- Benjamin, Bennie
- Call number
- Sc MG 604
- Physical description
- 1.42 linear feet (5 boxes)
- Preferred Citation
- [Item], Bennie Benjamin papers, Sc MG 604, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, 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.Restrictions apply
Claude A. "Bennie" Benjamin was was a well-known lyricist of popular songs from 1941 until his death in 1989. This collection comprises biographical information, correspondence, sheet music, printed material, and four scrapbooks. The scrapbooks contain letters, postcards, flyers, notes, cards, photographs, v-mail (faxes), and newspaper and magazine clippings from Decca, Cashbox, Billboard, and the Virgin Island Daily News from 1941 to 1955. The bulk of the collection documents Benjamin's agreements with music publishing companies, artists' agreements with Benjamin's music publishing companies, and sheet music.
Claude A. "Bennie" Benjamin was born in Christansted, St. Croix, Virgin Islands in November 1907, and relocated to New York City at the age of twenty. He was a well-known lyricist of popular songs from 1941 until his death in 1989. Benjamin, Sol Marcus, and Eddie Seiler wrote the lyrics and music for "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire," a song made famous by the Ink Spots. He also co-authored, with George Weiss, the hit song, "When the Lights Go On Again (All Over the World)." Benjamin and Weiss wrote the musical scores and lyrics for two Walt Disney full length movies, "Fun and Fancy Free" and "Melody Time." He was both a co-owner with singer, Perry Como (1950), and later sole owner (1968) of his own music publishing company.
Source of acquisition
Donated by Patricia E. and Howard M. Larsen, and Jack N. Albert (executor) in 1997.
Compiled by P. Williams, 1998. Finding aid edited and adapted to digital form by Kay Menick in 2016.
Photographs transferred to the Photographs and Print Division. Recordings transferred to the Moving Image and Recorded Sound Division. Posters and other artifacts transferred to the Art and Artifacts Division.
- Como, Perry, 1912-2001
- Marcus, Sol, 1912-1976
- Powell, Adam Clayton, Jr., 1908-1972
- Seiler, Eddie, 1911-1952
- Weiss, George
- Lyricists -- United States
- Popular Music -- 1941-1980
- Popular music -- United States
- Popular Music -- Writing and publishing -- United States
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
Access to materialsAdvance notice required. Request access to this collection.
Conditions Governing Use
Information on copyright available from repository.
access. All reproduction requests subject to limitations noted in divisional policies.