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Researching a Character: Research Examples (Songs)

How to use databases and other reference materials to make a more comprehensive and accurate character.

45 Minutes from Broadway (Musical 1906) by George M. Cohan

The Text: Unknown Phrases and Words:

Oxford English Dictionary (OED) Revised, third edition.

Reference PE 1625 O94 2010

  • Traces origins of words in historical context

 

Location/Environment:

  • The time period or any location to which the song refers. 

New Rochelle Public Library Local History Digital Collection https://nrpl.org/​

Click on Research and Learning tab 

 

The Creators:

George M. Cohan: the man who owned Broadway.

ML 410 .C64 M33 1980

 Yankee Doodle Dandy

DVD 8086

 

 Who Originated the Role:

American song: the complete musical theatre companion / Ken Bloom. 4 volumes

Reference ML 128.M78 .B56 A44 1996
  • Bloom is a noted author. His first book, American Song: the Complete Musical Theatre Companion is a listing of every song written for the American Theatre.

  • Lists who the cast was and which character they played in every musical

A Chronology of American Musical Theater vol.1/ Richard Norton

Reference ML 1711.8 .N5 .N678.7 2002 vol.1

  • Vol.1  covers the years from 1750-1912.
  • Lists names of the characters people played with added pictures in chronological order

Who Sang What on Broadway, 1866-1996 (2 volumes)

Reference ML 107 .N5 .B46 W46 2006

  • Lists alphabetically every performer who sang on Broadway in the role of a named character, earning mention in the program of a musical or revue
  • Each performer's entry includes their date and place of birth, date of death, marital status, names of performing relatives or partners appearing in the book, and brief career highlights.   

New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (Archival material) –   original material not found elsewhere.

  • Billy Rose Theatre Division:

    • Victor Moore Papers *T-Mss 1970-003

    • ​Includes scrapbooks arranged by Victor Moore by date and show title.

 

The Last Time I Saw Paris (Standard 1940) Kern & Hammerstein

The Text: Unknown Phrases and Words:

 

Oxford English Dictionary (OED) Revised, third edition.

Reference PE 1625 O94 2010

  • Traces origins of words in historical context

The complete lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein II / edited by Amy Asch.

Reference ML 54.6 .H366 C66 2008

Rodgers and Hammerstein Encyclopedia.

Reference ML 102.M88 .H57 R634 2007

Rodgers and Hammerstein Fact Book: a record of their works together and with other collaborators / edited by Stanley Green. 

Reference ML 128.M78 .G74 R634 1980

 

Historical and Social Research:

New York Public Library Digital Collection: https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/

Search Paris 1940 OR tanks 1940

 

Who originated the Role:

Lady Be Good (Ann Southern performance)

DVD 8046

 

The Creators:

Bordman, Gerald. Jerome Kern: his life and music .

ML 410 .K47 B67 1990

 

 Till the clouds roll by (1946)

DVD 6063

  • Sung by Dinah Shore
  • Based on life and music of Jerome Kern with performances of his music by stage artists from the 1940’s…

Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway Revolution

Reference ML 410 .R634 P87 2018

 

Rodgers and Hammerstein in Interviews with Tony Thomas

CD 1780