UNL Libraries
Archives & Special Collections | Finding Aids

Kees-Helm Sheet Music Collection

Title: Kees-Helm Sheet Music Collection

Creator: Kees, Weldon, 1914-1955?

Creator: Helm, Bob

Dates: 1949-1958

Quantity: 1 box (0.2 linear ft.)

Collection Number: MS 0300

Language: English

Restrictions: None

Copyright: To inquire about usage, please contact Archives & Special Collections, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries. For more information see the Use Guidelines

Preferred Citation: Kees-Helm Sheet Music Collection (MS 0300). Archives & Special Collections, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries.

Alternative Format: None

Biography

Weldon Kees was born in Beatrice, Nebraska, on 24 February 1914 to John and Sarah Kees. After high school he attended Doane College and the University of Missouri - Columbia, though in 1935 he received his degree from the University of Nebraska. For a short period after he graduated from the University, he worked on the Federal Writers Project in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 1937 he moved to Denver, Colorado, and worked as a librarian and the Director of the Bibliographic Center. From 1943 until 1949 Kees lived in New York City and in 1950 relocated to San Francisco. Kees is presumed to have committed suicide in the summer of 1955. His car was found abandoned at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, on 18 July 1955.

Kees' creative energy led him in many directions including poetry, artwork, music, playwriting, photography, and filmmaking. Kees' first book of poetry, The Last Man, was published by The Colt Press in 1943. His second collection of poetry The Fall of Magicians was published in 1947 by Reynal and Hitchcock. In New York, Kees' creative energy shifted from poetry to painting. His abstract paintings were shown at two one-man shows at the Peridot Gallery in New York, owned by Lou Pollack. Kees earned money writing reviews for Time magazine, writing scripts for wartime newsreels, and writing art criticism for The Nation.

In 1953, Kees met jazz clarinetist Bob Helm, who played with Turk Murphy's Jazz Band. Kees and Helm collaborated on creating blues, rags, and music in the New Orleans jazz style. During this time Kees also sought creative outlets through a series of productions known as the Poets' Follies. The Follies showcased poets, musicians, and actors and allowed Kees to showcase some of his own talent. The last Poets' Follies took place in 1958 after Kees' death.

Helm was a member of Lu Watters' Yerba Buena Jazz Band. Helm's early recordings include Bob Helm's Riverside Roustabouts (1954) and San Franciso Style (1956). Many years later, in 1998, he recorded Hotter Than That with the Bob Helm Jazz Band. He worked with Carol Leigh to record Bob Helm and Miss Carol Leigh's Blues and Jazz Review Ma'N Bessie Blues and Jazz Review, Act 1 and Act 2. Helm died 1 September 2002.

Scope and Content

The Kees-Helm collection includes original copies of sheet music with lyrics and music written by Kees and music written by Helm. Many of the pieces of sheet music are only partially completed. Along with sheet music the collection includes drafts of lyrics and verses, notecards with lyrics, and index cards with ideas for songs. These materials are typed and handwritten, the majority in Kees' hand. The correspondence includes letters that Kees sent to Helm and other individuals.

The collection is organized into series that are based on the folder titles originally designated by Kees. These titles have been maintained wherever possible. Some materials were no longer housed within folders and these items have been arranged chronologically or by title. Much of the sheet music includes edits and revisions, some crossed-out, others are pencil copied over with pen, others are whited-out. The majority of the correspondence is typewritten letters from Kees to Helm, with some handwritten comments and edits on each of the letters. The majority of items in the collection are described individually.

Subjects

Kees, Weldon, 1914-1955?

Helm, Bob

Poets, American -- 20th century

Authors, American -- Nebraska

Authors, American -- 20th century

Artists -- United States

Series Description: Series 1: Sheet Music and Lyrics, Box 1, Folder 1-24

This series includes sheet music created by Kees and Helm, including associated lyrics, or ideas for lyrics. The sheet music includes tune, chord symbols, and lyrics. Selected pieces of sheet music will include notes written in Kees' hand, such as "music by Bob Helm, lyrics by Weldon Kees". Also included with the sheet music are typed or handwritten lyrics. Many of the tunes and lyrics are associated with Kees work on the Poets' Follies in San Francisco. Several pieces of sheet music were placed within specific folders titled by Kees and these are noted. One example is the sheet music and lyrics contained with a folder titled "WK Tunes Definitely Uncommercial." The sheet music is arranged chronologically.

