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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Billy Strayhorn Master Editions Collection 1933-1966

© 2008 University of Chicago Library

Acknowledgments

The Billy Strayhorn Master Editions Collection was processed and preserved as part of the “Uncovering New Chicago Archives Project,” funded with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Descriptive Summary

Title:

Strayhorn, Billy, Master Editions. Collection

Dates:

1933-1966

Size:

10.5 linear feet (7 boxes)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

The Billy Strayhorn Master Editions Collection contains finale scores and parts generated by music editing software, derived directly from his handwritten manuscripts. There are also reprints of a signed photograph of Strayhorn.

Information on Use

Access

The collection is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

The collection requires written permission from Billy Strayhorn Songs, Inc. for reproduction of any kind.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Strayhorn, Billy, Master Editions. Collection, [Box#, Folder#], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

William "Billy" Strayhorn was born in Dayton, Ohio on November 29, 1915. He spent part of his childhood in Hillsborough, North Carolina. His family eventually moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he studied classical music at the Pittsburgh Musical Institution.

At the age of 23, he submitted a musical composition titled "Something to Live For" to Duke Ellington, who subsequently recorded it with Strayhorn as the pianist. Strayhorn worked as the pianist in Mercer Ellington's orchestra for a short time, but left to join Ellington's band as associate arranger and second pianist. He stayed with Ellington for nearly thirty years and they collaborated on more than 200 items, including "Take the 'A' Train," "Satin Doll," and the theme from Anatomy of a Murder.

Strayhorn also contributed to other recordings by Cootie Williams, Bigard, Johnny Hodges, the Ellingtonians, the Coronets, Louie Bellson, Ben Webster, and Clark Terry. He composed the song "King Fought for the Battle of 'Bam" for Martin Luther King, Jr., and was also an influence of Lena Horne.

In 1946, Strayhorn received the Esquire Silver Award for outstanding arranger. Invited by the Duke Ellington Jazz Society, in 1965 he presented a concert, using only his own work, at New York's New School of Social Research.

Billy Strayhorn died in New York on May 31, 1967.

Scope Note

The Billy Strayhorn Master Editions Collection contains finale scores and parts generated by music editing software, derived directly from his handwritten manuscripts. Some of the scores were never performed during Strayhorn's lifetime. There are also reprints of a signed photograph of Strayhorn.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/select.html

