Virgil Whyte "All-Girl" Band Collection, 1942-1948, 1991-1993
Kovan, Florice Whyte
Kovan, Florice Whyte
Kahl Nilo, Doris
Knudsen Hansen, Betty
Smaus Jacoby, Alice
Whyte, Virgil (bandleader)
American Federation of Musicians
Virgil Whyte's "All-Girl" Band
United Service Organizations (U.S.)
Photoprints: Silver gelatin on paper, 8" x 10" and smaller, some in scrapbooks
3 cu. ft.: approx. 10 document boxes, etc
Founded 1942 in Racine, Wis., by Virgil Whyte, his "all-girl" band was composed of young Racine women. Whyte was instructor, manager, and the initial leader on drums; later his sister Alice took over as drummer. After initial success in Racine and elsewhere in Wisconsin, the band began to accept engagements in other parts of the country, eventually touring the U.S. The band's success drew other acts and performers, including Jill Fontaine and the Wilford Mae Trio, Sam Hearn (known as "Schlepperman"), the Woodson Sisters, and Paul La Verre and Bro. They did U.S.O. tours, entertaining servicemen.
The principal donor, a free-lance researcher and writer, is the daughter of Virgil Whyte.
Includes 7 VHS videotapes and 1 audio tape produced by Florice Whyte Kovan, containing interviews and recollections by some band members. Studio portraits and snapshot photographs in 3 scrapbooks, which also contain display advertisements and newspaper clippings from about the band, 1940s. Snapshots include documentation of the band's travels and leisure activities while on the road, including swimming, horseback riding, etc. Packaged hotel soap bars collected by Betty Hansen during the bands' touring documents their itinerary, as do picture postcards written by Alice Smaus Jacoby.
2016 addendum consists of approximately one cubic foot of additional archival materials, ca. 1936-2015. Includes such items as check stubs, booking correspondence, legal papers involving the American Federation of Musicians, music manuscripts and sheet music, photographs, a 2015 DVD containing interviews and film footage, and a wallet with the Gershwin song, "The Man I Love" hand tooled on the inside.
Virgil Whyte's "All-Girl" Band Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Railroad passenger cars
World War, 1939-1945--Musicians
1994.3136 (NMAH Acc.)
1994.3137 (NMAH Acc.)
1994.3138 (NMAH Acc.)
2016.3152 (NMAH Acc.)
Unrestricted research use on site, by appointment, except for LIMITED ACCESS DURING PROCESSING (currently incomplete). Photographs must be handled with gloves; exceptions for materials protected by plastic sleeves