Series 2: Lyrics, Ideas and Chords, Box 1, Folder 25-27

This series includes lyrics that Kees wrote out by hand on index cards, many include chords above the lyrics. The notes may include complete lyrics, a chorus, or just a title for a song. Items are noted by the first line of the lyrics.

Series 3: Correspondence, Box 1, Folder 28

The majority of correspondence are letters Kees wrote to Helm concerning their collaborative work and music, Helm's recordings, and general comments and Kees' general day-to-day activities.

Series 4: Associated Materials, Box 1, Folder

This series contains miscellaneous items relating to Kees' activities such as his participation in the Poets' Follies and the Film Workshop. Additional items were not created by Kees or Helm, but are associated with Kees' life or work.

Container List: Box 1. Folder 1. Item 1. Sheet music, "I'll Have to Put My Foot Down," 1949, Oct. 5, 1953, Feb. 2

2 pages with tune, chord symbols, partially written out bass parts in the key of A flat, and lyrics.

Item 2. Sheet music, "I'll Have to Put My Foot Down," 1949, Oct. 5, 1953, Feb. 2

2 1/2 pages with tune and chord symbols in the key of F.

Box 1. Folder 1. Item 1. Sheet music, "Pick Up the Pieces," 1953, Feb. 3, 1953, Mar. 21

2 1/4 pages with score and part, the score includes tune, bass part, chord symbols, and lyrics. The part is for B flat horns. The piece is dated 3 February 1953, Helm, and 21 March 1953, Kees. A note at the top of the first page reads "needs verse."

Item 2. Sheet music, "Pieces," undated

1/4 page with tune, chord symbols, and lyrics. This may not be related to "Pick Up the Pieces." On the verso of this page is the title "I Want to Move to the House Next to Yours" with key and clef noted and dated 4 April 1953.

Box 1. Folder 3. Item 1. Sheet music, "Where'd You Get That Look," 1953, Feb. 8

2 pages with tune, chord symbols, bass part marked for piano, and introduction. A note on the top of the first page reads "copied for copyright 1 April 1943."

Item 2. Sheet music, "Where'd You Get That Look," 1953

1 1/4 pages with tune, chord symbols, lyrics, and introduction. A note on the top of the first page reads "music by Bob Marshall, words by Weldon Kees."

Box 1. Folder 4. Item 1. Sheet music, "A Little Bit Too Good to be True," 1953, Feb. 23

2 pages with tune, lyrics, and chord symbols. It includes edits and appears to be the first draft of the song. A note at the top of the first page reads "Hearthstone Keestone" followed by the date.

Item 2. Sheet music, "A Little Bit Too Good to be True," 1953, Feb. 23

1 page music with tune and lyrics. This appears to be the final version of the song, with "Helm-Kees" noted at the top of the page.

Item 3. Sheet music, "A Little Bit Too Good to be True," undated

1 1/4 pages with tune, lyrics, and chord symbols.

Box 1. Folder 5. Item 1. Sheet music, "I Don't Want Anymore," 1953, Feb. 17, 1953, Feb. 25

2 pages with tune, chord symbols, bass part, and lyrics. The verse section is dated 25 February 1953 and the chorus is dated 17 February 1953. The piece includes edits on the tune and lyrics. Notes at the top of the first page read "copied for copyright 14 April 1953" and "Helm-Kees."

Item 2. Sheet music, "I Don't Want Anymore," 1953

2 1/4 pages with tune, lyrics, and chord symbols. It is labeled "moderato version." A note at the top of the first page reads "music by Bob Helm, lyrics by Weldon Kees." Several additional sets of chorus lyrics are written in on the bottom of the second page.

Item 3. Sheet music, "Daybreak Blues," 1953, Mar. 23

2 pages with tune, chord symbols, lyrics, and partial bass part. Includes edits to the tune and lyrics.

