The Gemini Jazz Bands were created by David "Doc" Livingston while teaching at Western Kentucky University. The first iteration of the band appeared in 1966 and was called Gemini 14. Gemini was taken from the United States space program and the 14 was the number of band members. The band was originally created as an all girl band with the exception of the drummer and bass player. The student musicians did not have to be music majors.
From 1968 through 1973 the group was called Gemini 15 as they had added a band member. Due to budget cuts the band was reduced in size and began to be named for the year: Gemini '75, Gemini '77 and Gemini '79.
In order to keep costs to a minimum Doc Livingston contracted with the USO to tour military bases during summer and spring breaks. Gemini 14 was able to tour the Caribbean for four weeks in January 1967. The Gemini 15 bands were able to tour in Europe and play concerts on the WKU campus. Gemini '77 returned to the Caribbean. Gemini '79 made a tour of the U.S. Pacific Command visiting bases in Japan, South Korea, Okinawa and the Philippines.
This online exhibit is made up of photographs, documents and objects donated by members of the Gemini bands along with items housed in the Kentucky Museum and WKU Archives. If you were a member of one of the Gemini Jazz Bands, please fill out our questionnaire. Read oral histories here.
This is an image gallery, occasionally there are multi-page documents that are posted in the WKU Archives Faculty/Staff Papers section. Links are provided in the description field to the full documents.