COLLECTION OF ILLUSTRATED AMERICAN SHEET MUSIC, ca. 1790 - 1987
Sam DeVincent was born January 8, 1918 and lived in Fort Wayne, Indiana for most of his life.
DeVincent collected sheet music and related materials during most of his lifetime. His interest
included both the music and the cover art. Because he had little money to support his collecting,
DeVincent gathered most of his material through careful searches and travel.
DeVincent and his wife used much of the music he collected in their musical group "Nancy
Lee and the Hilltoppers." The group performed regularly on radio station WOWO
in Fort Wayne, Indiana, from 1945 to 1955. After 1955 (and the emergence of rock and roll),
"Nancy Lee and the Hilltoppers" played only once a week on the radio station. At this
time, Mr. DeVincent worked as an all-night disc jockey at WOWO. In 1960 he became music director
and music librarian at the station. His position as music librarian helped him to add to his
collection, especially the phonograph recordings (many promotional copies are included).
DeVincent retired from WOWO in 1983. He and his wife continued to perform publicly including
a weekly radio show on WOWO. The National Museum of American History acquired the DeVincent
collection in the spring of 1988. Sam DeVincent passed away November 29, 1997.