Research Catalog

Elliot Carpenter papers,

Title
Elliot Carpenter papers, 1922-1979.
Author
Carpenter, Elliot (1894-1982)
Supplementary Content
Finding aid

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StatusVol/DateFormatAccessCall NumberItem Location
Box 1Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 599 Box 1Offsite
Box 2Mixed materialUse in library Sc MG 599 Box 2Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
Box 3Mixed materialUse in library Sc MG 599 Box 3Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
Box 4Mixed materialUse in library Sc MG 599 Box 4Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
Box 5Mixed materialUse in library Sc MG 599 Box 5Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
Box 6Mixed materialUse in library Sc MG 599 Box 6Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
Box 7Mixed materialUse in library Sc MG 599 Box 7Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
Box 8Mixed materialUse in library Sc MG 599 Box 8Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
Box 9Mixed materialUse in library Sc MG 599 Box 9Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
Box 10Mixed materialUse in library Sc MG 599 Box 10Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
Box 11Mixed materialUse in library Sc MG 599 Box 11Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
Box 12Mixed materialUse in library Sc MG 599 Box 12Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
Box 13Mixed materialUse in library Sc MG 599 Box 13Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
Box 14Mixed materialUse in library Sc MG 599 Box 14Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives
Box 15Mixed materialRequest in advance Sc MG 599 Box 15Offsite
Box 16Mixed materialUse in library Sc MG 599 Box 16Schomburg Center - Manuscripts & Archives

Details

Description
8.7 lin. ft.
Donor/Sponsor
Schomburg NEH Blacks on Stage: African-American Theater Arts Collections Project.
Subjects
Genre/Form
  • Lyrics.
  • Musical scores.
  • Scrapbooks.
  • Scripts.
Note
  • Photographs transferred to Photographs and Prints Division.
Source (note)
  • Helen Armstead-Johnson
Biography (note)
  • Elliot James Carpenter was a pianist, composer, arranger, conductor, and song stylist with a career that spanned much of the twentieth century. Born in Philadelphia, he was educated at the Temple School of Music in that city. In the 1920's he furthered his studies in France, where he also performed with the James Reese Europe Orchestra. A band he formed, known as the Red Devils, toured Europe under the management of the Clef Club Singers and Players.
Provenance (note)
  • The collection was donated to Helen Armstead-Johnson by Elliot Carpenter, and subsequently donated by her, along with other theater related collections, to the Schomburg Center.
Linking Entry (note)
  • Forms part of: Helen Armstead-Johnson Theater Collection.
Processing Action (note)
  • Processed
  • Cataloged
Call Number
Sc MG 599
Author
Carpenter, Elliot (1894-1982)
Title
Elliot Carpenter papers, 1922-1979.
Summary
The Elliot Carpenter Papers document his musical career and consists of personal and professional correspondence, handwritten music, programs, lyrics, scripts, and newsclippings.
The Correspondence series, 1922-1979, contains letters from colleagues and individuals whom Carpenter assisted as a copyist and with other related work in the preparation of their musical compositions. Individuals with whom he corresponded include Eubie Blake, Bill Boyd, Everett F. Briggs, Monroe Burnett, Dove See, Helen Armstead-Johnson, Frank Lowry, Ada May, Kahl Ra-Faun, and Noah M. Thompson. Much of the correspondence pertains to songs he and his colleagues collaborated on. The series also contains correspondence with several professional organizations Carpenter belonged to. Agreements and contracts provide a fairly comprehensive list of collaborators, song and fees for Carpenter's work from 1936-1964.
The Music series consists almost exclusively of manuscript music, mostly copies made by Carpenter for his own use as a composer/arranger. Most music is accompanied by lyrics. This series has been arranged into three subseries. The subseries Elliot Carpenter consists of music Carpenter composed or arranged. The subseries Collaborators consists of manuscript music and lyrics composed by Carpenter with a collaborator. Some of the collaborators are Harry Atwood, Karan Bank, Edward K. Bergstrom, Everett F. Briggs, James Doyle, Lynn Howard, Langston Hughes, Mark Hurley, Sister Mary Juanilla, Frank Lowry, Kahl Ra-Faun, Dove See, Dwight Strickland and Dooley Wilson. The Other Composers subseries includes compositions by Evelyn Burwell, P.R. Gracey, Mark Hurley, Oscar McMollie, Ada May, Basil Travnikoff and Stan Tull.
The series Lyrics, 1943-ca. 1970s, is comprised of lyrics written by Carpenter and by other lyricists. The series Miscellaneous Writings, 1946-ca. 1970, consists primarily of scripts intended for performances on stage or radio. The Program series, 1935-1968, includes printed and handwritten programs for many of Carpenter's engagements. The Printed Material series encompasses two scrapbooks containing mainly newsclippings and some programs, correspondence, and other material discussing Carpenter's performances and activities in the United States.
Biography
Elliot James Carpenter was a pianist, composer, arranger, conductor, and song stylist with a career that spanned much of the twentieth century. Born in Philadelphia, he was educated at the Temple School of Music in that city. In the 1920's he furthered his studies in France, where he also performed with the James Reese Europe Orchestra. A band he formed, known as the Red Devils, toured Europe under the management of the Clef Club Singers and Players.
Carpenter's primary musical style was popular, but he also wrote and performed swing music. Although he wrote a substantial amount of original music, only a modest number of pieces were published. He was a prodigious arranger of music authored by both Black and white composers, and also wrote lyrics.
Among Carpenter's accomplishments are his 1937 collaboration with Clarence Muse for the film "Spirit of Youth," his arrangement of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta "The Mikado" into a swing piece called "Swing Mikado," 1939, and his performance of the sound track for "As Time Goes By" in the film "Casablanca" and as the playing hands of Sam, the character played by Dooley Wilson, 1942.
A collaboration with Langston Hughes produced a song entitled "America's Young Black Joe," which was published. Some of the many collaborators with whom Carpenter worked are Karen Bank, Bill Boyd, Everett F. Briggs, Dove See, Frank Lowry, Flournoy Miller, and Kahl Ra-Faun.
Linking Entry
Forms part of: Helen Armstead-Johnson Theater Collection.
Connect to:
Added Title
Schomburg NEH Blacks on Stage: African-American Theater Arts Collections Project.
Research Call Number
Sc MG 599
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