James Edward Myers Sheet Music Collection

Overview

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Subject Terms

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

General and Country Music

Military Music

Jewish-American Music



Contact us about this collection

Finding Aid for James Edward Myers Sheet Music Collection, 1836-1986 | The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

By Mary Miller and David Shin

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Collection Overview

Title: James Edward Myers Sheet Music Collection, 1836-1986Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

ID: 12/9/96

Primary Creator: Myers, James Edward (1913-2001)

Extent: 8.2 cubic feet

Arrangement: Alphabetical by song title

Subjects: Military Music, Music, Music - United States, Musical Repertoires, Women

Formats/Genres: Papers

Languages: English, French, German

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Consists of published sheet music documenting American culture through popular music and cover art imagery. The collection is organized in two series: Series 1, General and Country Music, 1862-1986 and Series 2, Military Music, 1836-1975. Early pre-1920 songs contain themes that focus primarily on life on the farm, while many post-1920 titles feature the "gayer" night-life of city dwellers. Love is the most popular theme encountered throughout the collection. Early traditional values of courtship represented in the music and lyrics of early 1900s become the swinging attitudes of the 1940s and 50s. The cover art also dramatically changes from hand drawn pictures to photographs.

The music and cover art within this collection reflects the changing culture and social attitudes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century American. Of particular interest are songs by such composers as Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Rogers and Hammerstein, and John Philip Sousa. Cover art of interest includes Irving Berlin's Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep, Cole Porter's I've got you under my skin, and Sousa's In Flanders fields the poppies grow, Solid men to the front, and We are coming.

The World War I music contained in the James Edward Myers Sheet Music Collection digital image repository was derived from the Myers collection and can be accessed through the website [https://digital.library.illinois.edu/collections/692ae4c0-c09b-0134-2371-0050569601ca-6]. This digital content documents not only what was produced by Midwestern music publishers but also offers a compelling cross-section of popular musical practices and tastes across the Midwest during the War.

Biographical Note

James Edward Myers (November 9, 1913 - December 7, 2001), a lifelong resident of Springfield, Illinois, graduated from the University of Illinois in 1936 with a degree in history and a fondness for the university bands, in which he played oboe and drums. The son of Albert Myers, a founder of the Myers Brothers department stores, James joined the US army in 1939 and served in Cuba and India during World War II.  Upon discharge, he married his wife, Edith, and returned to the University of Illinois to study agriculture. He farmed a 350-acre farm in Central Illinois from 1947 to 1953 that was noted for its agricultural innovations.  An injury forced retirement from farming; and in 1953 he returned to the family business, where he served as vice-president, remaining with the firm until 1968. He was extremely active in his community and was president or on the board of many civic organizations.

Myers was something of a Renaissance man and was a collector throughout his life. In the 1930s he journeyed to Guatemala, where he amassed an extensive collection of handcrafted fabrics and clothes of the Guatemalan natives, which he donated to the Illinois State Museum. After he retired, he bought the Lincoln-Herndon law offices building and, with two partners, restored it and opened it to the public. It was later sold to the state of Illinois. At the time of its opening, he also opened Prairie House, a pioneering showcase of US crafts, which remained in existence until 2010, exhibiting comporary art and ceramics, woodwork, glass, and jewelry. Myers also began collecting American books of humor, and his collection now forms part of the "wit and humor" holdings of the University's Rare Book & Manuscript Library. In his later years he established Lincoln-Herndon Press, which published books of humor compiled by himself and others. His books Jones, a novel, and The Bridge of Time, a nonfiction book about Israel, were published by A. S. Barnes.  A further novel, The Stones of Summerville, remains unpublished.  His extensive collection of American sheet music was built late in life. Myers specialized in music about and during wartime, and his single largest sub-collection consists of songs related to World War I. An amateur pianist, he was especially interested in the covers in his collection, which he regarded as underappreciated instances of a kind of folk art.

Subject/Index Terms

Military Music
Music
Music - United States
Musical Repertoires
Women

Administrative Information

Repository: The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

Accruals: January 5, 2005. A second set of materials, now series 3, was donated on April 2, 2014 by Jamie Myers. Third and fourth sets of materials were donated on July 9, 2015 and July 28, 2015, by Jamie Myers. The majority of materials in the third set of donations have been added to Series 1. Materials in the fourth set of donations have been added to Series 1, 2, or 3 - based on their subject.

Access Restrictions: None.

Acquisition Method: The James Edward Myers Sheet Music Collection was donated to the University of Illinois on January 5, 2005

Related Materials: World War I music contained in the James Edward Myers Sheet Music Collection digital repository documents not only what was produced by Midwestern music publishers but also offers a compelling cross-section of popular musical practices and tastes across the Midwest during the War. For more information please see https://digital.library.illinois.edu/collections/692ae4c0-c09b-0134-2371-0050569601ca-6.

