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Guide to the Dick Jurgens / La Veda Libby collection M1987
M1987  
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Box 1, Folder 1

Jurgens - Libby correspondence 1945

Scope and Contents

Seven letters sent to Libby by Jurgens while he was overseas. He refers to her as "Butch." Jurgens recounts the reaction at one base after the news of Roosevelt's death, and is gratified by the reaction to his band's performances: "When those kids ask for certain tunes, and we play them, they just about tear the ship down." He also asks her for news about popular songs: "Butch, could you send me a list of the most popular tunes… Lucky Strike, etc. How are 'Candy' and 'Laura' doing? I have copies of both of them but they were new when I left there."
Box 1, Folder 2

Other correspondence 1944-1945

Scope and Contents

Includes the following correspondence:
Undated (c.1944) letter from Jurgens to his mother about the difficulty transferring from radio work to dog training or music. By his telling, Jurgens was punished for even asking a Colonel for a transfer.
3/19/45 fan mail from H.H. Slaugh of Santa Catalina Island Company to Jurgens at Camp Pendleton.
8/2/45 fan mail from a female member of Aragon’s 400 Club in Chicago.
10/3/45 from William Karzas, director of Aragon Ballroom in Chicago, extending offer of a reformed band returning to Aragon.
Box 1, Folder 3

Military correspondence 1944-1945

Scope and Contents

Most are addressed to M/SG Dick Jurgens and are in reference to the All Marine troupe. Jurgens was officially informed of his dog’s death in action in a September 1944 letter included here. Some are by photographers enclosing pictures, which are presumed to be among the loosely sorted photographs in Box 2. In July 1945, John Graydon Rank wrote that his "set of pics with the copy will go to New York, Chicago MCA, Chicago Tribune, the 'beat' and Columbia Recording as scheduled."
In June 1945, a report from the Fleet Marine Force Pacific Headquarters in San Francisco was sent to the group which notified them of a complaint of vulgarity at an unspecified performance. However, the same letter also notes "it might be of interest that one of the censors that works for the Army told me that the letters are full of praise for the fine show which you are conducting." Further material about the complaint can be found under Military Memoranda.
In October of 1945, Jurgens and his revue were ordered to appear at a White House Correspondents and Photographers Annual Banquet where Truman and White House staff were to be present, and both that telegram and the thank-you letter following the event are in this file. There is one draft of an outgoing letter by Jurgens to Colonel Hugh, 6/23/45. The remainder are incoming correspondence, typically expressing appreciation for the troupe’s performances: "Despite the very hot afternoon sun the show was excellently presented and held the interest of 2500 men for an hour and a half" (8/7/45) ; "Your well rounded and high spirited show is the talk of our Island and your conduct on stage and off is a compliment to yourselves and the Marine Corps you represent" (8/2/45).
Box 1, Folder 4

Military itineraries & other memoranda

Scope and Contents

According to the First Marine Entertainment Unit Itinerary of April 7 to July 6, total attendance numbered 555,835 (numbers quoted by the press vary), at over thirty venues on islands including Iwo Jima, Saipan, and the Philippines and in a few cases aboard ship. The group also produced broadcasts and recordings in Guam. Also in this series is the original telegram ordering the First Overseas Entertainment Unit into action, a humorous fake memo titled "Bureau of Naval Personnel Circular Letter No.6-45," and a map of the Pacific with a route traced in red crayon. There are also various memos from June 1945 concerning the Troupe's vulgarity charge, most of which are generally dismissive of the issue.
Box 1, Folder 5

Scripts & programs

Scope and Contents

Includes the following items:
generic printed program for Dick Jurgens and His all Marine Band.
Uncle Sam Presents the Camp Pendleton Marine Band, Script 2, 12/8/44. 15-minute radio program with writer-producer Jerry Bowne. Dick’s annotated copy.
Leatherneck of the Air, Sunday 6/10/45. Guest host is actor Tyrone Power.
Lowell Thomas 6/15/[45] script for NBC broadcast from Iwo Jima. Mentions Dick Jurgens performance: "Last night under the moon, thousands of dusty grimy men who have been on this volcanic cone for months, most of them since we first came to Iwo, sat in the lava dust and saw the first show, 'live show' they call it -not a movie- that has found its way to Iwo Jima."
Marine Corps Anniversary, Saturday 11/10/45, 10:30-11:00pm. This ABC radio program was hosted by George P. Putnam In Washington, with guests Gladys Swarthout, the United States Marine Band, and Dick Jurgens performing three songs.
Box 1, Folder 6, Flat-box 1, Folder 1

