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Rex Stewart Papers

Author:
Stewart, Rex (William), Jr., 1907-1967 (cornetist)  Search this
Names:
Ellington, Duke, 1899-1974  Search this
Henderson, Fletcher, 1897-1952  Search this
Extent:
2.4 Cubic feet (5 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Manuscripts
Photograph albums
Photographs
Date:
circa 1875-1890s, 1924-1988
Scope and Contents:
The Rex Stewart Papers consist of book manuscripts, scrapbooks, photographs, correspondence, genealogical records, newsclippings, periodicals, and ephemera materials that document the life and career of Rex Stewart, as well as the history of jazz from the perspective of one who witnessed first-hand the genre's "golden era". The collection is organized into four series: Series 1: Book Manuscripts, circa 1950-1972; Series 2: Scrapbooks and Photo Albums, c.1930-1959; Series 3: Photographs, c.1875 and circa 1920-1967; and Series 4: Memorabilia, 1880-1905 and 1924-1988.

Of particular interest are the book manuscripts that were produced from the 1950's until Stewart's death in 1967. These document Stewart's impressions of and interactions with such jazz legends as Fletcher Henderson, Louis Armstrong, and Duke Ellington. Interesting photographic images include "A Great Day in Harlem", taken in 1958, portraits and candid shots of Rex Stewart, Duke Ellington, Benny Carter and others jazz greats, photographs autographed by Rex Stewart, a portrait of the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra at Danceland, tintypes of Stewart's family, a photo album and scrapbook documenting Stewart's 1948 tour in Berlin, Germany, and a photo album containing candid photographs of Ellington and Stewart's family. Other materials of interest include Stewart's cabaret card from 1959-1962 and some Stewart family genealogy records from 1880 to 1905.

Overall, the Rex Stewart Papers exist as a unique look into the creative process and life of a leading jazz figure of the 1930's through the 1960's. Stewart's colorful and poetic writing allows the reader to experience first-hand the excitement and honesty of jazz.
Arrangement:
the collection is arranged into four series.

Series 1:

Series 2:

Series 3:

Series 4:
Biographical / Historical:
Rex William Stewart Jr.(1907-1967) was born in Philadelphia on February 22, 1907. He received musical inspiration from his parents, who played piano and sang in both religious and social settings, and from his maternal grandmother, Angelina Denby Johnson, who wrote poetry and hymns. Stewart took up the cornet as a teenager, playing in several small time bands in Washington D.C. and New York. His first big break came in 1926 when he was invited to join the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra as a replacement for Louis Armstrong. However, he did not become a regular member of the orchestra until 1928. Stewart remained with Fletcher Henderson until 1933 when he unsuccessfully tried to form his own band. In 1934, he worked briefly for Louis Russell before being invited to join the Duke Ellington Orchestra. As Ellington's lead cornetist, Stewart became widely known for his Aunique conversational style of playing and experimentation with half-valve effects. He also co-composed several numbers with Ellington including "Boy Meets Horn" and "Morning Glory". In addition, Stewart led small-group recording sessions during the late thirties with Ellington and his fellow sidemen, including Johnny Hodges and Harry Carney.

Rex Stewart left Ellington's orchestra in 1945 and briefly played with Jazz at the Philharmonic. He toured Europe as a soloist and leader of several bands between 1947 and 1951. It was also during this period that Stewart began to lecture and write about jazz. In the fifties and sixties, he entered into semi-retirement in order to concentrate on his writing. Stewart continued to perform periodically with numerous small jazz ensembles on the festival circuit. He was instrumental in the organization and recording of the Fletcher Henderson Reunion band in 1958 and 1959. Stewart died on September 7, 1967 in Los Angeles. A collection of his essays, Jazz Masters of the 30's, was published posthumously in 1972 by Macmillan Publishing Company.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Anne Kennedy Collection, 1959-1967 (AC 506)

Duke Ellington Collection, 1927-1982 (AC 301)
Provenance:
Mrs. Claire Gordon, Stewart's companion, co-writer, and recipient of his estate, donated the Rex Stewart Papers to the National Museum of American History on January 3, 1992 and July 18, 1994.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Reproduction fees for commercial use. All rights transferred to Museum in Deed of Gift.
Topic:
Music -- 20th century  Search this
Jazz  Search this
Cornet music (Jazz) -- 1920-1970  Search this
Musicians -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Manuscripts -- 1920-1970
Photograph albums -- 1920-1970
Photographs -- 20th century
Citation:
Rex Stewart Papers, ca. 1875-1890s, 1924-1988, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0424
See more items in:
Rex Stewart Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep846cfcaa4-cf2f-402c-ad87-c329c213d246
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0424

Bobby Tucker Papers

Author:
Tucker, Bobby, 1923-2008  Search this
Creator:
Eckstine, Billy  Search this
Jones, Quincy, 1933-  Search this
Donor:
Tucker, Irma  Search this
Extent:
36 Cubic feet (88 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
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 but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
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
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep8ed6e09ea-4ba0-4ab2-9f05-94973e18ae43
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1141
Online Media:

Musical History Documents and Graphics

Creator:
Vip (Virgil Franklin Partch), 1916-  Search this
Partch, Virgil Franklin, 1916-  Search this
Goodman, Benjie  Search this
Addams, Charles, 1912-1988  Search this
Names:
Gibson Co.  Search this
Jubilee Singers  Search this
Northeast Conservatory of Music.  Search this
Goodman, Benny (Benjamin David), 1909-1986  Search this
Norton, I.F. (trumpeter) -- Etching  Search this
Former owner:
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Musical History  Search this
Extent:
1 Boxe
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photograph albums
Etchings
Diplomas
Cartoons (humorous images)
Albums
Drawings
Sheet music
Programs
Date:
1872-1984
Scope and Contents note:
Miscellaneous documents and pictorial items related to music, and a set of documents associated with Gibson banjoes.
Series 1:,The first group includes a diploma from the Northeast Conservatory of Music (1872); a painted etching of I. F. Norton, trumpeter; a drawing of Benny Goodman's studio by Benjie Goodman (1984); a photograph of Benny Goodman; original ink cartoons by Charles Addams and Virgil Partch; a newspaper advertisement for the Jubilee singers; sheet music; and memorabilia from a vaudeville act.

Series 2:The banjo material includes tickets, letters, programs, and photograph albums.
Arrangement:
2 series. Unarranged.
Biographical / Historical:
This collection contains musical history documents and graphics.
Provenance:
Collection donated to the Division of Musical History, National Museum of American History.
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:
Clarinetists -- 20th century  Search this
Banjo music  Search this
Vaudeville  Search this
Trumpet players -- 20th century  Search this
Studios and workshops -- Drawings  Search this
Musicians -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photograph albums
Etchings
Diplomas
Cartoons (humorous images) -- 1940-1980
Albums
Drawings -- 1980-1990
Sheet music
Programs -- Concerts
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0485
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep8624c8ad8-9f60-49d3-b14b-9ee220d5eb2d
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0485

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