CyPix: Jamming with Floyd

We’ve arrived at the end of Jazz Appreciation Month, so I thought it would be nice to draw attention to the Floyd Bean Papers (MS 55). Bean was a jazz pianist from east central Iowa (Ladora and Grinnell). His first professional gig was playing with fellow Iowan, Bix Beiderbecke. However, his big break came in 1939 when he joined Bob Crosby’s band full-time. Throughout the rest of his life, Bean played and recorded with many other jazz musicians as well as composed his own music.

Below is an image of a jam session Bean (not pictured) had with two members of the Duke Ellington orchestra.


Joe “Tricky Sam” Nanton (bottom left) and Johnny Hodges (top) jam with Floyd Bean in the Panther Room (Chicago). (MS 55, box 3, folder 5)

“Trickey Sam” & Johnny Hodges – Help make Duke Ellington’s Band – Just before “Pearl Harbor” “41”.. Floyd was on Piano – Panther Rooom – Chi. Jam Session – (Harry Lim sponsor)

[all sic] – transcript of the note on the back of the “Tricky Sam” photo (bottom)

The collection contains Bean’s own arrangements and musical compositions, photographs of Bean and other jazz musicians (including personally addressed photos from Cleo Brown, Sidney “Big Sid” Catlett, and Earl Hines) and a variety of other kinds of materials documenting jazz and jazz musicians. It’s a great resource for Jazz Appreciation Month. We’d love to have you stop by and take a look! Also, be sure and listen to Iowa State’s own jazz band some time.

CyPix: The Sounds of History

Whitney’s recent post regarding the poetry of Iowa-related music has me in a musical mood. Studies have found that music can be motivating, which comes in handy on April mornings that arrive with snow on the ground. And the benefits of music education are widely espoused. The group crowded around the piano below are demonstrating the social benefits of music in 1944.

Students at Piano, 1944

Students at piano, 1944, RS 7/2

In addition to the Iowa Sheet Music Collection, MS 474, Special Collections is home to a number of other music-related collections including:

  • Ames Town and Gown Chamber Music Association Records, MS 350. This collection documents the administration, activities, and performances of this local group that has been operating since 1949.
  • Extension Music Program Records, RS 16/3/3. This collection documents Iowa State University’s Cooperative Extension programming that brought musical and cultural activities to the homes of rural Iowans.
  • John H. and Helen Wessman Sheet Music Collection, MS 377. John H. Wessman is an ISU alumnus (1941) who played viola in the ISU Symphony and sang with the Chicago Swedish Glee Club for eleven years. This collection contains sheet music from the 1850s to the 1880s.
  • Jimmie Howard Reynolds Papers, RS 13/17/61. This collection contains biographical information, College Band Directors National Association materials, professional correspondence, and teaching materials from Jimmie Reynolds, who served as ISU’s director of  bands and an associate professor of music for ten years, 1972-1982.
  • Roger M. Goetz Papers, RS 21/7/223. Roger M. Goetz, a graduate of ISU (1962, 1967), had an active career in Lutheran ministry. In addition to sermons, clippings, and biographical information, his collection contains sheet music and programs that document his career as an organist.

Department of Music collections are listed here, and other manuscript collections from are listed here.  And of course, you can always come visit us in Parks Library to get inspired by the music!

CyPix: Cy Meets Satchmo

We all know Cy is one cool cat, but did you know that he once met Satchmo himself, Louis Armstrong?

22-7-D_Cy and Louis Armstrong 1966_1648

Cy with jazz legend Louis Armstrong before a concert, 1966.

Louis Armstrong, in case anyone needs a pop culture history lesson, was a popular jazz musician whose career spanned the 1920s through the 1960s. He’s perhaps best known for his vocal renditions of “What a Wonderful World” and “Hello Dolly,” as well as his various trumpet solos. His performance of “La Vie En Rose” was even used in Disney/Pixar’s Wall-E. He also had a bit of a film career, starring alongside Bing Crosby on more than one occasion. Cy is pretty lucky to have met such a legend!

To see Cy through the years, have a look at our online exhibit, which includes this photo. Our Flickr page also has photos of our favorite mascot. Enjoy!