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Historical Note

Scope and Content Note


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Collection Overview
Name of Creator:Gray, Glen and the Casa Loma Orchestra.
Title:Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra records
Reference Code:M31
Location Code:69/1, 70/4, FF4/D8
Extent:24.00 cubic ft. (39 boxes)
Scope and Content Abstract:The records of Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra (1915-1979) document the administrative and promotional activities as well as the musical development, style, and repertoire of this pioneering swing band. The collection contains original musical scores and arrangements, photographs of Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra at all stages of the band's career, and newspaper clippings and scrapbooks documenting the band's performance history and reception by both critics and the public over time.  Also included are audio tapes of the Orchestra's recordings and interviews with band associates, phonograph records of original Casa Loma Orchestra recordings and cover recordings of Big Band music (conducted by Gray in his later years), videotaped interviews of former band members, promotional and biographical materials, financial records, awards and citations received by Gray and the band, and some of Gray's personal effects.
Historical Abstract:Considered to be the first swing band in the United States, the Casa Loma Orchestra got its start in Detroit as Jean Goldkette and the Orange Blossoms. Glen Gray, a saxophonist, began fronting the band in 1937 and remained its leader until the group disbanded in 1950.
Language and Scripts:
Arrangement:Organized into 5 series: 1. Subject Files; 2. Interviews; 3. Photographs; 4. Musical Scores; and 5. Musical Recordings.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Gray, Glen, 1906-1963
  • Hunt, Pee Wee
  • O'Keefe, F. C.
  • Sargent, Kenny
  • Wagner, Larry, 1907-

  • Casa Loma Orchestra
  • Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra
  • Jean Goldkette and the Orange Blossoms

  • Bandmasters
  • Big bands -- United States
  • Dance orchestras -- United States
  • Swing (Music)

Restrictions:Musical scores may not be performed until the copyright expires (see control file).
Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.
Processor:Finding aid prepared by Karen Abramson, June 1999