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Photograph of Quincy Jones performing for The Wiz

Collection Donor:
Tucker, Irma  Search this
Collection Author:
Tucker, Bobby, 1923-2008  Search this
Collection Creator:
Eckstine, Billy  Search this
Jones, Quincy, 1933-  Search this
Container:
Box 84, Folder 14
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Bobby Tucker Papers, 1883-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Bobby Tucker Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1141-ref2083

Photograph of Sarah Vaughan performing

Collection Donor:
Tucker, Irma  Search this
Collection Author:
Tucker, Bobby, 1923-2008  Search this
Collection Creator:
Eckstine, Billy  Search this
Jones, Quincy, 1933-  Search this
Container:
Box 84, Folder 16
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Bobby Tucker Papers, 1883-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Bobby Tucker Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1141-ref2084

Caricature of Bobby Tucker

Collection Donor:
Tucker, Irma  Search this
Collection Author:
Tucker, Bobby, 1923-2008  Search this
Collection Creator:
Eckstine, Billy  Search this
Jones, Quincy, 1933-  Search this
Container:
Box 84, Folder 6
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1956 - 1956
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Bobby Tucker Papers, 1883-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Bobby Tucker Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1141-ref2085

Photographs of Bobby Tucker

Collection Donor:
Tucker, Irma  Search this
Collection Author:
Tucker, Bobby, 1923-2008  Search this
Collection Creator:
Eckstine, Billy  Search this
Jones, Quincy, 1933-  Search this
Container:
Box 85
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
1940s-2007
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Bobby Tucker Papers, 1883-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Bobby Tucker Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1141-ref2092

Photographs of Bobby Tucker performing

Collection Donor:
Tucker, Irma  Search this
Collection Author:
Tucker, Bobby, 1923-2008  Search this
Collection Creator:
Eckstine, Billy  Search this
Jones, Quincy, 1933-  Search this
Container:
Box 84, Folder 5
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
1948 - 1948
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Bobby Tucker Papers, 1883-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Bobby Tucker Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1141-ref2093

Photographs of Art Tatum

Collection Donor:
Tucker, Irma  Search this
Collection Author:
Tucker, Bobby, 1923-2008  Search this
Collection Creator:
Eckstine, Billy  Search this
Jones, Quincy, 1933-  Search this
Container:
Box 84, Folder 15
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Bobby Tucker Papers, 1883-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Bobby Tucker Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1141-ref2094

"Everything I Have Is Yours"

Collection Donor:
Tucker, Irma  Search this
Collection Author:
Tucker, Bobby, 1923-2008  Search this
Collection Creator:
Eckstine, Billy  Search this
Jones, Quincy, 1933-  Search this
Container:
Box 12, Folder 7
Box 13, Folder 1-2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Bobby Tucker Papers, 1883-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Bobby Tucker Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1141-ref386

"Fools Rush In"

Collection Donor:
Tucker, Irma  Search this
Collection Author:
Tucker, Bobby, 1923-2008  Search this
Collection Creator:
Eckstine, Billy  Search this
Jones, Quincy, 1933-  Search this
Container:
Box 15, Folder 6
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Bobby Tucker Papers, 1883-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Bobby Tucker Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1141-ref463

"Jelly Jelly"

Collection Donor:
Tucker, Irma  Search this
Collection Author:
Tucker, Bobby, 1923-2008  Search this
Collection Creator:
Eckstine, Billy  Search this
Jones, Quincy, 1933-  Search this
Container:
Box 26, Folder 1
Box 65, Folder 12
Box 25, Folder 10
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Bobby Tucker Papers, 1883-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Bobby Tucker Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1141-ref723

"Lonesome Lover Blues"

Collection Donor:
Tucker, Irma  Search this
Collection Author:
Tucker, Bobby, 1923-2008  Search this
Collection Creator:
Eckstine, Billy  Search this
Jones, Quincy, 1933-  Search this
Container:
Box 66, Folder 10
Box 29, Folder 7
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Bobby Tucker Papers, 1883-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Bobby Tucker Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1141-ref820