Chicago Jazz Archive

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Box 1   Folder 1

"After All," 1941

Box 1   Folder 2

"Agra," 1964

Box 1   Folder 3

"All Day Long," circa 1951

Box 1   Folder 4

"All Too Soon," 1957

Box 1   Folder 5

"Bagatelle," circa 1956

Box 1   Folder 6

"Ballad for Very Tired and Sad Lotus Eaters," circa 1956

Box 1   Folder 7

"Bli-Blip," 1957

Box 1   Folder 8

"Blood Count," circa 1963

Box 1   Folder 9

"Blue Bird of Delhi," 1964

Box 1   Folder 10

"Blue House," 1941

Box 1   Folder 11

"Blue House," circa 1941

Box 2   Folder 1

"Blue Star," circa 1941

Box 2   Folder 2

"Blues in Orbit," circa 1959

Box 2   Folder 3

"Boll Weevil Ballet," score only, 1946

Box 2   Folder 4

"Boo-Dah," circa 1953

Box 2   Folder 5

"Brown Betty," 1948

Box 2   Folder 6

"Cashmere Cutie," circa 1957

Box 2   Folder 7

"Chelsea Bridge," 1941

Box 2   Folder 8

"Clementine," 1941

Box 2   Folder 9

"Day Dream," 1957

Box 2   Folder 10

"Dirge," 1943

Box 2   Folder 11

"Drop Me Off at Harlem," 1957

Box 2   Folder 12

"The Eighth Veil," 1946

Box 3   Folder 1

"Everything But You," 1957

Box 3   Folder 2

"Ev'rything's Copasetic!," score only, 1962

Box 3   Folder 3

"Fantastic Rhythm," piano only, 1934

Box 3   Folder 4

"Feet on the Beat," circa 1955

Box 3   Folder 5

"Flame Indigo," score only, 1941

Box 3   Folder 6

"Flamingo," 1940

Box 3   Folder 7

"A Flower is a Lovesome Thing," circa 1946

Box 3   Folder 8

"The Flowers Die of Love," piano only, 1953

Box 3   Folder 9

"Fol-de-rol-rol: Beggar's Holiday," score only, circa 1946

Box 3   Folder 10

"Grievin'," 1956

Box 3   Folder 11

"Hip," score only, 1941

Box 3   Folder 12

"The Hipper-Bug," score only, 1941

Box 3   Folder 13

'I Ain't Got Nothing But the Blues," 1957

Box 3   Folder 14

'I Didn't Know About You," 1957

Box 3   Folder 15

"I Got it Bad (And That Ain't Good)," circa 1950

Box 4   Folder 1

"I'm Just a Lucky So-and-So," 1957

Box 4   Folder 2

"Isfahan," 1963

Box 4   Folder 3

"It Don't Mean a Thing (If it Ain't Got That Swing)," circa 1943

Box 4   Folder 4

"Jo, score only," circa 1941

Box 4   Folder 5

"The Kissing Bug," 1945

Box 4   Folder 6

"Lana Turner [Charpoy]," 1944

Box 4   Folder 7

"Let Nature Take its Course," piano only, 1935

Box 4   Folder 8

"Lonely Again (Lush Life)," score only, circa 1938

Box 4   Folder 9

"Lost in Meditation," 1957

Box 4   Folder 10

"Love, Love," piano only, 1953

Box 4   Folder 11

"Lozit," score only, circa 1941

Box 4   Folder 12

"Matinee, score only," circa 1945

Box 4   Folder 13

"Mid-Riff," circa 1944

Box 4   Folder 14

"Newport Jazz Festival Suite," 1956

Box 5   Folder 1

"Nutcracker Suite," 1960

Box 5   Folder 2

"On the Wrong Side of the Rail Road Tracks," score only, circa 1946

Box 5   Folder 3

"Orson (Theme for Helen)," circa 1951

Box 5   Folder 4

"Overture to a Jam Session," circa 1946

Box 5   Folder 5

"Passion Flower," circa 1941

Box 5   Folder 6

"Passion Flower," circa 1945

Box 5   Folder 7

"Passion Flower," circa 1949

Box 5   Folder 8

"Peer Gynt Suites 1 & 2," 1960

Box 6   Folder 1

"A Penthouse on Shady Avenue," piano only, 1935

Box 6   Folder 2

"Pentonsilic," circa 1941

Box 6   Folder 3

"Perfume Suite," 1943-1944

Box 6   Folder 4

"Pomegranate: A Drum is a Woman, score only," circa 1957

Box 6   Folder 5

"Portrait of a Silk Thread," circa 1944

Box 6   Folder 6

"Pretty Girl [Star-crossed Lovers]," score only, 1956

Box 6   Folder 7

"Rain Check," 1941

Box 6   Folder 8

"La Sacre Supreme," circa 1944

Box 6   Folder 9

"Smada," circa 1951

Box 6   Folder 10

"Snibor," circa 1947

Box 7   Folder 1

"So This is Love," piano only, 1934

Box 7   Folder 2

"Something to Live For," score only, 1942

Box 7   Folder 3

"Sophisticated Lady," 1956

Box 7   Folder 4

"Suite for the Duo," 1966

Box 7   Folder 5

"Sweet & Pungent," circa 1959

Box 7   Folder 6

"Swing Dance," circa 1962

Box 7   Folder 7

"Take the "A" Train," 1941

Box 7   Folder 8

"Take the "A" Train," 1957

Box 7   Folder 9

"Theme from Anatomy of a Murder," score only, 1959

Box 7   Folder 10

"Tiffany," score only, circa 1955

Box 7   Folder 11

"Tonk," 1940

Box 7   Folder 12

"U.M.M.G. (Upper Manhattan Medical Group)," circa 1954

Box 7   Folder 13

"Valse," circa 1933

Box 7   Folder 14

Reprint, signed photo of Billy Strayhorn, 2000