Hal Girvin scrapbook

Finding aid created by San Francisco History Center staff using RecordEXPRESS
San Francisco Public Library. San Francisco History Center
San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, California 94102
(415) 557-4567

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