RAY McKINLEY MUSIC AND EPHEMERA COLLECTION, 1945-1994, #635
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
The Ray McKinley Music and Ephemera consists of music, scores, sideman books, photographs, correspondence, news clippings and magazine articles, business records, awards, audio and videotapes, 45 rpm commercial recordings, and miscellaneous biographical notes. The records date from the the late nineteenth century to 1996 and document the professional music career and personal life of Ray McKinley (drummer, band leader, and vocalist). The collection is organized into three series; Series 1: Music ca. 1942-1990, Series 2: Ephemera ca. 1870-1996, and Series 3: Miscellaneous ca. 1943-1993. Materials in each series are arranged either alphabetically by music title or chronologically by date.
The following reference abbreviations are used in the container list to facilitate cross-referencing of materials in different subseries:
Series 1: Music
The music in Series 1, which makes up the bulk of the Ray McKinley Collection, is divided into three subseries: Subseries 1A: Music manuscripts, Subseries 1B: Band Libraries, and Subseries 1C: Miscellaneous Music and Music Ephemera.
Subseries 1A contains the main title list for the whole series. All titles appear on this list in alphabetical order. However, many pieces which are included in the collection are not part of the regular-size material of Subseries 1A. These appear indented and in italics, with a reference to their proper location. Researches looking for a title in any of the subseries should first refer to the main title list for the piece's general location and then consult the container or title list of the second subseries they are referred to.
Many of the scores in the collections are oversize and are therefore separated from the regular-sized music manuscripts. The list of titles of oversize scores begins at box 30 of the main title list. When parts are available under the same title as that of a score, this is indicated with the abbreviation sa, although the correspondence may not be exact. Often, a score is available in oversize, and the parts are scattered throughout the band libraries. Again, researchers should consult the main title list first for the location or locations of all music under this title.
When known, an arrangers name is listed with the oversize score. Only when there is no oversize score, or when an arrranger is only identifiable through the parts, is the arranger's name included in the main title list.
Subseries 1A: Music Manuscripts
The listing of a title in italics on the main title list indicates the existence of music under this title in an alternate location. Reference abbreviations (see, sa, aka) direct the researcher to the appropriate location or title (e.g., 52nd Street sa Subseries 1B; Puss Café see Pete's Café).
When two arrangements or copies of a piece are available, the title is listed twice with some of the distinguishing characteristics of the two versions indicated (e.g., When Your Lover Has Gone, #47; When Your Lover Has Gone, #300).
Medlies can be found at the end of the M's in this series. Those identified only by number (e.g., Medley 3) are listed first, in numerical order, followed by those identified by title (e.g., Christmas Medley), in alphabetical order. Whenever possible, the titles of the pieces that comprise a medley are listed with its title (e.g., Medley 1: Down The Road Apiece/Hoodle Addle/Red Silk Stockings).
Subseries 1B: Band Libraries
Three sets of band libraries, or sideman books, have been identified. The most complete of the three is the set of sideman books from appearances Ray made at Disneyland in the 1980s. The second and third set are of unknown origin. The music in all the folders except for two has been left in the order in which it was found, and the remaining two were alphabetized. The original order of the pieces in the alphabetized books is approximated in the other books of the set.
The band libraries do not always contain pieces exclusively for one instrument. In addition, the order of pieces within each library is not always exact. The Disneyland band libraries are the most consistent, while the second set has many exceptions to the order. The pieces in the third set correspond only in title, and their order is very different.
To aid the reseacher and to reduce handling of the materials, an alphabetical list of the titles from each set is provided, following the container list for the subseries. The instruments' parts that are included in the set of libraries are listed next to each title.
Subseries 1C: Miscellaneous Music and Music Ephemera
The music in Subseries 1C is arranged alphabetically according to title. Each of the parts included is listed by instrument next to the title of its piece. The matching parts for many of these pieces can be found in the band libraries. Two folders have been retained seperately from the rest of the miscellaneous music in order to better preserve their provenance. One of these is a collection of conductor parts arranged by Eddie Sauter, and another is a set of Sauter arrangements of various tunes for six brass instruments.
Also included in Subseries 1C are published sheet music versions of several popular tunes which Ray and his bands played at various points in time. These are listed alphabetically by title.
The music ephemera in the subseries consists of handwritten or printed set lists and records of Ray's music libraries. All the set lists seem to date from the latter half of the century, although few of them are easily identifible. Library records also vary greatly, since Ray played with so many groups over such a long career.
