Jan August Papers

Caucasian male with mustache and slicked-back hair wearing a black tuxedo with white bowtie and leaning against a grand piano, ca. 1940s.

Identity elements

referentie code

US US.INSON Mss 023

Name and location of repository

Beschrijvingsniveau

Bestanddeel

Titel

Jan August Papers

Datum(s)

  • 1920 - 1985 (Vervaardig)

Omvang

1.5 linear feet; 1 document box and 1 record box

Naam van de archiefvormer

(1904-09-24 - 1976-01-17)

Biografie

Jan August was born Jan Augustoff in New York City, the youngest of five children. Jan’s parents, having paid for music lessons for the four older siblings who lacked any musical aptitude, chose not to repeat the mistake with their youngest. Jan learned to play the piano by ear as a child; as an adult he learned to read and arrange music. He mastered the xylophone, vibraphone and Solovox as well as the piano. In 1946, his instrumental recording of “Misirlou,” a Greek folk song, sold more than 1,000,000 records.
As a young man, Jan performed as a pianist with the Paul Specht Band in Greenwich Village nightclubs. In the 1930’s, Paul Whiteman invited him to play in his orchestra; Jan also performed with Ferde Grofé. With the musical shift from jazz to swing in the 1940’s, Jan returned to performing solo in clubs. His style attracted the attention of Irving Gwirtz of Diamond Records, who signed him to a recording contract. He received union scale wages of approximately $35 for his recording of “Bob-a-Loo”; the recording of “Misirlou” reached the Top Ten on the charts and launched his career.
Jan hosted and performed on radio, notably a 15-minute weekly broadcast on the Mutual Radio Network from 1947-1948. In 1948 and 1950, he appeared on "The Toast of the Town" and from 1949-1951 he accompanied singer Roberta Quinlan on her NBC variety show. Later he hosted "Jan August’s Revere Camera Show". In 1949, he served as the subject of a 9-minute film short entitled "Audition for August" with Kitty Kallen. In the 1950’s, Jan signed a recording contract with the Mercury label recording instrumental versions of popular hits laced with Latin rhythms. He also toured with his own orchestra in the United States and Canada. After arranging and recording more than 140 songs, Jan retired in 1967. He died of heart disease about a decade later.
Shortly before Jan's death, a musician performing under the name Jan August made the news in Florida, but it was an imposter.

Content and structure elements

Bereik en inhoud

The collection consists of menus, press clippings, photos and recordings from the career of arranger and composer Jan August.

Ordeningstelsel

The collection remains in its original order.

Conditions of access and use elements

Voorwaarden voor raadpleging

All material is open to the public without restriction. Copyright laws of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) govern the making of photocopies or other reproductions.

Physical access

Technical access

Voorwaarden voor reproductie

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to the Great American Songbook Foundation. Music written prior to 1923 is in the public domain. For more information, please consult the staff of the Library & Archives.

Languages of the material

Scripts of the material

Taal en schrift aantekeningen

Toegangen

Uploaded finding aid

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Geschiedenis beheer

Directe bron van verwerving

Received from June Appell, Jan August's granddaughter, on April 13, 2011.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

Aanvullingen

Related materials elements

Bestaan en verblifplaats van originelen

Bestaan en verblijfplaats van kopieën

Related archival materials

Related descriptions

Notes element

Algemene aantekening

Separated materials: Audio recordings were separated from the collection and cataloged in LibraryWorld accessible via our home page www.thesongbook.org.

Specialized notes

  • Processing information: Minimally processed by Lisa Lobdell. Completed January 2012.
  • Citation: Jan August Papers, The Great American Songbook Foundation.

Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

Regels of conventies

Sources used

Aantekeningen van de archivaris

FInding aid created by Lisa Lobdell, January 2012.
AtoM description created by Ashlee James, November 2017.

Trefwoorden

Onderwerp trefwoord

Geografische trefwoorden

Naam ontsluitingsterm

Genre access points

Digitaal object metadata

Bestandsnaam

Jan_August_2.png

mediatype

Afbeelding

Bestandsgrootte

3.6 MiB

ingelezen

14 mei 2021 11:45

Digitaal object (Master) rights area

Digitaal object (Referentie) rights area

Digitaal object (Thumbnail) rights area

Voorwaarden voor raadpleging en gebruik

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places