Scope and arrangement
The Jay Gorney scores includes original holograph manuscripts of musical works by him, published sheet music by him or other composers, arrangements of published works for student workshop productions, and photocopies of either. The collection is divided into music for the stage (including revues), motion pictures, and television, miscellaneous works and student workshop material from both the American Theatre Wing Professional Training School and Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals . Occassionally written notes, typed song lyrics or song lists will be included among the scores; these are noted where applicable.
Noteable items in the collection include several of the numbers written for the Revues of the early 1920s, including songs from Hassard Short's Ritz Revue (box 1, folder 15); five pieces written for Earl Carroll's Sketch Book, and Earl Carroll's Vanities (b.1, fs.7-11); the Greenwich Village Follies (b.1, fs.13-14); and the Ziegfeld Follies (b.26, f.1). Many of these pieces are original published sheet music with wonderful cover art, evocative of the period. Similarly colorful cover art can be found on some of the published songs Gorney wrote when he was a student at the University of Michigan between 1916 and 1921 (b.30, fs.19-25). Scores from successful stage productions such as Meet the People(1939-1941 and 1955 versions, b.10, f.12 through b.16, f.10 and the 1943 version in b.16, fs.21-32), Merry-Go-Round (b.16, fs.11-15) and Tony Award winning (for choreography) Touch and Go(b.22, f.1 through b.24, f.11) are included in this collection. Touch and Go scores include 11 songs that were dropped from the production. The score for the song that introduced Shirley Temple to the world, Baby, Take a Bow, is included, though only as published sheet music, with others from the 1934 motion picture, Stand Up and Cheer (b.26, f.45-50).
Scores found in the Historic and Progressive Songs subseries may be of interest to researchers studying American culture and social comment. This series (b.30, fs.1-18) includes songs that comment on American life and politics from Mister Roosevelt, Won't You Please Run Again?(1939), through Trust Captain L.B.J. (1975). Unfortunately, a copy of Gorney's best known work, Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? from the revue, Americana, is not in this collection.
The Jay Gorney scores are arranged in five series:
- 1924-195523 boxes
This series contains scores from many of Gorney's early revues, like Earl Carroll's Revue and the Ziegfield Follies, to scores from the 1950 Tony Award winning Touch and Go (choreography). Most of the scores listed as having parts consist of piano scores or voice and piano sheet music for the song listed. Individual instrument parts are rare, though instrumentation can be found in the conductor's or orchestra scores that are often included.
Two works are thought to have never been produced: Make Mine Manhattan and The Geografoof. It is possible that Make Mine Manhattan's music were written for a 1948 Broadway revue but not used.
- 1933-34; 19441 box
Most of the included scores are piano and voice arrangements of the title listed. The majority of them are published sheet music; exceptions are noted next to the title. The title Meet the People had two films, a 1941 was a short film of meeting various celebrities. The 1944 production is the stage version adapted for film.
- 1958; 19611 box
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Gorney tried his hand at writing, producing and directing for television. This series documents several of the shows he worked on, which was primarily religious broadcasting. It is unknown whether or not Kris Kringle Rides Again was ever broadcast.
- 1916-19753 boxes
This series includes dance band arrangements of popular tunes from many of his stage and screen productions, and songs written to reflect current or historical events, as well as Gorney's earliest published work, the material he wrote during his college years at University of Michigan
- c.1954-19673 Boxes
This series includes original scores and new arrangements of popular show numbers created for productions of the professional training workshops of the American Theatre Wing . Many of the songs are arranged by production title, but many are miscellaneous loose pieces which were not identified with a particular production.
Please note, the scores for the production, Babes in Arms, consisted of a several smaller folders with the titles listed, couched within a larger folder entitiled, Babes in Arms. It suggests that each smaller folder was a scene within the larger production, but there is no evidence to confirm that within this collection