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Guide to the Dick Jurgens / La Veda Libby collection M1987
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The Dick Jurgens / La Veda Libby Collection features a variety of material related to bandleader Dick Jurgens and his All-Marine Troupe that toured the Pacific towards the end of World War Two. La Veda Libby was a dancer and dance teacher who dated Jurgens during this time. Included in the collection is correspondence, photographs, newspapers (both military and civilian), radio scripts, and other ephemera.
Richard Henry Jurgens (1910-1995) was born In Sacramento, California to grocer Deitrich Heinrich and his wife Clara Jurgens. The family was musically inclined, and Jurgens began taking lessons at age six. He began playing trumpet not long after. As a teenager in 1928, he formed a dance band with his brother Will. They played during the summer at Donner Lake and later at Lake Tahoe, where they performed manual labor during the day and music at night for $50.00 a month plus room and board. Jurgens was also a football player at Sacramento High and Sacramento City College, where he wrote his later theme song “Day Dreams Come True At Night.” His then girlfriend Jeanette Brown wrote the lyrics. Jurgens also attended UC Berkeley during this time.Dick Jurgens met La Veda Libby (1921-2013) at the St. Francis Hotel while he was performing there, and they began dating. La Veda (sometimes spelled Laveda) was a dancer who had performed at the opening of the Bay Bridge in 1936. She was also dance instructor, and ran a school in Sacramento known as La Veda Studio of The Dance. Along with her "La Veda Girls," Libby also performed for troops in California during the war. The collection contains seven letters from Jurgens to Libby in 1945. Her marriage to football hero Nello Falaschi in 1952 was noted by Herb Caen. According to a newspaper profile, La Veda was still teaching at the age of 88, even after 3 hip replacements. She died in January 2013.There were essentially two forms of military entertainment during World War Two: the professional, Hollywood-backed United Service Organization (USO) Camp Shows, and the military’s own program, known colloquially as "soldier shows."
1.5 Linear feet 2 boxes, 1 flat box
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The materials are open for research use. Audio-visual materials are not available in original format, and must be reformatted to a digital use copy.