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Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music

Creator:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997  Search this
Extent:
79 Boxes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1828-1980
Summary:
Sam DeVincent loved music and art and began collecting sheet music with lithographs at an early age.

Series 3: African-American Music, contains circa 7,800 pieces of sheet music and folios dating from the 1820s to the 1980s; most of the material dates from after 1890.

An overview to the entire DeVincent collection is available here: Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music.
Scope and Contents note:
The African-American series contains circa 7,800 pieces of sheet music and folios dating from the 1820s to the 1980s; most of the material dates from after 1890. Many of the pieces were composed or performed by Afro-American musicians; other pieces were created by white musicians using black musical styles (for example Joseph Lamb's classic ragtime compositions). A large part of the series consists of songs about African-Americans (minstrel show songs), often written in dialect and usually filled with negative stereotypes. Most, but not all, of the composers of this material were white. Subseries 3.1-3.7 are organized by musical genre and arranged by the chronological first appearance of the genre in American popular culture. The last subseries, 3.8, is a composer/performer aggregation including many musical genres but only African-American musicians.

The DeVincent Collection holds a wealth of ragtime material which forms an important part of series 3. There are approximately 530 items of vocal ragtime and approximately 2,800 instrumental ragtime items. The principle composers of ragtime have separate folders and are indexed by name (however, some of their material may be in the general ragtime folders). One of the strengths of the DeVincent ragtime file is its diversity and inclusion of lesser-known figures. Sam DeVincent built the ragtime section with a broad conception of the genre, a conception in keeping with the thinking of the time. Characteristic two-steps, syncopated marches, and some dances from the ragtime dance craze (turkey trots, a few tangos, etc.) are included in the general file indicating the widespread infusion of ragtime rhythms into American popular music during the early 20th century.

A large part of series 3 is organized and indexed by composer or performer; subseries 3.8 is solely organized this way. African-American composers who wrote only ragtime music, such as Scott Joplin, have been kept in subseries 3.6, "ragtime composers and publishers," which includes both black and white musicians.

The jazz holdings in subseries 3.7, "blues and jazz music," are quite small; most of the items are about jazz rather than the creations of jazz musicians. DeVincent organized most of his jazz materials by composer and performer. African-American jazz musicians have been incorporated into subseries 3.8. White jazz musicians are not in series 3. For help in locating jazz material in the DeVincent Collection, see the appendix "Finding Aid to Jazz Sheet Music and Ephemera."

There are four indexes in this register. The first two are for series 3: a Topical Index and a Select Name and Title Index . Following are the two composite indexes which combine the indexes of series 1, 2, and 3. These composite indexes are an important cross-reference tool.

For example, someone doing research on James Reese Europe would naturally start reading the register for series 3. The index to series 3 lists folder 3.8 BB under the heading for Europe. In the composite index, we learn that folder 2.4 XX also has a composition by Europe. Sam DeVincent placed in the Armed Forces file a piece by Europe that he wrote while serving in the Army as director of the 369th Hellfighters Band.

This series is arranged in the following subseries: 3:1 Minstrel Show and Blackface Entertainers; 3:2 Uncle Tom's Cabin; 3:3 African-American Folk-song and Spirituals; 3:4 Songs about African-American/Vocal Ragtime; 3:5 Instrumental and Ragtime Music; 3:6 Ragtime Composers and Publishers; 3:7 Blues and Jazz Music; 3:8 Composers and Performers.
Arrangement note:
Arranged in 9 subseries.

3.1: Minstrel Shows and Blackface Entertainers

3.2: Uncle Tom's Cabin

3.3: African-American Folk-songs and Spirituals

3.4: Songs about African-American/Vocal Ragtime

3.5: Instrumental and Ragtime Music

3.6: Ragtime Composers and Publishers

3.7: Blues and Jazz Music

3.8: Composers and Performers

3.9: Ephemera
Materials in Other Organizations:
Sam DeVincent Collection of American Sheet Music, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

This collection contains duplicates of materials in the Smithsonian collection, as well as materials acquired by Mr. DeVincent after the donation to the Smithsonian. The phonograph records described above were transferred to the University of Missouri at Kansas City.
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History:
Donald J. Stubblebine Collection of Musical Theater and Motion Picture Sheet Music and Reference Material, 1843-2010 (AC1211)
Forms Part Of:
Series 3: African-American Music forms part of the Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music .

