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Ken Darby Bohemian Club music manuscript collection, 1950-1983 (bulk, 1962-1976)
SPC.00037  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
This collection contains sheet music for programs at the Bohemian Club's Bohemian Grove in Monte Rio, California. Most music composed or arranged by Ken Darby. Collection is a mix of original manuscripts and photocopied scores with annotations. The majority of scores are labeled by Darby as part of the annual Preachers' Sons Night program held at Bohemian Grove during the annual summer encampment between 1963 and 1983. Most are single scores, but there is a complete packet for the 1983 program with cover letter from Darby to Bob Minser at the Bohemian Club in San Francisco, dated 15 April, 1983. Lyrics for a number of pieces written by Wallace (Wally) Sterling, retired president of Stanford University; others includes notes to or are dedicated to Sterling. Also includes copy of the score for Madera (music, D. Swan; text, M. Flanders) inscribed and signed by Lou Gottlieb, founder of the Morningstar Ranch commune in Occidental, Calif., and a copy of Darby's theme music for the 1953 short cartoon, The Martins & the Coys.
Background
Ken Darby (Kenneth-Lorin Darby) (May 13, 1909 – January 24, 1992) was an American composer, vocal arranger, lyricist, and conductor. His film scores were recognized by the awarding of three Academy Awards and one Grammy Award. He provided vocals for the Munchkinland mayor in The Wizard of Oz (1939), who was portrayed in the film by Charlie Becker. Darby is also notable as the author of The Brownstone House of Nero Wolfe (1983), a biography of the home of Rex Stout's fictional detective. (Wikipedia, retrieved Sept. 24, 2018). He was also the arranger and lyricist for Elvis Presley's 1956 hit, Love Me Tender. Darby had a long association with the Bohemian Club and composed and performed numerous pieces for both his camp at Bohemian Grove and for annual Grove productions during the summer encampments.The Bohemian Grove's annual Preachers' Sons Night program was initiated in the 1940s by John Charles Thomas (1891-1960), American opera, operetta and concert baritone. He launched the program "when he discovered that many of the Club's members were also sons of preachers." (Maher, Michael J. John Charles Thomas: beloved baritone of American opera and popular music. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., 2006; page 17). Charles Easton Rothwell notes that "one of the most popular members of the club is Wally Sterling, retired president of Stanford University. He presides over [the event] held each encampment on the middle Sunday. (Source: Rothwell, Charles Easton, 1902- . From mines to minds : From mines to minds ; an interview conducted by Malca Chall in 1984 ; with an introduction by Ella Barrows Hagar . Berkeley, Calif. : Regional Oral History Office, c1985, page 225; available online: https://nma.berkeley.edu/ark:/28722/bk0005z2j1g).
Extent
1.3 linear feet 1 oversize flat box (5 x 33 x 41 cm)
Restrictions
Collection does not circulate and may be photocopied or photographed by arrangement only.
Availability
Conditions Governing Access: This collection is partially processed. Please contact the Sonoma County History and Genealogy Library for access; for contact info and current hours, see