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Paul Francis Webster Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Webster, Paul Francis.
Title: Paul Francis Webster Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1930-1967
Quantity: 12 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American composer, lyricist, author (1907-1984). Collection includes correspondence (1958-1967); five volumes of manuscript lyrics for his popular songs; discography addenda; photographs; record albums; and printed materials including song sheets (1930-1965), clippings (1930-1967), and programs.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Paul Francis Webster was born in New York in 1907. He attended New York and Cornell Universities, where he majored in journalism and philosophy. After serving some time in the Merchant Marines, he returned to the United States where his first song lyrics were published in 1930. He wrote many award-winning international song hits, both for singers such as Doris Day and Bing Crosby, and for Hollywood productions. He collaborated with such composers as Oscar Straus, Rudolph Friml, Duke Ellington, and Hoagy Carmichael. He is the author of the story "Hoar Prentiss" and the book "The Children's Music Box."

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Paul Francis Webster Papers consists of correspondence, subject files, manuscripts, published material, and clippings.

Correspondence includes both incoming and outgoing correspondence of Paul Webster, including a telegram and letter from Pearl S. Buck. There is also a small amount of correspondence of others.

Subject files contains photographs, drawings and notes.

Manuscripts consists of discography addenda and song lyrics. The majority of the lyrics are in oversize scrapbook-style binders; each volume contains the author's detailed list of its contents. Songs include the title tracks from the movies Love is a Many Splendored Thing, How Green Was My Valley, Inn of the Sixth Happiness, Giant, Beloved Infidel, and the television documentary "The Young Man from Boston," about John F. Kennedy. Other movies represented in the collection include Dr. Zhivago (Lara's Theme), Calamity Jane (Black Hills of South Dakota, The Deadwood Stage), Mardi Gras (Mardi Gras March, Loyalty, and A Fiddle, a rifle, an axe, and a Bible), Peyton Place (Theme from Peyton Place), and many more.

Published material includes a brochure from the Kennedy television special as well as a copy of the film itself, several record albums from various movies, sheet music collected in several binders, and a tape recording of an interview with Webster and some song clips.

Clippings contains clippings relating to Mr. Webster's songs, theater playbills and Academy Award Brochures. This material is in large black boxes, labeled and organized as received from the donor.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by sender. Subject files and Published material are arranged alphabetically by type. Clippings are arranged chronologically, as received from the donor.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has the collection of several composers and lyricists who wrote for the movies and television, including Franz Waxman and Miklos Rozsa. For a complete listing, please refer to the SCRC Subject Index .

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Subject Headings


Webster, Paul Francis.


Composers -- United States.
Lyric writing (Popular music)
Lyricists -- United States.
Motion picture music -- Scores.
Motion picture music -- United States.
Music -- 20th century.
Musicians -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Musical scores.
Programs (documents)
Sheet music.
Songs (document genre)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Paul Francis Webster Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Paul Francis Webster, 1967-1972, 1974, 1977.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: -
Date: circa 1971
Revision history: 20 May 2010 - converted to EAD (MRC)