Box 1. Folder 6. Item 1. Sheet music, "They Haven't Got a Cure for That," 1953, Mar. 4, 1953, Apr. 11, 12

1/2 page with tune, chord symbols, and lyrics. A note at the tope reads "Space Tune." The verso includes bass part. The last line of music on the second page is titled "Outer Space" and dated 3 March 1953.

Item 2. Sheet music, "They Haven't Got A Cure for That," 1953, Mar. 4, 1953, Apr. 11, 12

2 pages with tune and chord symbols.

Item 3 .Sheet music, "They Haven't Got a Cure for That," 1953

1 1/2 pages with tune and chord symbols. A note at the top of the page reads "music by Bob Marsall and Alex Weldon, words by Alex Weldon."

Box 1. Folder 7. Item 1. Sheet music, "Take Care," 1953, Mar. 29

2 pages with tune, chord symbols, and lyrics.

Item 2. Sheet music, untitled, 1953, Apr. 4

1/2 folded page with tune, chord symbols, and lyrics reading "I want to move to the house next to yours...." The second page includes the title "Southern Stomps Stomp Off" and 6 notes. The verso of the first page includes two (staves) of an untitled tune dated 27 February 1953.

Item 3. Sheet music, "I Want to Move to the House Next to Yours," 1953, Apr. 4

1 page with tune and lyrics.

Item 4. Sheet music, "I Want to Move to the House Next to Yours," 1953, Apr. 4

4 pages with score and two parts. The score includes tune, chord symbols, and lyrics. The two parts include one for bass and one for guitar.

Box 1. Folder 8. Item 1. Sheet music, "Backside of Town," 1953, Apr. 13, 16

1 1/4 pages with tune, chord symbols, and lyrics. The first page includes the notes that read "lead sheet" and "featuring Miss Carol Leigh, Poets' Follies,'54." The verso includes penciled notes for a performance.

Item 2. Sheet music, "If You Knew," 1953

2 copies of one page with tune and chord symbols and two extra choruses are handwritten on the bottom of the pages.

Item 3. Sheet music, "If You Knew (A Western)," undated

1 page with tune and chord symbols.

Item 4. Lyrics, "If You Knew How Much I Miss You," undated

2 sheets of typed lyrics in stanzas. The first sheet includes chords written in ink above the lyrics. The notation "etc." is crossed out and replaced with "reprise" below the second and third stanza. The second sheet is a carbon copy of the first sheet with the words "additional" and "refrain" noted at the top.

Item 5. Sheet music, "I'm Just Poison to Men," undated

2 separate pages with tune, chord symbols, and lyrics. Notes at the top of the first page read "Weldon Key" and "Helm-Kees."

Box 1. Folder 9. Item 1. Sheet music, "I Like a Picture With a Chase at the End," 1953, Feb. 23

2 pages with tune, chord symbols with some chord edits, and lyrics. The names "Hearthstone-Keestone" are listed in parentheses beneath the song title. A note at the top of the page reads "OSE! Red notes = changes in lead to chorus."

Item 2. Sheet music, "I Like a Picture With a Chase at the End," undated

3 1/4 pages with score and part for guitar. There are two copies of the score with tune, chord symbols, and lyrics. The first copy includes an extra line of lyrics in the chorus and includes the note "Helm-Kees" at the top of the page.

Item 3. Sheet music, "I Like a Picture With a Chase at the End," undated

1 1/4 pages with chorus and verse for guitar.

Item 4. Sheet music, "I Like a Picture With a Chase at the End," undated

2 pages with tune, chord symbols, and lyrics. The second page includes additional lyrics and a note of the bottom that reads "take last 8 bars of chorus out and use lyrics from typed sheet."

Item 5. Lyrics, "Chase at the End," undated

3 separate pages of typed and handwritten lyrics. One of the pages includes lyrics with chords placed above the words and a second handwritten verse on the bottom of the page. The second page is the exact same lyrics without any notations. The third page includes lyrics with a handwritten note at the bottom of the page that reads "Note: performed with fast (8 beat to the bar) Boogie)."

Box 1. Folder 10. Item 1. Sheet music, "El Cerrito," 1954, Oct. 22

1 page with tune, chord symbols, and partial lyrics. Notes at the top of the page include Kees' name and "transpose to B flat for Joe."

