- Howard, Bob, 1906-
- Call number
- Sc MG 328
- Physical description
- 2 linear feet
- Preferred Citation
- Bob Howard papers, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library
- Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division
- Access to materials
- Advance notice required. Request access to this collection.
The Bob Howard Papers consist of numerous programs for dinner engagements, benefits and other performances, three scrapbooks of news clippings, and lyrics, musical scores and arrangements by Howard and his wife, Ruth Howard, and Ruth Joyner. Other material includes biographical information, correspondence, contracts and correspondence with his agent, broadsides, handouts and announcements, notices in guidebooks and magazines, feature stories in magazines and miscellaneous radio, television and performance material.
Bob Howard, pianist, comedian, actor of the Broadway stage and on his own radio show, was the first African American performer to have a regularly scheduled television program. Born in West Newton, Massachusetts as Howard Joyner, he attended and dropped out of Howard University Medical School and later enrolled in the New England Conservatory of Music. During his early years in vaudeville he was the piano playing member of Joyner and Hopkins (Morris Hopkins was a dancer).
In 1943 Howard appeared on Broadway in "Early to Bed." He also worked in radio from 1938 to 1975, with his own programs on WEAF, WCBS and WHN. He was the first black performer on television, with his own 15 minute show on CBS from July 1948 to December 1951. His film credits include "Howard's House Party," "Junction 88," and "Stars on Parade." Howard's career took him to Europe, Japan and across the United States. He continued playing the piano and singing at various nightclubs and restaurants until his death in 1986.
Source of acquisitionGift, Blish, Sylvia and Smith, Veora Joyner, 11/14/1989
- African American musicians -- New York (State) -- New York
- African Americans -- Music
- African Americans in radio broadcasting -- New York (State) -- New York
- African Americans in television broadcasting -- New York (State) -- New York
- African Americans in the performing arts -- New York (State) -- New York
- Comedians -- New York (State) -- New York
- Jazz musicians -- New York (State) -- New York
- Pianists -- New York (State) -- New York
- Piano music
- Revues -- History and criticism
Using the collection
LocationSchomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division
515 Malcolm X Boulevard, New York, NY 10037-1801