Scope and arrangement
The Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson Papers document only a small part of Perkinson’s long and varied career, but they include the period with the highest public profile, his work as an arranger for Motown and Marvin Gaye. The collection consists almost entirely of finished full scores, and instrumental parts along with some sketches (mainly in the television music). There is no directly personal or biographical material to be found in the papers.
The Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson papers are arranged in two series:
- 1975 - 76 & undated
The scores and parts in this series cover work for the Blackbyrds (these arrangements are actually credited to Wade Marcus), Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, and Leon Ware. The bulk of the material pertains to two closely interrelated projects, Gaye’s 1976 LP I Want You, produced and principally written by Ware, and Ware’s own Musical Massage LP, released later the same year. Most of the songs under Ware’s name ended up on Gaye’s album; several songs under both artists’ names were ultimately released with different titles. Some were not released on the original LPs and only became available on the expanded CD reissues. Also included in this series is a folder of general personal papers containing a small number of items such as song lyrics, sheet music and correspondence.
This series includes material Perkinson composed for two short-lived television shows, Harris and Company and The Plant Family, as well as some finished cues and sketches with no identification that could belong to either or neither of the two.