Item 2. Score, "El Cerrito," undated

4 pages for soprano, cornets I and II, tenor, trombone, drums, lead piano, and bass.

Item 3. Chords, "Cure for That," undated

1 page with one line of lyrics. Notes on the page read "Only for piano and guitar" and "after [...] introduce Tamara Lindovna assisted by Mr. Achridge and Mr. Wilson." A note on the back of the page reads "Mike make announcement of Berkeley date at end of show." One notecard includes a new verse for "Cure for That" with a note that reads "chorus lyrics ok as they are."

Item 4. Sheet music, untitled, "hero is sapped around reel seven...," undated

1/2 cropped page with tune, chord symbols, and lyrics.

Item 5. Sheet music, untitled, undated

1/4 page with tune and chord symbols

Box 1. Folder 11. Item 1. Notes on Helm-Kees tunes, undated

A typed list of "tunes" written by Helm and Kees. The list is separated into two sections: "ballads (pop)" and "rythm [sic], novelty and western." An "x" mark is used after the titled of a tune under section outlined across the top of the page: "lead, lyric, copw., taped, recorded." A second page appears to be an original copy of the list of pop ballads. A third page lists "Folk, Blues, and Spirituals" and "Instrumentals." This list appears to be tunes written by Kees alone.

Box 1. Folder 12. Item 1. Folder

Labeled "Helm-Kees Tunes Requiring Changes, Tinkering, or Revision"

Item 2. Lyrics, "Save Your Empties," 1953, Mar. 5

3 typed pages each with the same date, the third page is a carbon copy of the second page. The pages include variations of the lyrics for the choruses and verse for the song. 1/4 page of sheet music with tune and lyrics.

Item 3. Sheet music, "Outer Space," 1953, Mar. 10

1 page with tune and chord symbols, which is continued on the bottom of the verso. The verso also includes a tune dated 17 April 1953.

Item 4. Lyrics, "Too Cool to Care," 1954, Oct. 3

3 typed pages with chord symbols. The first two pages appear to be a work draft with the fourth ending written on the bottom of the second page in pen with pencilled edits. The third page includes the same lyrics and chord symbols, with all endings from the draft included and the last two lines of the fourth ending added in pencil.

Item 5. Sheet music, "That Wide Awake Baby of Mine," 1954

1 page with tune, chord symbols, lyrics, and partial bass part. A note at the bottom of the page reads "Bob: Try a Charleston beat on the bridge."

Box 1. Folder 13. Item 1. Lyrics, "I Don't Want Anymore," undated

1 typed page with edits and changes. Notes on the top of the page read "Lyrics by Weldon Kees, Music by Bob Helm." and "Poets Follies '56."

Item 2. Lyrics, "Backside of Town," undated

2 typed pages, one a carbon copy.

Item 3. Lyrics, "God, But It's Grim Being God," undated

1 typed page with notes at the top of the page that read "For Michael Grieg's Heaven Can Wait, Lyrics by Weldon Kees" and "Music by Bob Helm."

Item 4. Sheet music, "Mountain Spring Blues" undated

1/4 page

Box 1. Folder 14. Item 1. Lyrics, "My Honey's Lovin' Arms," undated

1 typed page with a note at the top of the page that reads "For Bob Helm, who with great justice complained that the original words for this number are not fit for a grown man to sing."

Item 2. Sheet music, "Oily Paint Rag," undated

1/4 page.

Item 3. Sheet music, "Over and Over," undated

1 1/2 pages with tune, chord symbols, lyrics, and partially written-out bass.

Item 4. Sheet music, untitled, undated

1/4 page with a note at the top of the page that reads "slow blues tempo."

Box 1. Folder 15. Item 1. Folder

Labeled "Helm-Kees Tunes for Ketty." The folder includes a list written on the inside, which may be a play list for a show.

Item 2. Sheet music, "I'm Getting Awfully Tired of Singin' (the Same Old Blues)," 1953, Mar. 19, 24

1 1/4 pages with tune, chord symbols, and lyrics. Notes at the top of the page read "For Ketty, Lyrics by Weldon Kees 24 March 1955" and "Music by Bob Helm 19 March 1955." On the second page there is a note about changes in the lyrics.