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Biographical Material
Box 1 Miscellaneous
Box 1 Incoming A-W (including a letter and telegram from Pearl S. Buck) 1958-1967, undated
Box 1 Outgoing A-W undated
Box 1 Of others 1961, 1966
Subject File
Box 1 Drawings undated
Box 1 Notes undated
Box 1 Photographs of Paul Webster and others undated
Box 2 Checklist of manuscripts
Box 2 "Calamity Jane" Prompt Book
Box 2 Discography addenda
Box 2 "The Children's Music Box"
Box 2 "Jump for Joy"
See also Manuscripts, bound volumes: [Volume 1] (Oversize 1).
Box 2 "My Indian Family"
Box 2 "New Clothes for the Emperor"
Box 2 "The Young Man From Boston"
Box 3 "Thee I Love"
Box 3 "Title Songs Can Be Funny"
Box 3 "Windy City"
Manuscripts, bound volumes
Oversize 1 [Volume 1]
"Masquerade" "Reflections in the Water" "My Moonlight Madonna" "Got the Jitters" "Frosted Chocolate" "These Are the Good Old Days" "Two Cigarettes in the Dark" "Rainbow' on the River" Make a Wish" "Mr. & Mrs. America" "I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good" - Including two autographed copies by Duke Ellington "Jump For Joy" "I've Got a Passport From Georgia" "Flame Indigo" "Lamplighter's Serenade" "Baltimore Oriole" "April is a Cinderella & My Heart & I" "Under Lock and Key" "22 Miles from Town" "Love Me For a While" "Morning Glory" "I've Got a Moonlight Date at the Golden Gate" "When I Look at You" "Sweet William" "Up Pops the Morn" "If" "Living In My Own Sweet Way" "Happy Holiday" "The Sunny Side of Things" "Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief" "Lady Bug" "Memphis In June" "Watermelon Weather" "The Three Rivers" "Follow the Swallow to Old Sleepy Hollow" "Black Coffee" "Bubble-Loo, Bubble-Loo" "A Tale of Manhattan" "You Haven't Lived (Until You've Died in L.A)"
Oversize 1 [Volume 2]
"The Loveliest Night of the Year" "If You Don't Love Me" "Night" "Girls, Girls, Girls" "Vilia" "Summertime in Heidelberg'! "I'll Walk With God" "I Have the Love" "Invitation" "Secret Love" "Black Hills of Dakota "The Deadwood Stage" "There's a Rising Moon For Every Falling Star" "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing" "High Hopes" "I Speak to the Stars" "Honey Babe" "Giant" "Anastasia" "Maverick" "A, Very Precious Love " "The Boy on a Dolphin" "Friendly Persuasion" "A Paris Valentine" "The Gift of Love" "The Song of Raintree Country" "A Diamond for Carla" "Give Me a Gentle Girl" "April Love" "How Green Was My Valley" "The Twelfth of Never" "A Certain Smile" "Theme from 'Peyton Place'" "Inn of the Sixth Happiness"
Oversize 2 [Volume 3]
"Beloved Infidel" "The Mardi Gras March" "Loyalty" "Bigger Than Texas" "Bourbon Street Beat" "A Fiddle, A Rifle, an Axe and a Bible" "Cimarron" "The Green Leaves of Summer" "What is Wisdom" "Love Theme from 'El Cid'" "Love Song from 'Mutiny on the Bounty'" "Tender is the Night" "The Mood I'm In" "Mostly for Lovers" "The Breaking Point" "What Can I Give Him" "Christmas Star" "A World that Never Was" "Just the Way You Are" "The Seventh Dawn" "Lullaby for Christmas Eve" "Sylvia" "Teach Me to Pray" "Joy in the Morning" "The Shadow of your Smile"
Oversize 2 [Volume 4]
"The Young Americans" "A Paris Lullaby" "So Warm my Love" "The Young Man from Boston"
Oversize 3 [Volume 5]
"Somewhere, My Love" (Lara's Theme) "My Garden of Prayer" "The Summer of Our Love" "A Time For Love" "Who's Afraid" "Stay Close to Me" "Carla" "In the Garden-Under the Tree" "T4 Bible" "The Snows -of Yesterday" "Lady of the Lavender Mist" "Ages Ago" "Tears of Joy" "The Loves of July" "There They Are" "More and More Amor" "Gentle is My Love" "Wind Song" "A World of Whispers" "Days of Love"
Published material
Box 3 "A Young Man From Boston"
Oversize 4 "A Diamond for Carla" (2 cans)
"A Young Man From Boston" - television special (1 16-mm reel)
Oversize 4 "The Alamo"
Oversize 4 "Christine"
Oversize 4 "The Emperor's Clothes"
Oversize 4 "Great Songs Left Out of Great Movies"
Oversize 4 "Mardi Gras"
Oversize 4 "The Young Man From Boston"
Box 3 "Calamity Jane"
Box 3 "What is Wisdom"
Box 3 "Album of Song Hits"
Box 3 "Academy Award Songs"
Box 3 "Award Winning Songs"
Box 3 "The Children's Music Box"
Box 3 "Friendly Persuasion"
Box 3 "Masquerade" - autographed by Ferde Grofe
Box 3 "The Merry Widow"
Songs, collected in binders
Box 3 [Volume 1] 1930-1940
Box 4 [Volume 2] 1940-1950
Box 4 [Volume 3] 1950-1955
Box 5 [Volume 4] 1955-1960
Box 5 [Volume 5] 1959-1960
Box 5 [Volume 6] 1960-1965
Oversize 4 Interview and musical selections
[General] 1930-1939
[General] 1940-1949
[General] 1950-1959
[General] 1950-1959
[General] 1960-1966
[General] 1967
Academy Awards and Theater Programs
"Christine" and "Calamity Jane" (Secret Love)
"Love is a Many Splendored Thing"

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