An ongoing, updated list of DeVincent topical series is available via the Smithsonian finding aid portal.
Provenance:
This collection was purchased by the Smithsonian Institution in 1988 from Sam and Nancy Lee DeVincent.
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.
Citation:
The Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0300.S03
See more items in:
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0300-s03
Online Media:

Just Blue [sheet music]

Topic:
Ethnic Imagery Project, Archives Center
Composer:
Wadsworth, F. Wheeler  Search this
Arden, Victor  Search this
Publisher:
McCarthy & Fischer, Inc.  Search this
Series Creator:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper.)
Container:
Box 118, Folder G, Blues Instrumental.
Type:
Archival materials
Sheet music
Date:
1918
Scope and Contents:
Instrumental fox trot; sheet music with illustrated cover, showing female figure in exotic middle-Eastern, vaguely belly-dancer attire.
Local Numbers:
040300104.tif (AC Scan No.: cover)
Publication:
New York., McCarthy & Fischer, Inc
Series Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Series 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.
Occupation:
Belly dancers  Search this
Topic:
Belly dance  Search this
Foxtrot (Dance) -- Music  Search this
Orientalism  Search this
Music -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sheet music
Series Citation:
The Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music / 3.7: Blues and Jazz Music / Blues, instrumental
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0300-s03-ref1081

W. C. Handy Collection

Creator:
Shurr, Robert L.  Search this
Handy, W. C. (William Christopher), 1873-1958  Search this
Names:
Pace, Harry (song writer)  Search this
Extent:
0.3 Cubic feet (1 box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sheet music
Letters (correspondence)
Correspondence
Photographs
Personal papers
Date:
1928
1948 - 1948
Scope and Contents note:
The collection consists of a photograph, several letters written by Handy, and several pieces of music which he published.

Handy remains among the most influential of American Blues songwriters. Handy is credited with giving Blues, its contemporary form. While Handy was not the first to publish music in the blues form, he took the blues from a regional music style with a limited audience to one of the dominant national forces in American music.

Handy was an educated musician who used folk material in his compositions. He was scrupulous in documenting the sources of his works, which frequently combined stylistic influences from several performers.
Arrangement:
Divided into 4 series: (1) Correspondence, 1928; (2) Photographs, 1948; (3) Sheet music, 1948; and (4) Robert L. Shurr papers.
Biographical/Historical note:
William Christopher Handy, a composer and music publisher, was born in Florence, Alabama on November 16, 1873. He is known as the "father of the blues" because he was the first person to collect and write the songs down which had been played by workers, illiterates, and share croppers. These original blues songs had a three line verse, a definite musical pattern which usually expressed a lament of some kind, and often ended in "ironical self -ridicule, fatalistic resignation, or absurd incongruous laughter" He also had a minstrel show band.

Among the more than sixty songs he wrote were "Memphis Blues, St. Louis Blues, Beale Street Blues, Mississippi Blues, and Joe Turner Blues." Handy wrote other secular songs, made arrangements of spirituals, and did orchestral work as a composer and conductor.

To get his music published. Handy, with Harry Pace, a songwriter, founded a music publishing house in Memphis in 1907 which was moved to New York in 1918. Among the songs his company published was "A Good Man is Hard to Find" which Sophie Tucker, a white singer, sang on Broadway and helped to make it a hit.

Handy died on March 29, 1958 in New York City. Later that year a movie based on his life was issued. It was titled "St. Louis Blues" and Nat "King" Cole played the role of Handy.
Related Archival Materials:
Received with George Washington Carver Collection, same donor.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Robert L. Shurr.
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.
Occupation:
Composers -- 20th century  Search this
Topic:
Popular music -- Publishing and writing  Search this
Blues (Music)  Search this
African American music -- 20th century  Search this
African American composers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sheet music
Letters (correspondence) -- 1900-1950
Correspondence -- 20th century
Photographs -- 1900-1950
Personal papers
Citation:
W. C. Handy Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0132
See more items in:
W. C. Handy Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0132

