Scope and arrangement
The Ethel Burns papers document the radio and television programs she produced for WNYE and WCBS in New York City. The files consist of scripts, correspondence, production information, press releases, reviews and photographs. Productions documented include programs devoted to music and theatre, such as American Musical Theatre, Dial M For Music, It's Fun To Sing, Our American Musical Heritage and Tune-Up Time; programs for children including Around The Corner, Candles On The Cake, Jack And The Beanstalk, and Neighbors And Friends; and a musical tribute to Robert Kennedy, A Contemporary Memorial.
The Ethel Burns papers are arranged in two series:
- 1954-197424 boxes
This series contains files documenting the programs Ethel Burns produced and/or directed for WNYE and WCBS. Some of the WCBS programs were distributed nationally on the CBS network. Notes for each program specify the producing station. File contents can include scripts; episode listings; production and research notes; press releases, clippings, photographs, and other publicity materials; and correspondence and inter-departmental memos.
The majority of the files (about 16 boxes) are devoted to Around The Corner, a television program for young children that ran from 1963 to 1970. Other programs with significant content include American Musical Theatre, Dial M For Music, It's Fun To Sing, and Our American Musical Heritage.
The American Musical Theatre files have scripts for the first 28 episodes, press releases announcing many of the guests, and a separate folder documenting Richard Rodgers's appearance on the show. The Dial M For Music files contain photographs of the musicians performing on the show, including Louis Armstrong, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Max Roach, and Cannonball Adderley.
The files for It's Fun To Sing contain most of the scripts for the series. The folders for Our American Musical Heritage contain a grant application to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to make the Emmy-winning series, which had been produced for local broadcast by WCBS, available for nationwide distribution on PBS.
Other files in the series include the music programs Music Is…, Let's Make Music, The Man And The Music, Children's Musical Theatre, Tune-Up Time and Words And Music; general programs for children including Aladdin, Candles On The Cake, Jack And The Beanstalk, Neighbors And Friends and Pinocchio; A Contemporary Memorial, a program in memory of Robert Kennedy which featured jazz musicians; and A Gift Of The Heart, a Catholic Charities appeal broadcast. The files also contain proposals for projects that were never produced, such as a music show which would have been hosted by Woody Herman.
- 1959-19751 box
This series contains correspondence; notes and proposals for untitled programs; photographs; and reports from the New York City Board of Education on its radio and television programming. The correspondence is in two parts: a folder for general correspondence to Burns, and memos and letters from WCBS and CBS. Much of the correspondence to Burns is fan mail for American Musical Theatre. There are also letters and telegrams of congratulations regarding the Emmy awards her programs won. The notes and proposals file contains feedback from school students on program ideas. The photographs contain production stills from unidentified music programs. The Board of Education reports give a yearly indication of Burns's output. All are noted with page numbers that refer to her programs.