Item 3. Lyrics, "Why Do I Want You Back?," 1953, Mar. 26

1 typed page with notes at the top that read "Lyrics by Weldon Kees" and "for Ketty."

Box 1. Folder 16. Item 1. Folder, labeled "completed tunes"

A folder that includes a list of titles written on the inside.

Item 2. Sheet music, "Why Are You Telling Me About the Moon?," 1952

2 1/2 pages with tune, chord symbols, and lyrics.

Item 3. Sheet music, "You've Gone," 1952

1 page with one line on the verso and lyrics written on the outside margins of the page.

Item 4. Sheet music, untitled, 1953, Feb.

1 page with tune and chord symbols.

Item 5. Sheet music, "You Forgot to Mention You'd Break My Heart," 1953, July 1

1/2 page with tune, chord symbols, and lyrics.

Box 1. Folder 17. Item 1. Sheet music, "Haunting, Not Even the Ghost of You," 1953, July 27, 1953, Aug. 8

4 pages with tune, chord symbols, lyrics, and edits that appear to be working copies.

Item 2. Sheet music, "Haunting" 1953, July 27

1 1/4 pages with tune and chord symbols.

Item 3. Sheet music, "Not Even the Ghost of You," 1953, Aug. 8

2 pages with tune, chord symbols, and lyrics, also includes written out bass and measure of bass in chorus.

Item 4. Sheet music, "Extremely Low Blues," 1953, Sept.

2 pages with related tunes in different keys, chord symbols, and different partially written out bass parts.

Item 5. Sheet music, "I'm Like Poison to Men," 1953

1 page with tune and chord symbols.

Item 6. Sheet music, "Over and Over," 1953

1 1/2 pages with tune, chord symbols, and partially written out bass part. A note at the top reads "Alex Weldon."

Item 7. Sheet music, untitled, 1953, Mar. 30

1/4 page with tune and partial chord symbols

Box 1. Folder 18. Item 1. Sheet music, "Old Man Riverboat," 1954, Mar. 29

1/2 page with tune, chord symbols, and lyrics.

Item 2. Sheet music, "She's Just Perfect for Me," 1954, Apr.

1 page with tune, chord symbols, and lyrics, with additional choruses handwritten on the bottom of the page.

Item 3. Sheet music, "That Wide Awake Baby of Mine," 1954

1 1/2 pages of with tune, chord symbols, lyrics, and partially written-out bass.

Box 1. Folder 19. Item 1. Sheet music, "Don't Drink the Foam on Your Beer, Baby," 1954

2 pages and one additional line with tune, chord symbols, and lyrics. A note at the top of page one reads "raise to G to Ray" and "tempo di barroom." Notes at the top of page two read "Ray Higgins, Grace, Bartender, 4 girls, 4 men, first act casting, Bill wanders in" and "second chorus no retard [sic]." This item has been added to this collection, it was originally catalogued for the University Libraries as M1515 K4 D6 1954x.

Item 2. Sheet music, "Don't Drink the Foam on Your Beer, Baby," undated

2 pages with score and part for a B flat instrument. The score includes tune, chord symbols, partially written-out bass, and lyrics. A note at the top of page two reads "routine" with a bracketed list as follows: "band last 8 cho., verse vocal, chorus vocal, chorus band, patter, vocal out."

Item 3. Sheet music, "Don't Drink the Foam on Your Beer, Baby," undated

12 bars of music with chorus, verse, and patter.

Item 4. Lyrics, "Don't Drink the Foam on Your Beer, Baby," undated

9 handwritten lines on a page of sheet music.

Item 5. Lyrics, "Don't Drink the Foam on Your Beer, Baby," undated

1 page with tune and chord symbols with additional verse, and chorus lyrics written on the bottom of a page of sheet music. A note at the top of the page reads "Robin has scored as vocal."

Box 1. Folder 20. Item 1. Sheet music, "Word Gets Around," 1955, Mar. 25

2 pages with tune, chord symbols, and lyrics with edits. A note at the top of the page reads "Music by Don Ewell Lyrics by Weldon Kees." 1 sheet of notebook paper with handwritten lyrics with edits.

Item 2. Sheet music, "End of the Crane," undated

2 measures with a note at the top of the page that reads "transposed to F."

