The creation of this webpage was inspired by the incredible research presented in Dr. Lewis Porter's book, John Coltrane: His Life and Music (Amazon.com link). I first read it for a class I took at the University of Southern California in fall 2014 entitled "Teaching Jazz History," taught by Dr. Thom Mason. In this class, Dr. Mason assigned the studnets to review a jazz biography, and I chose Dr. Porter's Coltrane biography, a book I had been wanting to read for years. I was enthralled from page 1, and upon finishing I had a 77 page document of notes complete with it's own index(!).
Porter's thorough and meticulous biography features census records, interviews, transcriptions, harmonic analysis, and much, much, more. A small selection of my notes features every address that was mentioned (many more than the few presented here). Each time I read an address I hopped onto Google Maps and typed it in. I loved seeing the houses, streets, and environments that were part of Coltrane's everyday life, be it where he was born, began learning music, or lived when recording Giant Steps and A Love Supreme. Soon, I started creating the webpage you're looking at now.
July 2017 Update:
Beginning May 2017, I participated in an exchange of emails with Dr. Porter and Yasuhiro Fujioka (another prodigious Coltrane research, author, collector, and more; Fujioka's blog here, http://blog.livedoor.jp/coltranehouse/ and interview here, YouTube: Chasing Trane - A Conversation with Yasuhiro Fujioka About John Coltrane), and was kindly offered additional information on the homes listed below. The documents provided by Mr. Fujioka have allowed me to update this page with more information about the homes and circumstances detailed below. Ultimately, however, these documents, as well as associated books, contain far more information than I've elected to publish here. Coltrane lived in a few more places than the 8 below, but none for a significant period of time. Some of these places include another home in High Point, NC, as well as a few hotels and, at least on one occasion, Paul Chamber's apartment (Fujioka, private document). Below, you will find additional resources by the original researchers that provide further tantilating details about Coltrane's life.
Also, I recently (July, 2017) purchased the truly phenomenal The Coltrane Reference, by Chris DeVito, Yasuhiro Fujioka, Wolf Schmaler, Dave Wild, and Lewis Porter (ed). This 800+ page book is nothing short of astounding. The Coltrane Reference is not only the most exacting and accurate account of Coltrane's life, but is also surely one of the finest examples of jazz research, ever. Any serious student of jazz history and/or research should be familiar with this book. All jazz fans should be grateful for the authors' meticulous research into Coltrane's life and for setting the bar for jazz research as high as Coltrane did for his muisc.
When I began this project, I was quite ignorant of the amount of serious research that has been devoted to this topic. So, out of respect to the original authors/researchers, please keep in mind that everything below, unless cited otherwise, is derived directly from the works of Dr. Lewis Porter, Yasuhiro Fujioka, and the other authors of The Coltrane Reference. Besides organizing my own notes from reading their works, and a few rogue google searches, everything below stems from their assiduous and original research.
If you enjoy any of the content on this page then I'm positive you will enjoy the original works even more. Each of these books contributed in some form or another to the content presented here.