Oral History Interview with Carol Davis

Interviewer:
Meghelli, Samir  Search this
Creator:
Anacostia Community Museum  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound recording (MP3)
Type:
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Oral histories (document genres)
Interviews
Place:
Adams Morgan (Washington, D.C.)
Date:
2016 April 21
Scope and Contents:
Interview created as part of the research for the Anacostia Community Museum's "A Right to the City" exhibition.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
African American music -- 20th century  Search this
Riots  Search this
Neighborhoods -- Washington, D.C. -- History  Search this
Genre/Form:
Oral histories (document genres)
Interviews -- 21st century
Citation:
Interview with Carol Davis, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
A Right to the City Exhibition Records
A Right to the City Exhibition Records / Series I: Oral History Interviews
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-acma-03-119-ref19

African Blues / West Indian Tunes: [sheet music]

Topic:
Ethnic Imagery Project, Archives Center
Publisher:
Edward B. Marks Music Co.  Search this
Names:
Garvey, Marcus, 1887-1940  Search this
Series Creator:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper.)
Container:
Box 118, Folder K Blues, Ensembles on Cover
Culture:
African Americans  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Sheet music
Place:
Caribbean
Scope and Contents:
Introduced by Sam Manning and Fred Hall's Orchestra. Lyrics about a man's desire to return to Africa. Cover includes painting of West Indian scene with palm tree and an inset reproduction of a photograph of Fred Hall's Royal Terrace Orchestra.
Local Numbers:
040300101.tif (AC Scan No. for front and back covers.

040300102.tif (AC Scan No. for lyrics, pp. 2 and 3).

040300103.tif (AC Scan No. for lyrics, pp. 4 and 5).
Series Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Series 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:
Music -- 20th century  Search this
Blues (Music)  Search this
West Indians  Search this
Jazz  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sheet music
Series Citation:
The Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music / 3.7: Blues and Jazz Music / Blues, Ensembles on the Cover
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0300-s03-ref1080

When he Plays Jazz he's Got -- HOT LIPS (A Blues Fox Trot Song) [sheet music]

Topic:
Ethnic Imagery Project, Archives Center
Composer:
Busse, Henry  Search this
Lange, Charles Henry  Search this
Davis, Lou  Search this
Series Creator:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper.)
Container:
Box 74, Folder D 20th Century Songs about Afro-Am
Culture:
African Americans  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Sheet music
Date:
1922
Scope and Contents:
Stereotypical image of African American trumpet player. Lyrics about playing jazz.
Local Numbers:
040300114.tif (AC Scan No. for front and back covers).

040300115.tif (AC Scan No. for lyrics and music, pages 2 and 3).

040300116.tif (AC Scan No. for lyrics and music, pages 4 and 5).
General:
Sub-series 3.4, African Americans.
Publication:
New York., Leo. Feist, Inc., 1922
Series Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Series 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:
Trumpet  Search this
Blues (Music)  Search this
Jazz -- 1920-1930.  Search this
Music -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
African American musicians  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sheet music -- 1920-1930
Series Citation:
The Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music / 3.4: Songs about African-American/Vocal Ragtime / 20th Century Songs, I - M
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0300-s03-ref1087

A Coon's Doxology [sheet music]

Topic:
Ethnic Imagery Project, Archives Center
Advertiser:
Denison Songs  Search this
Lyricist:
Branen, Jeff  Search this
Composer:
Friedman, Leo  Search this
Series Creator:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper.)
Container:
Box 74, Folder C, 20th Century Songs about African Americans
Culture:
African Americans  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Sheet music
Date:
1925
Scope and Contents:
Advertised as "Exclusive Novelty Numbers for Musical Comedies, Minstrels, Vaudeville, Revues, and Specialities." Cover has small images of many different ethnic groups. Lyrics about a new preacher and a hen house.
Local Numbers:
040300117.tif (AC Scan No. for front cover)

040300118.tif (AC Scan No. for music and lyrics pp. 2-3)

040300119.tif (AC Scan No. for music and lyrics pp 4-5)