Item 3. Sheet music, "End of the King Porter Stomp," undated

1/4 page with title of the page that reads "End of the King Porter Stomp transposed to key of B flat."

Item 4. Sheet music, "Palisade Blues," undated

1/4 page with chord symbols and a note at the top of the page that reads "slow blues."

Item 5. Lyrics, "I left my jelly-roll in the oven too long..." undated

1 typed file card with chords added above the lyrics.

Box 1. Folder 21. Item 1. Sheet music, "Holiday Rag," 1952

3 pages with front cover collage created by Kees.

Item 2. Sheet music, "Cow Palace Rag," 1952 (?)

1/2 pages.

Box 1. Folder 22. Item 1. Sheet music, "Coastline Rag," 1953

3 pages with a note at the top that reads "slow and raggy."

Item 2. Sheet music, "Gaslight Rag," 1954

3 working copy pages.

Item 3. Sheet music, "Gaslight Rag," 1954

3 1/2 pages.

Box 1. Folder 23. Item 1. Folder labeled "WK Abortive Starts" Item 2. Lyrics, "Way Out West," 1953, Apr. 7

2 small, handwritten note pages with edits and changes. 1 page of sheet music with tune, chord symbols, a working copy with possible alternate tune.

Item 3. Sheet music, "Mixed Emotions," 1953, Dec. 7

1 page with tune and chord symbols.

Item 4. Sheet music, "Culture Vulture Lucy, That Creature From Telegraph Hill," undated

1 page with tune and partial chord symbols.

Item 5. Sheet music, untitled, "So many dates...," undated

1/2 page with tune, chord symbols, and partial lyrics.

Item 6. Sheet music, untitled, "I found a baby with bells...," undated

1 page with tune, chord symbols, and partially written-out sheet music. Tune, lyrics, chord symbols, and chords for Spencer Williams' "Tishomingo Blues" and W.C. Hardy's "Aunt Hagar's Blues" written in Kees' hand on the verso of the sheet.

Box 1. Folder 24. Item 1. Folder labeled "WK Tunes Definitely Uncommercial" Item 2. Sheet music, "Holiday Rag, Mountain Spring Blues," 1951, Dec. 23, 24

2 1/2 pages and 2 of the pages are "Holiday Rag" with the 1/2 page "Mountain Spring Blues" on the verso.

Item 3. Lyrics, "Where's That Happy Ending," 1954, Oct. 9

4 typed pages including a carbon copy. The music for the song was written by Fred Crews and words written by Weldon Kees.

Item 4. Sheet music, "Spiritual Small Prayer," 1954, Apr. 23

1/2 page with tune and partial chords. The lyrics are several lines from the poem "Small Prayer" in Kees' Poems 1947-1954 published by Adrian Wilson in 1954.

Item 5. Lyrics, "If You Can't Pay Don't Play," undated

2 handwritten pages with edits and changes. The second page is titled "If You Can't Pay (Tap City)."

Item 6. Sheet music, "Verse For a Happy Ending," undated

2 lines with tune, chord symbols, and lyrics. A note at the end of the page reads "on Don't Drink the Foam transpose to G for Ray Harp accompanist."

Box 1. Folder 25. Item 1. Folder labeled "Lyrics and Ideas" Item 2. "New verse, Cure," 1954, Mar. 14

On verso are lyrics and notes "I can't forget the way you closed your eyes..."

Item 3. List, 4 song titles and singer noted Item 4. Lyrics and ideas, "I get around too much..." Item 5. Lyrics and ideas, "(now girls) turn up your oven..." Item 6.Lyrics and ideas, "One man's meat is another man's poison..."

Two index cards with similar lyrics. One of the cards includes chord symbols added above the lyrics.

