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Finding Aid for the Jimmy Van Heusen Collection of Musical Works and Papers 1853-1994, bulk 1939-1972
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Collection Overview
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Collection consists of American song composer Jimmy Van Heusen's papers and materials, both business and personal. Items include an extensive collection of unpublished music manuscripts and song lyrics, published sheet music, correspondence, personal papers, and business documents. Many materials relate to his interactions with Johnny Burke, Sammy Cahn, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and others, and to his publishing companies Burke & Van Heusen, Inc. and Van Heusen Music Corporation. Also includes sound and audiovisual materials, including his personal LP collection, unpublished home recordings, and home movies. Photographic material includes both press and personal prints, some negatives, and color slides. Other items include performance scripts, altered lyrics, biographic materials, professionally assembled scrapbooks, and other published materials from his personal collection. In addition to his musical career, the collection highlights his interests in horses and flying, and his domestic life with wife Josephine Van Heusen.
Jimmy Van Heusen (1913 – 1990) was an American song composer for radio, films, television, and the stage best known for several enduring standards made popular by Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. Van Heusen was born in Syracuse, NY on January 26, 1913 as Edward Chester Babcock; his parents were Arthur and Ida May Babcock, and his brother, Wilbur. He acquired his professional name "Jimmy Van Heusen" (borrowed from the Phillips-Van Heusen shirt company) at the age of 16 when he became a radio pianist, singer, and announcer. Jimmy Van Heusen became his primary identity, often more formally as "James Van Heusen," although he was still known to a few intimates as "Chester." He would also compose a small number of songs under the pseudonym "Arthur Williams."
166 boxes
Property rights in the physical objects belong to the UCLA Music Library. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish if the Music Library does not hold the copyright.
Collection is open for research.