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Finding Aid to Eric A. Gordon's Mark the Music: The Life and Work of Marc Blitzstein Collection, 1850-2011 Coll2012.121
Coll2012.121  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biography on Marc Blitzstein
  • Biography on Eric A. Gordon
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Acquisition Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Scope and Contents
  • Separated Materials

  • Title: Eric A. Gordon's Mark the Music: The Life and Work of Marc Blitzstein Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: Coll2012.121
    Contributing Institution: ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 6.0 linear feet. 5 archives boxes + 1 archive binder box + 1 archive flat box.
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1980-1991
    Date (inclusive): 1850-2011
    Abstract: Correspondence, playbills, programs, clippings, photographs, notes, grant proposals and other research material collected for the book, Mark the Music: The Life and Work of Marc Blitzstein (St. Martin's Press, 1989), by Eric A. Gordon. An American composer and gay man, Marc Blitzstein is perhaps most well-known for his 1937 musical, The Cradle Will Rock. The collection includes materials documenting Blitzstein's musical works, as well as correspondence files between biographer Eric A. Gordon and Blitzstein's family, friends and collaborators.
    creator: Gordon, Eric A., 1945-

    Biography on Marc Blitzstein

    Marc Blitzstein was born in Philadelphia, March 2, 1905. At the age of 6, he played his first solo piano recital in public; at 16, he performed a piano concert with the Philadelphia Symphony. He went on to study with teachers such as Nadia Boulanger in Paris. While in Europe, Blitzstein came to be influenced by modernists like Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill.
    Upon returning to the United States, he began writing his own political operas, notably the pro-union musical, The Cradle Will Rock (1936), and No For An Answer (1940). The same year in which The Cradle Will Rock was produced, Blitzstein's wife, Eva Goldbeck, died after three years of marriage.
    In 1942, Blitzstein enlisted in the Air Force and spent three years in the military. Out of this experience came his Airborne Symphony (1946). After the Air Force, Blitzstein wrote for films and theater, including Regina, Juno, and adaptations of Mother Courage and The Threepenny Opera. He was commissioned to compose an opera based on the Sacco and Vanzetti case of the 1920s. He completed two acts and outlined a third when, while on vacation in Fort-de-France, Martinique, Blitzstein got into a physical confrontation with three merchant seamen and subsequently died of a brain injury on January 22, 1964.
    Source: Box 3, folder 30, Eric A. Gordon Collection on Marc Blitzstein, Coll2012-121, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California

    Biography on Eric A. Gordon

    Born in 1945, Eric A. Gordon is a graduate of Yale University, and holds both an M.A. (in Latin American studies) and a Ph.D. (in history) from Tulane University. In the 1980s, he worked as a publicity manager for the music publishing house of G. Schirmer. Beginning in 1995, Gordon was the director of the Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring, Southern California District.
    A member of the National Writers Union, he served on the board of the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research, on the Western Region Administrative Committee of the Jewish Labor Committee, and on the editorial advisory board of Jewish Currents magazine. In the late-1970s, Gordon began his research for a biography on American composer Marc Blitzstein, Mark the Music, which was published in 1989. In addition to Mark the Music, Gordon is the co-author of Ballad of an American (Scarecrow Press, 1997), as well as hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles.
    In 2012, Eric Gordon continues to live in Los Angeles, CA.
    Source:
    (last accessed October 25, 2012.)

    Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

    Conditions Governing Use

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the ONE Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

    Acquisition Information

    Donated by Eric A. Gordon, April 12, 2011.

    Preferred Citation

    [Box/folder #, or item name] Eric A. Gordon's Mark the Music: The Life and Work of Marc Blitzstein Collection, Coll2012-121, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Kyle Kaplan and Loni Shibuyama, November 2012.

    Scope and Contents

    The collection comprises correspondence, playbills, programs, clippings, photographs, notes, grant proposals and other research material collected for the book, Mark the Music: The Life and Work of Marc Blitzstein (St. Martin's Press, 1989), by Eric A. Gordon. An American composer and gay man, Marc Blitzstein is perhaps most well-known for his 1937 musical, The Cradle Will Rock, his opera Regina, as well as his adaptation of The Threepenny Opera. The Marc Blitzstein Resource Material Series includes photocopied and original materials documenting Blitzstein's life and musical works. The bulk of the Correspondence and Research Series includes correspondence (and related notes) between biographer Eric Gordon and Blitzstein's family, friends and collaborators. The Publication Records Series includes grant proposals, photographs, promotional material, permissions and other administrative records in the publication and promotion of Gordon's biography on Blitzstein.

    Separated Materials

    Following items have been separated from the collection:
    Denson, Joan. Except for One Little Problem: Memoir of a Life in Hiding. Fort Lee, NJ.: Barricade Books, 2001. (signed copy to "Susan")
    The Making of "From Walls to Roses" [sound recording], produced by Eric A. Gordon, 1978. (1/4 in. open reel audiotape)
    Show: The Magazine of the Arts. New York: Hartford Publications, Inc. Vol. IV, No. 6 (June 1964)

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Blitzstein, Marc
    Gay and lesbian writers
    Gay composers
    Gay musicians
    Jewish gay men
    Musical theater
    Opera