Bobby Tucker Papers

Donor:
Tucker, Irma  Search this
Tucker, Irma  Search this
Author:
Tucker, Bobby, 1923-2008  Search this
Creator:
Eckstine, Billy  Search this
Jones, Quincy, 1933-  Search this
Extent:
36 Cubic feet (88 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Orchestrations
Programs
Sheet music
Clippings
Photographs
Date:
1883-2007, undated
Summary:
The collection documents the life and musical career of Robert "Bobby" Tucker. The collection particularly emphasizes Tucker's close collaboration with Billy Eckstine over a forty-year period from approximately 1949-1990, and includes original orchestrations of arrangements by Tucker and other arrangers, a complete set of commercial recordings by Eckstine for which Tucker served as arranger, and ephemeral material including photographs, concert programs and news clippings.
Scope and Contents:
The collection primarily documents the close collaboration between Tucker and Billy Eckstine over a forty-year period, circa 1949-1990. It articulates the growth and development of a working jazz master—Eckstine—and the diversity of the musical repertoire he performed as he cultivated new audiences throughout his career. The collection includes original orchestrations of arrangements by Tucker and other well regarded arrangers such as Billy Beyers, Quincy Jones, Bob Enevoldsen, Marty Paich, Sammy Nestico, and Artie Butler. All of these materials found their way into Eckstine's recording and concert repertoire, which is evidenced by the approximately twenty cubic feet of sheet music arrangements that form the bulk of the collection. They illustrate the pivotal role Tucker played as the arranger, who interpreted and adapted original compositions to suit Eckstine's vocal style and capabilities, resulting in one of the longest-running successful collaborations in modern American musical history.

In addition, the sheet music contains Tucker's arrangements for Quincy Jones's music score for the 1978 film The Wiz.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into three series.

Series 1: Professional Materials, 1883-1992, undated

Subseries 1.1: Music Scores, undated

Subseries 1.2: Published Sheet Music, 1883-1992

Series 2: Other Materials, 1940-2007, undated

Series 3: Audiovisual Materials, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Nathaniel "Bobby" Tucker Jr. was born in Morristown, New Jersey, January 8, 1923 and died there on April 12, 2007. He was an accomplished pianist, arranger, and accompanist. He began performing at the age of fourteen and later studied in New York at the Institute of Musical Art. In 1946, he became accompanist to jazz vocalist Mildred Bailey and later that year, to renowned jazz vocalist Billie Holiday, with whom he remained until 1949 and with whom he had a strong and enduring, platonic friendship. Tucker continued to make recordings with Holiday into the 1950s.

Beginning in 1949, Tucker embarked on a lifetime collaboration as accompanist and musical director for the great African American balladeer and recording artist Billy "Mr. B" Eckstine. After leading a highly-acclaimed band from 1944-1947, Eckstine returned to a career as a solo singer, becoming the country's most popular vocalist in 1949-1950 and signing a lucrative five-year contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Incorporated (MGM). Although his popularity waned after 1951, he continued to play in major nightclubs in the United States and abroad for the next several decades and to release several popular albums. As his piano accompanist for over forty years, Tucker helped build and sustain the singer's career, reinventing Eckstine as the nation's musical tastes changed, and the music industry evolved. During his stint with Eckstine, Tucker worked on concerts—planning, arranging music, transcribing, and transposing works for performances; on recordings—preparing written arrangements, working integrally with recording companies. Engagements included recordings and performances with the Count Basie Orchestra; recordings under the direction of Quincy Jones; performances in Las Vegas; and band tours of Europe, Australia, and Japan.

Tucker was a renowned piano accompanist, and while working for Eckstine he was eagerly sought out by other singers, including Johnny Hartman, Lena Horne, Tony Bennett, and Sarah Vaughan. He also collaborated with other jazz accompanists such as Jimmy Jones, Jimmy Rowles, and John Malachi. In his autobiography, Quincy Jones says that Tucker inspired him to begin studying music after they met in Seattle, while Jones was touring with Billie Holiday. Jones attributed all of the success he garnered in his career to the core skills he developed as a result of Tucker's inspiration. Tucker worked with Jones to arrange and conduct the music for the 1978 film The Wiz, which received an Academy Award nomination for best original music score.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Program Collection (AC0808)

Contains an oral history interview with Bobby Tucker, February 27-28, 2004
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives Center in 2008 by Tucker's widow, Irma J. Tucker.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Musical arrangers  Search this
Music -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Pianists  Search this
Musicians -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Orchestrations
Programs -- Concerts
Sheet music
Clippings
Photographs -- 20th century
Citation:
Bobby Tucker Papers, 1883-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1141
See more items in:
Bobby Tucker Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1141
Additional Online Media:

Audiovisual Materials

Collection Donor:
Tucker, Irma  Search this
Collection Author:
Tucker, Bobby, 1923-2008  Search this
Collection Creator:
Eckstine, Billy  Search this
Jones, Quincy, 1933-  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
Undated
Scope and Contents:
This series contains a complete set of commercial recordings by Billy Eckstine, for which Tucker served as arranger, as well as the few recordings done solely by Tucker. Audiovisual materials are unprocessed.
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Bobby Tucker Papers, 1883-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1141, Series 3
See more items in:
Bobby Tucker Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1141-ref1820

