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Hal Girvin scrapbook
SFH 446  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography/Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Hal Girvin scrapbook
    Dates: 1930-1935
    Collection Number: SFH 446
    Creator/Collector: Girvin, Hal S., 1900-1979 Girvin family
    Extent: 1 box
    Repository: San Francisco Public Library. San Francisco History Center
    San Francisco, California 94102
    Abstract: Scrapbook compiled by a San Francisco Bay Area dance band leader.
    Language of Material: English


    The collection is available for use during San Francisco History Center hours, with photographs available during Photo Desk hours. Collections that are stored offsite should be requested 48 hours in advance.

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.

    Preferred Citation

    Hal Girvin scrapbook. San Francisco Public Library. San Francisco History Center

    Acquisition Information

    Purchase, 2016.

    Biography/Administrative History

    Harold Stephen Girvin grew up in Berkeley, California and attended high school there. He later attended University of California at Berkeley, and formed a dance band, Hal Girvin and his California Cubs, composed of college men from the University of California, Stanford, and University of Southern California; Girvin played banjo. Girvin was a protégé of San Francisco band leader Anson Weeks. By 1940 Girvin was married to Marion Smith, with a son, James, and was working as a liquor salesman in Berkeley. He died in Belmont, San Mateo County, in 1979.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The scrapbook documents activities of Hal Girvin and his California Cubs dance band, and consists chiefly of newspaper clippings, with some correspondence and ephemera; five photographic prints (two of which depict the band) are included. Girvin’s was the house band at Hotel Del Monte, 1931, and a letter from S. F. B. Morse of that Hotel praises Girvin’s musical talents. Girvin played at the Roxie Theatre, Oakland, following Del Monte. The band made broadcasts over KTAB radio 560, and played at Sweet’s Ballroom, The Dugout, and the Ha Ha Club in Oakland. They played the Hotel Sir Francis Drake Stanford-USC game dinner dance, 1932, and for the Big Game, 1933; Hotel St. Francis, 1933; New Year’s eve, Tropic Beach, Sutro Baths, 1933, and Hotel Claremont, 1935. The orchestra played for the opening of the San Francisco Veteran’s War Memorial Building, at Civic Auditorium, Feb. 22, 1933.

    Indexing Terms

    Dance orchestras—California—Oakland
    Dance orchestras—California—San Francisco
    Band directors—California—Oakland
    Band directors—California—San Francisco
    Hal Girvin and his California Cubs
    Sweet’s Ballroom (Oakland, Calif.)
    Oakland (Calif.)—Social life and customs—20th century
    San Francisco (Calif.)—Social life and customs—20th century