Finding Aid for WGN Radio Station Studio Orchestra Music Library and Records, 1925-1956 | The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

By Noah Lenstra

[Printer Friendly] | [Contact us about this collection]

Collection Overview

Title: WGN Radio Station Studio Orchestra Music Library and Records, 1925-1956Add to your cart.

ID: 12/9/114

Primary Creator: WGN Studio Orchestra

Extent: 32.0 cubic feet

Arrangement: The collection is organized into five series: Series 1, Marion Claire correspondence, 1940-1950, arranged chronologically; Series 2, Tams-Witmark Music Library rental records, 1940-1950, arranged chronologically; Series 3, Theatre of the Air, 1940-1950, which is arranged into 4 sub-series according to format (Sub-Series 1, Scripts; Sub-Series 2, Manuscript Vocal parts; Sub-Series 3, Orchestral parts; and Sub-Series 4, Full scores and over-sized parts) and then arranged by accession number; Series 4) Scripts and Programs, arranged in rough chronological order; and Series 5) WGN Music Library, arranged by accession number. Accession numbers were either established by the WGN library staff or by UIUC Music Librarian Jay Alien in conjunction with his cataloging project of the early 1960s.

Subjects: Music, Radio and music--Illinois--Chicago, Radio station -- WGN

Formats/Genres: Sheet music

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Consists of scripts, programs, production notes, correspondence, music library rental records, sheet music manuscripts, and music scores with annotations that document the WGN Studio Symphonic Orchestra from the 1925 to 1956. Of special note are the music scores, parts, production notes and scripts of the "Theatre of the Air," which include orchestral works and orchestrations to accompany vocal works (many in special arrangements by Rosario Bourdon and others, with reduced instrumentation suitable for theater or salon ensembles). Also of interest are the scripts from the University of Chicago's series called "The Human Adventure."

Biographical Note

The Chicago-based WGN radio station began its life in 1923 as WJAZ, a small Zenith-owned station broadcasting out of the "Crystal Room" studio in the Edgewater Beach Hotel. In 1924, the Chicago Tribune, under Col. Robert R. McCormick, assumed control of the station and gave it the call letter WGN (for World's Greatest Newspaper). That same year, WGN took over station WDAP, assuming control of its programs, as well as its studio. WGN provided its listeners with local and world news, live broadcasts of political and sporting events, and many music and theatrical programs. In the early days of radio, live music was an integral part of the listening experience. "The Theatre of the Air", which ran from 1940-1956, was produced before a live studio audience and broadcast across the country via the Mutual Broadcasting System. In 1943 "Theatre of the Air" moved to the Medinah Temple, where 3,000-4,000 people could watch the famous singer Marion Claire perform with the WGN Studio Orchestra. Col. Robert R. McCormick would often lend his voice to the program, speaking on historic topics like the Revolutionary War. The WGN Studio Orchestra also played for other programs, such the University of Chicago's "The Human Adventure Series," and music-drama presentations like operettas and musicals. The WGN Studio Orchestra developed an extensive music library to support these productions. Although radio broadcasts of live musical productions may be a thing of the past, WGN still operates at frequency of 720 kHz, and has since 1927.

Subject/Index Terms

Music
Radio and music--Illinois--Chicago
Radio station -- WGN

Administrative Information

Repository: The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music

Processing Information: Acquired by UIUC in 1958 by University Extension and transferred to University Library in early 1960s. The collection was then transferred to Music Library in 1962 and cataloged by Jay Allen and staff as a circulating collection. Some vocal scores have been withdrawn from the WGN collection or transferred to other stack areas within the Music and Performing Arts Library since 1965. After the Music Library moved to its present location during the 1970s, the WGN collection was packaged in new folders, and shelved in numerical order in Special Collections. During the 1990s the collection was repacked into 163 shipping cartons and placed in storage. Each carton was labeled as to the portion of the WGN accession-number sequence it contained, with a small amount of unnumbered material in cartons at the end of the entire series. In 2009 the record group moved to the Music and Performing Arts Library, where it was processed to archival standards as part of the Library's Special Collections. Published versions of pieces without annotations have been removed from the record group.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Marion Claire correspondence, 1940-1950],
[Series 2: Tams-Witmark Music Library rental records, 1940-1950],
[Series 3: Theatre of the Air, 1940-1950],
[Series 4: Scripts and Programs],
[Series 5: WGN Music Library],
[All]

