Aid to the Jim (Buddy) Ball Papers, 1959-1987
Status
Completed
Author
Jeff Snapp
Date
2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Sponsor
Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR).

Repository Details

Part of the ONE Archives at the USC Libraries, University of Southern California Repository

Contact:
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles California 90007 United States
(213) 821-2771