040300120.tif (AC Scan No. for back cover)
Publication:
Chicago., T.S. Denison & Company., 1925
Series Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Series 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:
Minstrels  Search this
Vaudeville  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sheet music -- 1920-1930
Series Citation:
The Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music / 3.4: Songs about African-American/Vocal Ragtime / 20th Century Songs, A - H
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0300-s03-ref1088

Cotton Club Parade [sheet music]

Topic:
Ethnic Imagery Project, Archives Center
American South
Lyricist:
Koehler, Ted  Search this
Composer:
Bloom, Rube, 1902-1976  Search this
Names:
Cotton Club  Search this
Hopkins, Claude (featured by)  Search this
McKinney, Nina Mae (featured by)  Search this
Series Creator:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper.)
Container:
Box 74, Folder 2oth Century Songs about African Americans
Culture:
African Americans  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Sheet music
Place:
Harlem (New York, N.Y.) -- 20th century
Date:
1933
Scope and Contents:
Lyrics about an African American in Harlem who longs for the South.
Local Numbers:
040300121.tif (AC Scan No. for front cover)

040300122.tif (AC Scan No. for music and ads on p. 2)

040300123.tif (AC Scan No. for music and lyrics p. 3)

040300124.tif (AC Scan No. for music and lyrics pp. 4-5)

040300125.tif (AC Scan No. for back cover)
General:
From series 3.4, African American.
Publication:
New York., Mills Music Inc., 1933
Series Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Series 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:
Jazz  Search this
Music  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sheet music -- 1930-1940
Series Citation:
The Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music / 3.4: Songs about African-American/Vocal Ragtime / 20th Century Songs, A - H
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0300-s03-ref1089

Booker T. Washington [sheet music]

Topic:
Ethnic Imagery Project, Archives Center
Composer:
Murray, C. U.  Search this
Names:
Washington, Booker T., 1856-1915  Search this
Series Creator:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper.)
Container:
Box 74, Folder C 20th Century Songs About Afro. Am., A-E
Culture:
African Americans  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Sheet music
Date:
1916
Local Numbers:
040300126.tif (AC Scan No. for cover)

040300127.tif (AC Scan No. for music and lyrics p. 3, p. 2 blank)

040300128.tif (AC Scan No. for music and lyrics p. 4)

040300129.tif (AC Scan No. for music and lyrics p. 5)
Publication:
Youngstown, Ohio., Mrs. C.U. Murray., 1916
Series Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Series 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:
Music  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sheet music -- 1910-1920
Series Citation:
The Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music / 3.4: Songs about African-American/Vocal Ragtime / 20th Century Songs, A - H
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0300-s03-ref1090

Better Get Gabriel's Horn [Sheet music]

Topic:
Ethnic Imagery Project, Archives Center
Composer:
Gershman, Harry  Search this
Lane, Bennie  Search this
Publisher:
Continental Music Co.  Search this
Names:
Gabriel  Search this
Series Creator:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper.)
Container:
Box 74, Folder C 20th Century Songs About Afr. Am., A-E
Culture:
African Americans  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Sheet music
Date:
1936
Scope and Contents:
Lyrics about needing to stop drinking and dancing because Satan is waiting for you.
Local Numbers:
040300130.tif (AC Scan No., front and back covers)

040300131.tif (AC Scan No., pp. 2-3)

040300132.tif (AC Scan No., pp. 4-5)
Publication:
Kansas City., Continental Music Co., 1936
Series Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Series 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:
Angels  Search this
Dance  Search this
Drinking  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sheet music
Series Citation:
The Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music / 3.4: Songs about African-American/Vocal Ragtime / 20th Century Songs, A - H
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0300-s03-ref1091

Ignorant Mama (Papa's Gonna Educate You) [sheet music]

Topic:
Ethnic Imagery Project, Archives Center
Composer:
Dixon, Harold  Search this
Series Creator:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper.)
Container:
Box 74, Folder D, Songs about Afro. Am
Culture:
African Americans  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Sheet music
Date:
1925
Local Numbers:
040300133.tif (AC Scan No. for front cover)

040300134.tif (AC Scan No. for lyrics and music pp. 2-3)

