Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Library of Congress Acquires Billy Strayhorn Archive

Collection of nearly 18,000 documents includes approximately 3,000 original music manuscripts

Billy Strayhorn
Billy Strayhorn (photo courtesy of the Library of Congress)

On Nov. 29—Billy Strayhorn’s 103rd birthday—the Library of Congress announced that it has acquired a collection of nearly 18,000 documents belonging to the composer, arranger, and pianist, who worked with Duke Ellington for nearly 30 years and wrote some of the most enduring compositions in jazz, including “Take the ‘A’ Train,” “Lush Life,” and “Chelsea Bridge.”

The collection includes original manuscripts for hundreds of songs, along with lyric sheets, scripts, financial papers, photographs, and contracts. There are also original scores for Strayhorn’s first musical, Fantastic Rhythm, and Jump for Joy, a 1941 musical co-written by Strayhorn and Ellington.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published