Professional Materials

Collection Donor:
Tucker, Irma  Search this
Collection Author:
Tucker, Bobby, 1923-2008  Search this
Collection Creator:
Eckstine, Billy  Search this
Jones, Quincy, 1933-  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1883-2007
undated
Scope and Contents:
Materials document Bobby Tucker's creativity as pianist, arranger, and accompanist for various artists. Tucker played a significant role in the musical careers of three renowned jazz vocalists in particular: Mildred Bailey, Billie Holiday, and Billy Eckstine. Materials are included from all three of these professional collaborations. The materials are divided into two subseries. Subseries one is the largest group of materials and consists of music manuscripts. Subseries two is published sheet music.
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Bobby Tucker Papers, 1883-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1141, Series 1
See more items in:
Bobby Tucker Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1141-ref1811

Music Scores

Collection Donor:
Tucker, Irma  Search this
Collection Author:
Tucker, Bobby, 1923-2008  Search this
Collection Creator:
Eckstine, Billy  Search this
Jones, Quincy, 1933-  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Scope and Contents:
Subseries 1.1 forms the largest portion of the collection and consists of music scores. Consists of written arrangements created primarily by Bobby Tucker for Billy Eckstine but includes material for other artists that he accompanied for live performances and recordings. The name of the performer is generally stamped or written on the scores. The arranger, while not always Bobby Tucker, is identified on the music manuscripts. Short scores for each instrument are also identified on the music. The materials are arranged as complete orchestrations in alphabetical order by the title of the music.
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Bobby Tucker Papers, 1883-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1141, File 1.1
See more items in:
Bobby Tucker Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1141-ref1818

Other Materials

Collection Donor:
Tucker, Irma  Search this
Collection Author:
Tucker, Bobby, 1923-2008  Search this
Collection Creator:
Eckstine, Billy  Search this
Jones, Quincy, 1933-  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
1940-2007
Scope and Contents:
Material collected by Tucker relating primarily to jazz including files that he maintained on artists such as Lightnin' Hopkins, Earl Hines, Miles Davis, Sarah Vaughn and Quincy Jones. In addition, biographical information about Bobby Tucker is included in this series.

The photographs document primarily Tucker's professional association with various artists including Art Tatum, Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holliday, Billy Eckstine, Louis Armstrong, Count Bassie and Quincy Jones. Most of the images are of Tucker during performances and but also include him in social settings with artists and acquaintances. There are a few images of Tucker in his private life including his marriage to Irma J. Tucker, his home and memorial materials. An attempt was made to arrange the photographs in chronological order with very few of the images being dated.
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Bobby Tucker Papers, 1883-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1141, File 2
See more items in:
Bobby Tucker Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1141-ref1822

Published Sheet Music

Collection Donor:
Tucker, Irma  Search this
Collection Author:
Tucker, Bobby, 1923-2008  Search this
Collection Creator:
Eckstine, Billy  Search this
Jones, Quincy, 1933-  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1883-1992
Scope and Contents:
Includes some of the same titles as in Subseries 1.1 of popular songs with lyrics, musical scores and copyrighted information. Tucker possibly used these as reference materials. The materials are arranged in alphabetical order by title.
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Bobby Tucker Papers, 1883-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1141, File 1.2
See more items in:
Bobby Tucker Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1141-ref1819

"As Long As She Needs Me"

Collection Donor:
Tucker, Irma  Search this
Collection Author:
Tucker, Bobby, 1923-2008  Search this
Collection Creator:
Eckstine, Billy  Search this
Jones, Quincy, 1933-  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 8
Box 59, Folder 6
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Bobby Tucker Papers, 1883-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Bobby Tucker Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1141-ref100

"My Music"

Collection Donor:
Tucker, Irma  Search this
Collection Author:
Tucker, Bobby, 1923-2008  Search this
Collection Creator:
Eckstine, Billy  Search this
Jones, Quincy, 1933-  Search this
Container:
Box 35, Folder 5
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Bobby Tucker Papers, 1883-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Bobby Tucker Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1141-ref1005

"As Time Goes By"

Collection Donor:
Tucker, Irma  Search this
Collection Author:
Tucker, Bobby, 1923-2008  Search this
Collection Creator:
Eckstine, Billy  Search this
Jones, Quincy, 1933-  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 9
Box 59, Folder 7
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Bobby Tucker Papers, 1883-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Bobby Tucker Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1141-ref101

"My Way"

Collection Donor:
Tucker, Irma  Search this
Collection Author:
Tucker, Bobby, 1923-2008  Search this
Collection Creator:
Eckstine, Billy  Search this
Jones, Quincy, 1933-  Search this
Container:
Box 68, Folder 11
Box 35, Folder 6-7
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Bobby Tucker Papers, 1883-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Bobby Tucker Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1141-ref1014

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