040300135.tif (AC Scan No. for lyrics and music pp. 4-5)
General:
Series 3.4, African American.
Publication:
New York., Harold Dixon, Inc., 1925
Series Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Series 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:
Blues (Music)  Search this
Gender imagery  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sheet music
Series Citation:
The Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music / 3.4: Songs about African-American/Vocal Ragtime / 20th Century Songs, I - M
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0300-s03-ref1092

20th Century Songs, A - H

Series Creator:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997  Search this
Container:
Box 74, Folder C
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1901-1968
Series Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Series 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.
Series Citation:
The Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music / 3.4: Songs about African-American/Vocal Ragtime
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0300-s03-ref100

20th Century Songs, I - M

Series Creator:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997  Search this
Container:
Box 74, Folder D
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1901-1968
Series Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Series 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.
Series Citation:
The Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music / 3.4: Songs about African-American/Vocal Ragtime
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0300-s03-ref101

20th Century Songs, O - Z

Series Creator:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997  Search this
Container:
Box 75, Folder E
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1901-1968
Scope and Contents note:
Most of the sheets date from the 1920s to the 1930s. Included are songs about rural Southern Afro-Americans, musical theater songs, pseudo-spirituals and comic songs denigrating Afro-American religion. A few of the pieces were composed by Afro-Americans. (141 items)
Series Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Series 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.
Series Citation:
The Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music / 3.4: Songs about African-American/Vocal Ragtime
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0300-s03-ref102

Minstrel Shows, post-Civil War, A - I

Series Creator:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997  Search this
Container:
Box 67, Folder T
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1867-1945
Scope and Contents note:
Most of the material dates from the 1870s to the 1910s. Some items are from shows, but many are about minstrel shows, often a 20th century nostalgic longing for the "good old minstrel show." (54 items)
Series Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Series 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.
Series Citation:
The Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music / 3.1: Minstrel Shows and Blackface Entertainers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0300-s03-ref41

Blackface Entertainers, 20th century, A - I

Series Creator:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997  Search this
Container:
Box 68, Folder W
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1910-1950
Scope and Contents note:
Most of these entertainers worked in vaudeville or on the radio. The majority of items date from the 1920s to the 1930s. Also included is one 1945 folio of the radio team Mustard and Gravy. (58 items)
Series Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Series 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.
Series Citation:
The Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music / 3.1: Minstrel Shows and Blackface Entertainers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0300-s03-ref46

Jones, Clarence

Series Creator:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997  Search this
Container:
Box 129, Folder QQ
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1913-1932
Scope and Contents note:
Songwriter (b. 1889; d. 1949). Included are songs and piano solos; many of the instrumentals are popular dance music of the early 20th century such as tangos and the "black bottom." One piece includes parts for tenor and alto saxophone. (41 items)
Series Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Series 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.
Series Citation:
The Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music / 3.8: Composers and Performers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0300-s03-ref476

Blackface Entertainers, 20th century, J - Z

Series Creator:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997  Search this
Container:
Box 68, Folder X
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1910-1950
Series Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Series 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.
Series Citation:
The Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music / 3.1: Minstrel Shows and Blackface Entertainers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0300-s03-ref48

Uncle Tom's Cabin, 20th century

Series Creator:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997  Search this
Container:
Box 72, Folder C
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1900-1945
Scope and Contents note:
The folder includes two song sheets and four songs folios. The folios are from theatrical productions. One song sheet has the Duncan Sisters on the cover. (6 items)
Series Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Series 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.
Series Citation:
The Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 3: African-American Music / 3.2: Uncle Tom's Cabin
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0300-s03-ref80