Series 4: Scripts and ProgramsAdd to your cart.
Includes scripts for a WGN productions, including the University of Chicago's "Human Adventure Series," Chicago Tribune Centennial Shows, and programs for orchestral and symphonic concerts. "Theatre of the Air" scripts located in Series 3: Theatre of the Air, 1940-1950.
Box 5Add to your cart.
Folder 5: The Pageant of America, 17 August 1940Add to your cart.
Folder 6: America Unlimited Scripts, by Jack La Frande/Shorman Dryer, February-March 1945Add to your cart.
Programs commissioned to honor American War Plants; music by Bob Trendler
Folder 7: Chicago Tribune Centennial Programs, January-June 1947Add to your cart.
Monthly special programs commissioned to celebrate the centennial of the Chicago Tribune
Folder 8: Chicago Tribune, American Fashions Show, 1944Add to your cart.
Box 23Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Human Adventure Scripts (1 of 4), 1943-1946Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Human Adventure Scripts (2 of 4), 1943-1946Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Human Adventure Scripts (3 of 4), 1943-1946Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Human Adventure Scripts (4 of 4), 1943-1946Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Human Adventure Scripts (1 of 7), 1944-1946Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Human Adventure Scripts (2 of 7), 1944-1946Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Human Adventure Scripts (3 of 7), 1944-1946Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Human Adventure Scripts (4 of 7), 1944-1946Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Human Adventure Scripts (5 of 7), 1944-1946Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Human Adventure Scripts (6 of 7), 1944-1946Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Human Adventure Scripts (7 of 7), 1944-1946Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Trendler Shows, 1943Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Orchestral Programs, 1935-1936Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Orchestral Programs, 1937-1938Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Orchestral Programs, 1939-1940Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Orchestral Programs, 1941-1942Add to your cart.
Folder 17: Orchestral Programs, 1943-1945Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Orchestral Programs, 1946-1948Add to your cart.
Folder 19: Symphony Programs, 1944-1946Add to your cart.
Box 24Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Human Adventure: Origin of the Earth, 3 September 1943Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Human Adventure: Osler, 20 November 1944Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Human Adventure: The Mystery of the Heavens, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Human Adventure: My Friend Semmelweis, 2 November 1943Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Human Adventure: Story of the Moon, 11 November 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Human Adventure: John Milton, 19 April 1946Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Human Adventure: Herman Melville, 17 May 1946Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Human Adventure: Marriage, 4 October 1943Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Human Adventure: Christopher Marlowe, 8 June 1946Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Human Adventure: Maps, 15 March 1944Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Human Adventure: Malaria, 22 August 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Human Adventure: McGuffey's Readers, 3 August 1944Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Human Adventure: Machiavelli, 8 March 1946Add to your cart.
Box 25Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Human Adventure: Anesthesia, 29 June 1944Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Human Adventure: Ancient Empires, 31 January 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Human Adventure: American Humor, 24 October 1943Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Human Adventure: American English, 28 October 1944Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Human Adventure: Breasted, 14 March 1944Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Human Adventure: Burns, 20 June 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Human Adventure: Bone Surgery, 28 March 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Human Adventure: Blood, 10 August 1944Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Human Adventure: Battle Ship, 27 November 1944Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Human Adventure: Basic English, 26 April 1946Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Human Adventure: Backlands, 10 April 1944Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Human Adventure: Aviation Research, 8 September 1944Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Human Adventure: Atomic Bomb, 8 August 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Human Adventure: Atlantic Migration, 2 January 1946Add to your cart.
Box 26Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Human Adventure: Brain Surgery, 2 May 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Human Adventure: Age of Earth, 9 May 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Human Adventure: Crime and Delinquency, 7 December 1943Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Human Adventure: Cosmis Rays, 23 May 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Human Adventure: Conquest of the West, 16 May 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Human Adventure: The Common Cold, 26 January 1944Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Human Adventure: Civil War, 15 June 1944Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Human Adventure: X-mas 1945, 20 December 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Human Adventure: Chlorophyll, 16 November 1943Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Human Adventure: Free China, 18 April 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Human Adventure: Child Birth, 25 September 1944Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Human Adventure: Chicago, 20 January 1944Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Human Adventure: Chemistry, 6 July 1944Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Human Adventure: Chaucer, 1 June 1944Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Human Adventure: Cancer, 6 December 1944Add to your cart.
Box 27Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Human Adventure: Sister, 4 Sept 1944Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Human Adventure: Story of Languages, 28 February 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Human Adventure: Song of This Land, 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Human Adventure: Samuel Johnson, 24 March 1946Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Human Adventure: Jeremiah, 1 February 1944Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Human Adventure: I.Q., 15 August 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Book of Common Prayer - When Free Men Pray, 3 June 1949Add to your cart.
Folder 28Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Moline Centennial Dedicatory Concert (WQUA, Moline), 26 June 1948Add to your cart.
Folder 15: This is Florida scriptAdd to your cart.
advertisement demo

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Marion Claire correspondence, 1940-1950],
[Series 2: Tams-Witmark Music Library rental records, 1940-1950],
[Series 3: Theatre of the Air, 1940-1950],
[Series 4: Scripts and Programs],
[Series 5: WGN Music Library],
[All]

Page Generated in: 0.63 seconds (using 108 queries).
Using 10.5MB of memory. (Peak of 10.75MB.)

Powered by Archon Version 3.21
Copyright ©2011 The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign