Scope and Contents note
Series 16 contains approximately 11,500 pieces of sheet music and other materials documenting the development of and popular attitudes towards country, western, and folk music in the United States. The dates always refer to copyright of the music and not to the subject on the cover, songwriter's life, or other events. There are 78 boxes of sheet music and 16 boxes of ephemera. The ephemera section is arranged in the same subseries order as the music listing, described following the container list, with two additional subseries.
Subseries 1, Individual Male Entertainers, 1911-1983. Many entertainers were parts of groups from time to time, or had a spouse who was part of the team. With this in mind, it is important to search under subseries 2 and 3 if a name is not found in this subseries. Real names are used in place of stage names; i.e., "Uncle Ezra" is under Pat Barrett and "The Arkansas Woodchopper" is under Luther Ossenbrink.
Subseries 2, Individual Female Entertainers, 1902-1986, undated. If an individual's more significant work was with others, she would be in subseries 3, Groups. Example: Dale Evans and Roy Rogers are in subseries 3.
Subseries 3, Duos and Groups, 1910-1981, undated. The names in this section are listed in alphabetical order by the group name; i.e., "Lulu Belle and Scotty" is under "Lulu." Also see subseries 1 and 2 or individual names.
Subseries 4, The West, 1839-1984. The earliest copyright of this Series is "A Western Refrain (Westward Ho!)" in this subseries. Categories are: Covered Wagon and Wagon Train, "Home on the Range," Movie Cowboys and Showmen, Rodeo and Round-up, General Songs, and Folios. Note that folios specific to a category will be in that category.
Subseries 5, Barn Dance, Fiddle Tunes, and "Turkey in the Straw," 1878-1975. Sheets in the two Barn Dance folders have either "barn dance" in the title or cover illustrations of barn dances. The earliest music dates from 1878; the well-known WLS radio show National Barn Dance first aired in 1924. Researchers looking for more fiddle tunes than in this series will find them in the (future) series, Musical Instruments. In addition to the traditional "Turkey in the Straw," there are allied or companion pieces in this folder. Also see Series 20, Musicians and Musical Instruments and Series 18, Dance, Subseries 7, Jigs & Reels.
Subseries 6, Blues, Feuding, Hillbilly, Honky Tonk, and Yodeling, 1885-1975, undated. The Blues are country style dating 1929-1957. The items referring only to "hillbilly" are in this folder; see other subseries, especially Folios, for items with "hillbilly" included in the title. For more yodeling items, see Series 8, Geography, Switzerland.
Subseries 7, Miscellaneous Songs, 1913-1983. This is organized by publisher. By far the largest part is the Acuff-Rose/Milene output. The other named publisher is Combine Music Corp. Miscellaneous Publishers includes all other songs not particular to previous subseries. Subseries 8, Folios, 1914-1969, undated. Most of the folios are in this subseries but they are included in other sections where appropriate. Most of the folios have performers pictured on the covers. Also see Series 18, Dance and Series 20, Musicians and Musical Instruments.
Ephemera --Subseries 1-6 follow the same headings as for the sheet music. Subseries 7 contains materials concerning publishers. There is no subseries 8. Subseries 9 contains materials concerning the Grand Ole Opry. Subseries 10 is the largest section of ephemera and contains publications such as trade magazines and radio company newsletters.
Material related to this series within the DeVincent Collection may be found in Series 6, Movies; Series 10, Sacred Music and Religious Themes; Series 11, Entertainment; Series 18, Dance; and Series 20, Musicians and Musical Instruments.