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Billy Jones visual arts materials

Collection number: ahc.VIS419

Scope and Contents

This collection includes photos of the LGBTQ+ community, events at LGBTQ+ bars and drag venues, drag queens, female impersonators, performers, male actresses, bar owners, and others. Also included are autographed photographs of actors, many of which are inscribed to Jones. Of special note are photographs of Billy Jones as Phyllis Killer and Shirley Temple Jones, the Phyllis Killer Oscar Awards, and Jones at the Atlanta Pride Parade. Locations are unknown unless otherwise noted; however, several of the individuals featured were based in Atlanta, Georgia, or the southeastern United States.


  • approximately 1950-2002, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

This material is protected by copyright law. (Title 17, U.S. Code) Permission for use must be cleared through the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. Licensing agreement may be required.

Biographical / Historical

William Allen "Billy" Jones (1921-2003) was born in Griffin, Georgia, to Henry Hiram Jones Jr. (1898-1983) and Myrtle Barber Jones (1901-1992). He had six siblings: Frank Hiram Jones (1919-1995), Roselyn Jones Wilson (1922-2016), Raymond Jones (1926- ), Aurie Jean Jones Brown (1927-2016), Henry Hiram Jones III (1929-1929), and Myrtle Jones Hunt (1932- ). Jones was an entertainer in Atlanta in the 1960s-1980s. He moved to Atlanta, Georgia, in the late 1920s. He served in the United States Navy during World War II, then gained notoriety as a window dresser for the Franklin Simon department store for thirty years. In 1961, Jones started his career as one of the first drag queens in Atlanta; he performed under the pseudonyms Phyllis Killer and Shirley Temple Jones at bars such as Club Centaur and Joy Lounge, becoming a central figure in Atlanta's LGBTQ community. Known as "Atlanta's Still Living Legend," he judged various drag competitions and hosted the Phyllis Killer Oscar Awards from 1968 to 1985.


2071 item(s) (1058 black and white photographic prints, 681 color photographic prints, 216 color negatives, 90 black and white negatives, nine collages, seven color prints, six posters, one black and white photocopy, one drawing, one painting, and one postcard)




This collection is arranged alphabetically by titles supplied by staff. Drag queen names and stage names are listed in direct order.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Many of the images in this collection are located in cold storage (CS) as indicated in the descriptive inventory. Patrons must allow 24 hours after retrieval of cold storage item(s) before viewing material.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 2003

Related Materials

Billy Jones papers, MSS 1106, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center

Atlanta's Unspoken Past oral history transcriptions, MSS 994, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center

Processing Information

This collection was processed in 2021.

Billy Jones visual arts materials
Kate Daly
November 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305