Military newspapers

Scope and Contents

These newspapers, many of which might be more accurately described as newsletters or fliers, contain general military news, humorous writing and comic strips (especially Male Call by Milton Caniff), and information on special services programs such as athletics, film screenings and other events. Nearly all contain references to a Dick Jurgens All Marine appearance. There are two single pages from unidentified newspapers with Jurgens articles as well. The paper in most cases is quite fragile, and physical condition varies, but given their rarity and importance, all newspapers have been listed as follows:
Box 1 Folder 6:
C-Beam. Philippine Edition. Vol.3 No.21, 7/21/45
The Daily Target, Marianas Islands Vol.2 No.34, 6/11/45
The Martial Air, 5/14/45
The Natural Weekly News Of Air Service Group Vol.1 No.37, 6/12/45. Accompanying note says "Somewhere On Saipan."
Eighth Army Billboard, Week of August 11. Leyte Island, P.I. (Tacloban)
Box 3 Folder 1 (Oversize):
The Bealiner Vol.3 no.11, 1/25/45. Camp Beal, California [contains photographs of the La Veda Girls]
Daily News Vol.5 No.50, 5/21/45. Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands
The Islander Vol.1 No. 18, 1/29/43. Coast Guard Training Station, Alameda, California
The Moaning News. Navy 311’s Daily Newspaper, 5/10/45. Johnson Island
The Pendleton Scout Vol.3 No. 50, 12/10/45
The Quantico Sentry. Vol. 11, No.23, 11/1/45 Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia
The Parris Island Boot Vol.3 No.43, 11/3/45
Service Stripe Vol.1 No.42, 11/10/45. Walter Reed General Hospital, AMC, Washington D.C.
Tagalog Times. Vol. 3 No 28, 7/28/45. Luzon Islands, P.I. Batangas
Variety Vol.1 No.11, 6/9/45. Marianas Islands. Accompanying note says "Saipan Newspaper…Played seventeen shows in ten days."
Also, one military newspaper was received with and is kept with Libby's newspaper clippings: Preston Review Vol.47 No.3, 5/2/42. Waterman, California
Flat-box 1, Folder 2, Box 1, Folder 7

Newspaper clippings 1944-1945

Scope and Contents

Clippings from civilian newspapers about Jurgen's war work, especially his bond drive with the Fleet Follies in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Also includes a 1989 Senior Spectrum Weekly article on Jurgens with members of his band identified in a photograph.
Box 1, Folder 11

Military discharge ephemera

Flat-box 3, Folder 5

Music

Scope and Contents

Contains printed sheet music for 1941's “I Guess I’ll Be On My Way” with Jurgens on the cover; a printed list of Jurgens compositions, 1939-1942; a mimeographed music manuscript for “GI GI I Do;” and a 1977 LP reissue of Dick Jurgens And His Orchestra, "The Uncollected 1937-1939" (Hindsight HSR-111).
Box 1, Folder 8

Libby correspondence 1943-1949

Scope and Contents

Contains one letter of appreciation from the Signal Corps for a La Veda performance in 1943, as well as a few letters of a more personal nature.
Box 1, Folder 9

La Veda Studio Of The Dance ephemera

Scope and Contents

Programs, handbills, La Veda’s diploma from Baker Institute For Terpsichorean Teachers dated 5/22/36, and blank diplomas (modeled after Libby’s own) for graduates of "The La Veda Studio System of Teaching."
Flat-box 3, Folder 4, Box 1, Folder 10

Libby newspapers & clippings 1936-1952

Scope and Contents

Includes a 1936 clipping of girls in swimsuits; a page from a 9/7/37 San Francisco Call Bulletin with a photo of Libby dancing; a copy of the Preston Review Vol.47 No.3 (5/2/42), a Waterman, California military newspaper; and a 1952 Herb Caen column from the San Francisco Examiner which mentions that "Nello Falaschi, the one-time Santa Clara All-American (and later a pro footballer [for the New York Giants]) has put the proper ring on the proper finger of La Veda Libby; they’ve been going around longer than the Powell St. turntable."
Box 2, Folders 1-4

Photographs of Jurgens All Marine Show 1945

Scope and Contents

These casual, unstaged photographs depict Jurgens’ stage shows in Pacific. There are images of the performers, the bandstand, the drummer’s decorated drum head, and various indoor and outdoor stages. Wet shirts indicate the hot and humid conditions the tour faced. There are also some off-stage group shots, including one of Jurgens and a few others posing at Ernie Pyle’s memorial. Many of the prints have censor stamps on their reverse, and some were used in news stories about the troupe. Multiple prints exist of some images.
Box 2, Folders 5-13, Flat-box 3, Folder 3

Photographs of Libby, other dancers, family and friends 1930s-1940s

Scope and Contents

Most of the photographs here are portraits of La Veda, as well as other dancers in various poses and costumes. The images suggest that some of their performances involved forms of traditional folk dance from other cultures, while others are more burlesque in nature. Most of these prints were removed from albums. Some have "Von C. Miner Studio" stamped on their back. Other photographs are small, casual snapshots of family in the 1930s and 40s.
Box 2, Folder 14

Photographs of Falaschi (née Libby) and Christmas card c. 1990s