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Richard "Dick" Stabile Sheet Music (MS-00625)

Abstract

The Richard "Dick" Stabile Music Scores (1899-1986) is comprised primarily of musical scores arranged, composed, and performed by big-band leader and musician Dick Stabile. The scores, dating between 1941 and 1980, include popular music arrangements and original compositions, including original orchestra music for the documentary film Born to Buck. Also included in the collection are commercially produced popular music sheets published between 1899 and 1986.

Finding Aid - PDF
Date
1899-1986
bulk 1941-1980
Extent
22.40 Cubic Feet (22 boxes, 15 oversized flat boxes)
30.61 Linear Feet
Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials in this collection may be protected by copyrights and other rights. See Reproductions and Use on the UNLV Special Collections website for more information about reproductions and permissions to publish.

Collection Type
Scope and Contents

The Richard "Dick" Stabile Music Scores (1899-1986) is comprised primarily of musical scores arranged, composed, and performed by big-band leader and musician Dick Stabile. The scores, dating between 1941 and 1980, include arrangements and original compositions performed by Stabile and his bands in nightclubs and as musical director for Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis through 1956. Approximately half of the scores were arranged by Dick Stabile and a significant number are also original compositions, including the complete original orchestral scores for the documentary film Born to Buck in 1966. Also included in the collection are commercially produced popular music sheets published between 1899 and 1986.

Biographical / Historical Note

Richard D. “Dick” Stabile (1909-1980) was a musician, big-band leader, composer, and orchestral arranger. Born in Newark, New Jersey, he was the eldest son of a professional musician. He began playing the saxophone at fifteen and joined the Ben Bernie Band in 1928 at the age of nineteen. By 1936, he was leading his own orchestra and recording for the Decca, Bluebird, and Vocalion labels.

In 1937, Stabile married Gracie Barrie, a singer, and continued recording and playing in clubs in major United States cities. In December of 1942, Stabile and his orchestra performed along with comedian Benny Rubin at the Oriental Theater in Chicago, Illinois. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Coast Guard, turning the running of the band over to his wife. On his return to civilian life in 1945, Stabile formed a new band in California, playing in clubs like Slapsie Maxie and Ciro’s. It was at Ciro's that he met young entertainers Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in 1949. Soon after, the pair hired Stabile as their musical director, a position he held until 1956 when the comedy duo disbanded. In addition to his role as musical director for their shows, he often served as a comedic foil for the pair, and more importantly as the conductor and arranger for many of the records Martin and Lewis made together and individually.

During the 1950s and 1960s, Stabile also recorded several albums under his own name and led the house band at the Cocoanut Grove club at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California, and later, the Circus Lounge in the Sheraton-Universal Hotel, also in Los Angeles. In the 1970s, he relocated to New Orleans, Louisiana, where his band was featured in the Fairmont Hotel’s Blue Room. After suffering a paralyzing stroke in the late 1970s, he recovered and returned to work. His final public appearance was on Jerry Lewis’s 1980 Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy telethon; he died in New Orleans three weeks later, at the age of 71.

Source:

Popa, Christopher, "Dick Stabile: Memories are Made of This," July 2009, accessed 10 Aug 2018, http://www.bigbandlibrary.com/dickstabile.html

Arrangement

These records are organized into two series:

Series 1. Music Scores, 1941-1977;

Series 2. Commercial Sheet Music, 1899-1986.

Preferred Citation

Richard "Dick" Stabile Music Scores, 1899-1986. MS-00625. Special Collection and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

EAD ID
US::NvLN::MS00625
Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials were collected by the director of the Arnold Shaw Popular Music Research Center; subsequently the materials were transferred to the University Libraries Special Collections and Archives. Acquisition number 2012-015.

Processing Information

Material was originally processed in 2012 by Joyce Moore. In 2018, as part of an archival backlog elimination project, Melise Leech inventoried and rehoused the material, wrote the finding aid, and entered the data into ArchivesSpace.

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