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Bales (Burt) Collection
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Collection Details
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  • Scope and Contents
  • Biographical
  • System of Arrangement
  • Cite as
  • Access
  • Restrictions

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Archive of Recorded Sound
    Title: Burt Bales Collection
    creator: Bales, Burt
    Identifier/Call Number: ARS.0198
    Physical Description: 3 box(es) 4 linear feet
    Date (inclusive): 1937-1992
    Abstract: The Burt Bales Collection consists of unpublished recordings on audiocassettes and open reel tapes, featuring the jazz pianist, Burt Bales (1917-1989). Also included are correspondence, photographs, festival and concert programs, logbooks, and newspaper clippings pertaining to Burt Bales from the late 1930’s to after his death in 1989.

    Scope and Contents

    The Burt Bales Collections consist of materials documenting the life and work of the jazz pianist Burt Bales. Materials include photographs, negatives, price lists and logbooks, festival and concert programs, jazz society newsletters, correspondence, audio recordings, and newspaper clippings.
    There are number of letters from jazz trumpeter Bunk Johnson to Burt Bales.


    Burt Bales was a jazz solo and band pianist. Bales was born April 20, 1917 in Stevensville, Montana. In 1925 he and his family moved Marin County, California. Bales began playing professional jazz piano while in high school. He played with Lu Watters' Yerba Buena Jazz Band, he also played with Bunk Johnson, Turk Murphy, Bob Scobey, Paul Lingle, Dick Oxtot, Bob Mielke, Vince Cattolica, and others. Burt Bales enlisted in the army in 1943 but was soon discharged due to myopia. In 1954 Bales started playing a semi-regular appearance at Pier 23 in San Francisco. From that point on he performed primarily as a soloist. Bales died October 26, 1989 in San Francisco.

    System of Arrangement

    The collection is organized into three series:
    Series I: Documents Series II: Photographs Series III: Audio recordings
    The collection is in original order.

    Cite as

    Burt Bales Collection ARS-0198. Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, CA.


    Open for research; material must be requested at least two business days in advance of intended use. Contact the Archive of Recorded Sound for assistance.


    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head Librarian, Archive of Recorded Sound, Braun Music Center, Stanford, California 94305. Consent is given on behalf of the Archive of Recorded Sound as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner, heir(s) or assigns.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Piano music (Jazz)
    Jazz musicians
    Bales, Burt
    Murphy, Turk
    Johnson, Bunk
    Yerba Buena Jass Band
    Oxtot, Dick
    Mielke, Bob