Gimme Some Loving

by Maddie Dietrich, Music Special Collections and Research Specialist

Gene Loving with members of The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

We in SCUA are excited to announce the acquisition of a unique collection from the local pop music industry, the business records of AGL (A Gene Loving) Productions, a concert promotion agency that brought some of the greatest legends of pop music to Hampton Roads during the 1960s and 70s.

Who is Gene Loving?

A historical player in southeast Virginia’s music scene, both as a concert promoter and as a radio/TV personality. Loving worked his way up in the radio business as a disc jockey and later as music director for Richmond station WLEE. He got his start as a promoter when he booked Freddy Cannon for a live broadcast in 1961. He later moved to WGH where he became the first DJ to pick a Beatles record as a future hit, and over the next four decades he would become one of Virginia’s most recognized on-air personalities.

What did he donate?

A trove of business records and promotional materials (press kits, booking agreements, correspondence, photographs and ephemera) that tell the stories of the pop, rock, and R&B legends Loving’s agency brought to Hampton Roads: the hotels where they stayed, the accommodations they required, the venues where they performed, how much they were paid, and which shows sold out (and which ones flopped). Included among the artists Loving booked were James Brown, The Yardbirds, Sonny & Cher, Jimi Hendrix, The Beach Boys, David Bowie, and The Jackson Five.


While most performances went smoothly, the records reveal occasional hang-ups, from minor contractual disputes to complete show cancellations, with a few involving local law enforcement. In his autobiography Loving Life Loving recalls an incident with The Rolling Stones during their 1966 US tour when they were scheduled to play back-to-back performances at the Dome in Virginia Beach. Extra police had been hired for security after word got out of a small riot at the Stones’ performance in Boston four days prior. For the first show at the Dome police lined up shoulder to shoulder in front of the stage in a display of force that subdued the crowd so much that they responded to each song with only mild applause. Mick Jagger was so angered by this that after the show he called Loving to the dressing room and gave him a thorough dressing-down, shouting that never in all of their shows all over the world had they endured such a humiliating performance thanks to the excessive show of force. Jagger threatened not to play the second show unless the police were removed, which they were.

Virginia Beach police lined up in front of the Rolling Stones.

Where is Gene Loving now?

After four decades in radio Loving turned to television where he was an early innovator in UHF broadcast, developing one of the largest chains of independent stations in US history. He later founded Hampton Roads Wireless. He is the recipient of countless awards in broadcast and philanthropy, and currently enjoys an active retirement lifestyle in Virginia Beach.

*Special thanks to Gene Loving for donating this collection and Dr. Tim J. Anderson for supporting our efforts to collect and promote popular music archives.

Spring Cleaning? Donate to Special Collections!

By Lara Canner, Allan Blank Curator of Music Special Collections

My house is both simultaneously the cleanest and dirtiest it has ever been. The quarantine has led to me polishing the floors till they reflect like mirrors, my windows gleam like fresh cut diamonds and no dust motes can be found sparkling in an afternoon sunbeam. I leave a trail of lemony freshness behind me wherever I go. Yet, my zest for cleanliness has also had an unfortunate side effect: I decided to spring clean my closets.

Piles of clothes have created small mountain ranges to climb over, totes tower in the corners of an otherwise spotless rooms and bags of baby clothes beg to be taken to Goodwill for donation. I leave a trail of destruction wherever I go. Almost nothing in my spring cleaning has sparked joy (thank you very much Marie Kondo), except one item.

Hill’s Manual of Social Business
Hill’s Manual of Social Business Inscription

A book called Hill’s Manual of Social Business Forms, it is an etiquette guide for the proper use of language and writing in diverse situations. Within the pages are step-by-step instructions on how to craft letter of recommendation, writing invitations, petitions, to name a few. I was gifted this from my grandmother-in-law earlier this year, as she was moving and thought I would appreciate it. Spring cleaning remained me that I needed to find proper housing for the antique text and that the book should not reside on a shelf for any duration.

Since, this particular book has family sentimental value, I’m going to continue to hold onto it for a bit longer. However, in the future, I will consider donating this item to the Chicago History Museum (link: archives. The inscription indicates the book had a special meaning to families in Chicago, so I know it will be a place where the text will be kept safe, yet still available for research. Perhaps now is the perfect time to go through desk drawers, filing cabinets and boxes with the intent to donate your works to an archive?

If you live in Hampton Roads, or graduated/work(ed) at Old Dominion University, our archive is a great option!

 Right now, your work gathers dust (not in this house!) or lies inactive at the bottom of a drawer. A donation to an archive will give these materials new life, providing access to potentially thousands of researchers, who’s own papers could value from the expertise of your hard work. Moreover, you can rest assured that an archive will not simply take proper care of your items (in a lovely climate-controlled facility) but be excited for the chance to preserve a bit of history.

I only anticipate my cleaning whirlwind to escalate, the longer the stay-at-home order persists. My hope is when I do finally return to work that my in-box will be filled with donation requests from patrons in the grip of their own spring-cleaning frenzy! (and leaving the lemony freshness at home…)

If you are considering donating your papers and ephemera to the Old Dominion University Special Collections and University Archives, please contact: We can discuss your collection while we are closed, and if it’s a good fit, work on transferring it when we reopen!