Last edited: April 25, 2019
Bob Nolan's Repertoire Box & Index
This Yawman and Erbe Mfg. Co. Record Chest pictured below originally held 786 - 8 1/2" x 11" sheets of light card. On each card was typed the lyrics of one song. The box also held an indexed notebook listing all the titles. By the time Calin found it among his grandfather's effects, the box was missing 120 cards, 1/3 of which were Bob Nolan's songs. According to Laurence Zwisohn, Lloyd Perryman, Tim Spencer and Roy Rogers each had an identical box. Mr. Zwisohn spent several hours going through Roy's box making notes. He heard that it had initially been Roy's task to type all the lyrics with the copyright information, etc. By 1938, Roy had left the Sons of the Pioneers and this task was left to others to continue.
Most of the songs date from the days of the earliest Pioneer Trio and you will recognize the songs from the Standard Radio Transcriptions. Others, like "The Bells of St. Mary's" and "Diesel Smoke" were added later. Some cards are covered with scribbled notes. Others have the names of later members of the Sons of the Pioneers on them.
Rather than simply quote from the various cards in his grandfather's collection or cite statistics, Calin decided to scan all 666 of the cards to make them available to researchers. This collection will eventually be permanently housed in the Southern Folklife Collection at the University of North Carolina where they will always be accessible to the public. Roy Roger's green box and its contents are in his museum. Karl E. Farr said that his father had no such box; it would have been of greater use to the vocal trio.
This page contains the contents of the little black index book pictured in the front of the box. The lyric cards follow, filed alphabetically, are just as they were titled. (Eg: a title beginning with an "A" or "An" might be filed with the "A's".)
To find the cards themselves, click on the letter of the alphabet you need:
Yawman and Erbe Mfg. Co. Record Chest with "Perryman" handwritten on the label.
(Calin Coburn Collections ©2004)
Signatures for comparison purposes
- The Index Book -