Other Note: Pages


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: General and Country Music],
[Series 2: Military Music],
[Series 3: Jewish-American Music],
[All]

Series 3: Jewish-American MusicAdd to your cart.
Box 24Add to your cart.
Folder 1: A Titles, 1912-1914Add to your cart.
Item 1: At the Yiddish Wedding Jubilee, 1914Add to your cart.
Composer: Al. Piantadosi and Jack Glogau; Lyricist: Joe McCarthy.
Item 2: At the Yiddisher Ball, 1912Add to your cart.
Composer: Harry Piani; Lyricist: Joe McCarthy
Folder 2: D Titles, 1938Add to your cart.
Item 1: Dovid un Esther, 1938Add to your cart.
Composer: Illia Trilling; Lyrics: Chaim Tauber.
Folder 3: E Titles, 1919-1936Add to your cart.
Item 1: Eli Eli, 1936Add to your cart.
Vocal Song and Hawaiian Guitar Solo. Vocal Arranger: Mort H. Glickman; Guitar Arranger: Nick Manoloff.
Item 2: Eli, Eli, 1919Add to your cart.
Arranger: J.J. Kammen.
Folder 4: H Titles, 1914-1972Add to your cart.
Item 1: He That Keepeth Israel, undatedAdd to your cart.
Composer: Adolphe Schloesser.
Item 2: Hava Nagila, 1972Add to your cart.
Arranger: Richard Bradley.
Item 3: How Is Everyt'ing By You, All-Right? (By Me It's All-Right Too), 1914Add to your cart.
Two versions. Composer/Lyricist: James Kendis.
Folder 5: I Titles, 1961Add to your cart.
Item 1: Independance Day Tora, 1961Add to your cart.
Composer/Lyricist: Jerry Herman. From the Musical "Milk and Honey."
Folder 6: J Titles, 1967Add to your cart.
Item 1: Jerusalem, Jerusalem (Yerushala 'im Shel Zahav), 1967Add to your cart.
Composer: Naomi Shemer; Translator: Norman Newell.
Item 2: The Jewish Wedding Song (Trinkt Le Chaim), 1967Add to your cart.
Composer/Lyricist: Sylvia Neufeld. From the Musical "Toroughly Modern Millie."
Folder 7: K Titles, 1916-1943Add to your cart.
Item 1: Kol Nidrei, 1943Add to your cart.
Composer/Lyricist: arr. Esther Abrams
Item 2: Kol Nidrei (Oreintal Prayer), 1916Add to your cart.
Composer/Lyricist: D. Erlich
Folder 8: M Titles, 1916-1954Add to your cart.
Item 1: Moysha Machree (They're Proud of Their Irisher, Yiddisher Boy), 1916Add to your cart.
Composer: James Kendis
Item 2: Mink Shmink, 1954Add to your cart.
Composers/Lyricists: Sid Cutner and Leo Shuken.
Item 3: Mahzel (Means Good Luck), 1947Add to your cart.
Composers/Lyricists: Artie Wayne and Jack Beekman. Cover #1, two copies.
Item 4: Mahzel (Means Good Luck), 1947Add to your cart.
Composers/Lyricists: Artie Wayne and Jack Beekman. Cover #2.
Item 5: My Yiddishe Momme, 1925Add to your cart.
Lyricist: Jack Yellen; Composers: Jack Yellen and Lew Pollack.
Item 6: Mashuga (Means Crazy), 1941Add to your cart.
Composers: Ervin Drake, Jimmy Shirl, and Henry Katzman.
Folder 9: S Titles, 1907-1965Add to your cart.
Item 1: Schabes Halten, 1907Add to your cart.
Composer/lyricist: S. Smulewitz
Item 2: Schlofe! Bubbeli, Schlofe! (Sleep! Baby, Sleep!), 1949Add to your cart.
Arranger: Fred Cardin; Translators: Jeanette Jamison, Mrs. Arthur D. Graeff
Item 3: Simpel-Gimpel, 1965Add to your cart.
Composers: Horst Jankowski and Bernd Rabe.
Item 4: Shalom, 1961Add to your cart.
Composer/Lyricist: Jerry Herman. From the Musical "Milk and Honey."
Folder 10: T Titles, 1910Add to your cart.
Item 1: That's Yiddisha Love, 1910Add to your cart.
Composer/Lyricist: James Brockman
Folder 11: V Titles, 1944Add to your cart.
Item 1: Vu Ich Zol Nit Zein Vel Ich Dich Liebn, 1944Add to your cart.
Composer: Ilia Trilling; Lyricist: Louis Markowitz
Folder 12: Y Titles, 1909Add to your cart.
Item 1: Yiddle on Your Fiddle Play Some Rag Time, 1909Add to your cart.
Composer/Lyricist: Irving Berlin
Box 28Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Additional Jewish-American Music, 1916Add to your cart.
Item 1: Die Yidishe Hofnung, New York, NY, S. Schenker, 1916Add to your cart.
Composer/Lyricist: Goldfaden, A.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: General and Country Music],
[Series 2: Military Music],
[Series 3: Jewish-American Music],
[All]

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