Item 7. Lyrics and ideas, "I got over everyone but you...tune starts like..." Item 8. Lyrics and ideas, "I got over everyone but you..." Item 9. Lyrics and ideas, "At the annual convention..." Item 10. Lyrics and ideas, "I left my jelly roll in the oven..." Item 11. Lyrics and ideas, "Newton was a neuro from New Rochelle..." Item 12. Lyrics and ideas, "I saw you first..." Item 13. Lyrics and ideas, "Down at the dancehall..." Item 14. Lyrics and ideas, "Did you ever have a papa working..." Item 15. Lyrics and ideas, "Meadow mouse shuffle..." Item 16. Lyrics and ideas, "That's how I take to you..." Item 17. Lyrics and ideas, "Stashed in my vest..." Item 18. Lyrics and ideas, "You're hypnotic and exotic..." Item 19. Lyrics and ideas, "One man's loss is another man's profit..." Item 20. Lyrics and ideas, "It's a world where it all depends..." Item 21. Lyrics and ideas, "I don't want anymore..."

Two cards with lyrics that have "duet" noted on the top and on the bottom of each card music notes are added to the lyrics. The second card also includes the note "cue: shoulder" at the top.

Item 22. Lyrics and ideas, "I never play unless I've got five aces..." Item 23. Lyrics and ideas, "There's a small Eurasian..."

Several lines on a small piece of sheet music with chord symbols, tune, and partial lyrics.

Box 1. Folder 26. Item 1. Lyrics and chords, "I want to travel to outer space...," 1953, Feb.

Two cards with the same set of lyric, the first card is dated Feb. 1953 and includes some edits.

Item 2. Lyrics and chords, "Red eye, for Turk...," 1953, June 22 Item 3. Lyrics and chords, "I'm in the market for ways to find..." Item 4. Lyrics and chords, "Milpitas"

18 lines of typed lyrics with some chord symbols. The verso of the card includes handwritten lyrics for the second chorus.

Item 5. Lyrics and chords, "Things aren't the same in Milpitas..." Item 6. Lyrics and chords, "I'm sorry sweetheart that I gave you..." Item 7. Lyrics and chords, "I wouldn't want to be in your shoes..." Item 8. Lyrics and chords, "A little bit too good to be true..." Item 9. Lyrics and chords, "I look at you with mixed emotions..." Item 10. Lyrics and chords, "Winding up a love affair..." Item 11. Lyrics and chords, "Mandy Jackson thought that she had..." Item 12. Lyrics and chords, "I never will forget that awful day..."
Box 1. Folder 27. Item 1. Lyrics and chords, "Where'd You Get That Look?," 1953, Feb. 8

Two flash cards, each contains 10 lines of typed lyrics with chord symbols written in and a handwritten note beneath the title on the card reads "transposed for demonstration record."

Item 2. Lyrics and chords, "Where'd You Get That Look?," 1953, Feb. 8

One flash card with 10 lines of typed lyrics.

Item 3. Lyrics and chords, "Where'd You Get That Look?," 1953, Feb. 8

13 lines of typed lyrics for the verse of the song with chord symbols, attibuted to Helm and Kees.

Item 4. Lyrics and chords, "I'll Have to Put My Foot Down?," undated

14 lines of typed lyrics with chord symbols.

Box 1. Folder 28. Item 1. Letter, Dusty Walker to "Gentlemen," 1954, Apr. 19

Dusty Walker of KABC TV writes of returning sheet music and suggests creating dubs for recording companies.

Item 2. Letter, Kees to Emory Cook, 1954, June 15 (copy)

Kees writes of Lizzie Miles as the "last of the great New Orleans blues singers." Kees provides some background on his experience writing on "jazz and popular music." He writes at length about Helm and his music, his work with Turk Murphy, and his lack of recordings and wonders if Cook would be interested in making "a Helm LP." Kees inquires about a job as Cook's "part-time West Coast representative."

Item 3. Letter, Kees to Bob Helm, 1954, Sept. 20

Kees questions Helm about his activities and asks a few questions related to his own memories from New York. He mentions places such as the Hotel President, Diamond Jim's, and "good restaurants between 7th and 8th Avenues on 45th Street." Kees updates Helm on his work with the Interplayers and creating sketches for shows using their music. He explains that the work included about 20 sketches that they planned to "try out with the actors and pare them down until the finished production is filled with bite and audacity."

Item 4. Letter, Kees to Bob Helm, 1954, Oct. 22

Kees writes that he is working on tunes such as "Too Cool to Care" and "El Cerrito," and includes the lyrics of "El Cerrito" in the letter.