Ray Brown Papers

Creator:
Brown, Ray (Jazz musician)  Search this
Composer:
Allen, Steve, 1921-2000  Search this
Musician:
Clarke, Kenny, 1914-1985  Search this
Clayton, John  Search this
Ellis, Herb  Search this
Harris, Gene, 1933-2000  Search this
Jackson, Milt  Search this
Lewis, John, 1920-2001  Search this
Peterson, Oscar, 1925-  Search this
Shank, Bud  Search this
Singer:
Fitzgerald, Ella, 1917-1996  Search this
Producer:
Granz, Norman  Search this
Extent:
8 Cubic feet (8 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographic prints
Posters
Clippings
Music
Audiotapes
Awards
Scrapbooks
Correspondence
Business records
Date:
undated
circa 1940-2010
Summary:
Ray Brown was an African-American musician, composer, bandleader, manager, music teacher and promoter. He became best known for his collaborative work with Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald, the Oscar Peterson Trio and Norman Granz' s Jazz at the Philharmonic. Over the course of his career, Brown received awards and accolades from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Jazz Hall of Fame, Down Beat and Playboy. Brown's papers document his professional music career from 1944 to 2002 and include music compositions and notes, publicity materials, photographs and some recordings of his performances.
Scope and Contents:
The collection primarily documents the near sixty-year music career of upright bass player, bandleader, composer, and instructor Raymond Matthews (Ray) Brown and the various bands that he played with. The materials consist of music manuscripts, musical arrangements, published sheet music, photographs, programs, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, posters, audio and video recordings, honors and awards, correspondence, and publications. There is very little information about Brown's education, family or other aspects of his personal life.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into five series.

Series 1, Musical Compositions and Notes, 1940s-2000s, undated

Series 2, Publicity Materials, 1950s-2002, undated

Series 3, Photographic Materials, 1940-2003, undated

Series 4, Personal Papers, 1954-2010

Series 5, Audiovisual Materials, 1978-1993, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Raymond Matthews Brown was an African-American musician (double bass and cello) born on October 13, 1926 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He became known for his collaborative work with Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald (to whom he was married for a few years) and others. He was a composer, bandleader, manager, music teacher and promoter. His professional music career lasted almost sixty years, dating from 1944 to 2002.

Brown's career began with a risky move to New York City in 1945, as a recent high school graduate, which resulted in his being hired on the spot to play with Dizzy Gillespie. Brown continued to play with Gillespie and others in various groups, recording songs such as "One Bass Hit" and "Night in Tunisia," before leaving in 1947. Brown married notable jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald that same year. He and Fitzgerald adopted a son, Raymond Matthew Brown Jr., and performed together in Norman Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic. Granz's tours, which Brown participated in from around 1949 to 1958, allowed him to travel and play all around the world. After being introduced to Oscar Peterson during a Philharmonic tour, Brown became a founding member of the Oscar Peterson Trio in 1952. His growing commitment to the group, along with other factors, led to Brown and Fitzgerald's divorce in 1953. However, the two would continued to collaborate and perform together, as friends and colleagues.

Brown worked with Peterson and other prominent jazz musicians to found the Advanced School of Contemporary Music in Toronto, which lasted from 1960 to 1965. He left the Peterson trio in the late 1960s and moved to Los Angeles to work as a composer, manager, educator, and publisher. In California, he worked for several movie and television show orchestras, became bassist for all of Frank Sinatra's television specials, and accompanied some noted singers, including Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Tony Bennett. He composed the theme song to Steve Allen's show, "Gravy Waltz," for which they both won a Grammy Award in 1964. He also managed the Modern Jazz Quartet, and Quincy Jones. In the 1980s, he formed the Ray Brown Trio with pianist Gene Harris, which lasted nine years. He also directed events such as the Monterey Jazz and Concord Summer Festivals, and consulted for the Hollywood Bowl Association. Brown continued to play and record with his trio and various other groups, such as the Oscar Peterson Trio and the Modern Jazz Quartet, for the rest of his life. He also published an instructional book for the bass, Ray Brown's Bass Method, through his own company in 1999. Over the course of his career, Brown received awards and accolades from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Jazz Hall of Fame, Down Beat, Playboy, and many more. Ray Brown died in 2002 at the age of seventy five.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives Center in 2015 by Ray Brown's widow, Cecilia Brown.
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:
African Americans -- Music  Search this
Music -- Performance  Search this
Music -- Songs  Search this
Musicians  Search this
Musicians -- United States  Search this
Jazz musicians -- United States  Search this
African American music -- 20th century  Search this
Jazz  Search this
African American musicians  Search this
Music -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographic prints
Posters
Posters -- 20th century
Clippings
Music -- Manuscripts
Audiotapes
Awards
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Correspondence -- 20th century
Business records -- 20th century
Citation:
Ray Brown Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1362
See more items in:
Ray Brown Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1362

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