Series 2: Ephemera
Series 2 is divided into eight subseries which include photographs, newsclippings, correspondence, and other records which document McKinley's personal and professional interactions. Of particular interest are the photographs of Subseries 2A, which contain the most complete record of McKinley's family life, as well as images from almost all the major bands McKinley played with over the course of his long career. The news clippings and magazine articles of Subseries 2B also provide a good look at McKinley's career in particular. Correspondence from Subseries 2C also provides a sampling of both personal and professional correspondence from 1938 to 1995, including many fan letters.
Subseries 2A: Photographs ca. 1870-1995
Subseries 2A includes black and white and color photographs and several sheets of black and white xerox copies of photographs. Since most of the photographs are not labeled, date identifications cannot be positive, but the photographs range in age roughly from the late 19th century to the 1990s. Images ranging from about 1930 to 1980 document Ray's activities with various bands and orchestras.
The photographs are divided into several subject groups, all of which document very different things. Photographs of Ray's musical career, for example, document the growth of a teenaged drummer trying out a pencil moustache into master showman leading his own orchestras well into old age. Of particular interest are two photographs of Ray and some band members with Louis Armstrong, who Ray's daughter describes as, "His idol!" The autographed photographs consist of publicity shots of various musicians and bands that Ray collected in his first few years as a professional musician. The personal and family photographs, which include a portrait of Ray's grandmother and snapshots of his great-grandfather document several generations of American family life. In his first few years, Ray wears a drop-waist dress and buckle shoes, and only a few decades later he sports an Air Force uniform for his wedding in a chapel at Yale. Photographs from the years that follow depict Ray, his wife, and his daughter together in every remaining decade of the century. The group of World War II photographs consist less of posed photographs of the whole band performing or traveling and more of shots of Ray, his friends and the European cities they encountered in their travels. These include photographs of servicemen assembled to hear the band play, wreckage from bombs, and band members relaxing.
Additional photos can be found in two photo albums assembled as thank-you gifts to the New Glenn Miller Orchestra for performances in Kyoto, Japan, and Yugoslavia. These albums and the photographs from them can be found in Subseries 2B: Miscellaneous.
Subseries 2B: News Clippings and Magazine Articles 1929-1995
Subseries 2B consists of news and magazine articles ranging from 1929 to 1995, documenting Ray's musical career. There are three folders of standard-size material, as well as two folders of oversize articles. All material is arranged chronologically. Of particular interest are a group of articles ranging from 1942 to 1945, documenting Ray's activity with the Glenn Miller Band, and articles from international newspapers in 1954 documenting the New Glenn Miller Band's tour in that year of several countries behind the Iron Curtain.
Subseries 2C: Correspondence 1938-1995Subseries 2C consists of two folders of letters from friends and fans, documenting events in Ray's musical career and personal life. Of particular interest is a 1945 letter from General Omar Bradley congratulating Ray on a performance of the Glenn Miller Band which Ray had lead. Also of note are a few letters exchanged between Ray and Gretchen McKinley during the war, as well as several letters from veterans of World War II relating fond memories of the Glenn Miller Orchestra's performances overseas. Undated correspondence is at the end of the Subseries.
Subseries 2D: Programs and Publicity
Subseries 2D consists of three folders of publicity materials and programs for appearances and recordings of Ray McKinley's Orchestras, as well as product endorsements by McKinley. Materials include advertisements from magazines and newpapers, broadsides, flyers, press releases, and programs. Records are placed in chronological order, grouped, when possible, by the band Ray belonged to when the materials were produced.
Subseries 2E:Business Records: 1945-1985
Subseries 2E includes notes and lists scratched on hotel stationery and contracts with music publishing companies and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). These records document a small portion of Ray's activities with various bands in various cities.
Subseries 2F: Biographical Materials
Subseries 2F consists of complete or partial biographical sketches of McKinley written for news articles, performance programs, or album covers. Several of these are written by McKinley himself and give a good idea of the wit that made him famous.
Subseries 2G: Awards and Citations: 1944-1996
Subseries 2G documents various honors McKinley recieved throughout his career and after his death. Included in this is a letter vividly describing the ceremony at which McKinley and the living members of the Glenn Miller AAF Orchestra recieved the Air Force Medal of Commendation. This letter also describes many of the orchestra members' experiences during the war.
Subseries 2H: Audiovisual Materials
Subseries 2H consists of 1/4 inch audiotapes, VHS videotapes, and 45 rpm commercial discs documenting various of McKinley's post-war performances.
1/4-inch audiotape is indicated by the abbreviation "OT7" at the beginning of the item number in the container list. Most of these audiotapes are not clearly identified, and they are unavailable to researchers for listening purposes, as reference copies of them have not yet been made. The four videotapes, identified by a number beginning with "RV", document some of McKinley's television appearances and performances at Disneyland. These tapes are available for viewing. Discs are identified by the letters "OD" in the item number.
Revised: January 5, 2000