Item 5. Letter, Kees to Bob Helm, 1954, Oct. 25

Kees tells Helm he is excited about Helm's records and sends him some materials for another session. He talks about copies of other works, such as "Coastline Rag""Holiday Rag, "and"That Wide Awake Baby of Mine." Kees writes about visits to people such as Vincent McHugh and Jesse Fuller.

Item 6. Postcard, Kees to Bob Helm, 1954, Oct. 29 (?)

On a postcard, Kees explains that he made some changes to measures of "El Cerrito" and mentions work on a sketch for the Interplayers.

Item 7. Letter, Kees to Bob Helm, 1954, Nov. 9

Kees explains at length an idea he and actor Bill Ackridge developed for a TV show, including ideas for additional actors, musicians, dialog, and costs of this type of production. Kees suggests that the show be called "Helm's Hideaway."

Item 8. Letter, Kees to Bob Helm, 1954, Nov. 13

Kees writes Helm that he received the test pressing of Helm's album recording done for the Riverside label. Kees states that it is the best recording Helm had done.

Item 9. Letter, Kees to Bob Helm, 1954, Nov. 20

Kees explains his plan to provide the advance pressing of Helm's album recording to two radio stations.

Item 10. Letter, Kees to Bob and Kay Helm, 1955, May 2

Kees details his activities, such as rehearsals, writing a play, and ideas for new tunes. A postscript includes a letter from Lizzie Miles to Kees.

Box 1. Folder 29. Item 1.Television show sketches, "Helm's Hideaway," 1953(?)

Five typed pages with an ink drawing of a set design and selected notes, consisting of a cast list and outlines of seven shows that Kees developed for a television show. The verso of the last page includes notes Kees wrote about entertainers, music, selling music from the show. Kees discussed the idea for a show in a letter to Helm dated 9 Nov. 1954.

Box 1. Folder 30. Item 1. 1. Brochure, "The Film Workshop," 1955

An announcement advertising the opening of the "Film Workshop A Division of San Francisco Films" with Kees listed as the director. The brochure promoted a chance to learn all aspects of film production and provided a class schedule and information about the faculty, including Kees, Michael Grief, William Heick, Denver Sutton, and Ernest Edward Snazelle.

Box 1. Folder 31. Item 1. Flyer, "The Showplace," 1955, Apr.-May

Printed flyer for a series of events to support the restoration of The Showplace "to its pre-earthquake grandeur." A show with Bay City Jazz Band, a concert by Don Ewell, and an evening of one-act plays made up the entertainment for the series.

Box 1. Folder 32. Item 1. Flyer, cast list, "Poets' Follies," 1958

Two copies of a flyer promoting the Poet's Follies of 1958, with Helm and the City Lights Jazz Band, plays, and poetry. The cast list includes the names, addresses, and phone numbers of individuals involved in the Follies.

Box 1. Folder 33. Item 1. Business card, Bob Helm Item 2. Obituary, Louis Pollack, by Hilton Kramer, 1958 Item 3. Catalog, New Gallery Exhibition, 1989, Apr. 15

A catalog for an exhibition at the New Gallery, San Francisco, California, of Kees' work titled "A Retrospective: The Paintings and Collages of Weldon Kees."

Item 4. Review, by Robert Knoll

A review of two of Weldon Kees books, written by Robert Knoll, that appeared in the Prairie Schooner. The reviews were of The Ceremony and Other Stories, edited with an introduction by Dana Gioia, published by Graywolf Press, and Two Prose Sketches also with an introduction by Gioia and published by Aralia Press.

Item 5. Sketch, unidentified pencil sketch of a man in profile Item 6. Folders, two folders labeled "Tunes requiring lyrics" and "music equipment"

Related Material and Resources: Kees, Weldon, Robert Knoll, editor. Weldon Kees and the MidCentury Generation: Letters, 1935-1955. Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, c1986.Reidel, James. Vanished Act: The Life and Art of Weldon Kees. Lincoln, NE : University of Nebraska Press, c2003.



If you have questions about the Archives & Special Collections, please email "archives@unl.edu."
Finding Aids | Archives & Special Collections | UNL Libraries | UNL Home
© University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries | Lincoln, NE 68588-4100 | 402-472-9568 | comments to: Web Team