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BROOKS READ BRER RABBIT COLLECTION

 

(Mss. 4476)

 

Inventory

 

 

Compiled by

Elaine Hitter (1992)

Revised by Phyllis Castille (2003)

 

 

 

Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections

Special Collections, Hill Memorial Library

Louisiana State University Libraries

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

 

Contents of Inventory

 

Summary                                                                                            

Biographical/Historical Note                                                              

Scope and Content Note                                                                                          

List of Series                                                                                      

Container List                                                                                    

Episode List                                                                                        

Script List                                                                                          

           

Summary

 

Size.                                       26 linear feet                                                                                         

Geographic   

locations.                              Louisiana.     

 

Inclusive

dates.                                     1950-1991, n.d.

 

Bulk dates.                            1950-1959

 

Languages.                           English

 

Summary.                             Reel to reel audio recordings, scripts, phonographs, correspondence, and subject files of Brooks Read, Baton Rouge storyteller, journalist, and political observer. Materials relate to ReadΉs recorded productions of his original Brer Rabbit stories, as well as a few select Uncle Remus stories of Joel Chandler Harris.

 

Access......                            Patrons my only access audio cassett use copies, not reel to reel tape.

 

 

Copyright.                             Physical rights are retained by the LSU Libraries. Copyright of the original materials is retained by descendants of the creators of the materials in accordance with U.S. copyright law.  Entire scripts or recordings may be reproduced, but any publication or broadcast of materials in the collection must be approved by the designated family representative during the term of copyright

 

Citation.                                Brooks Read Brer Rabbit Collection, Mss. 4476, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

 

Stack

location.                                Range 91:        


 

Biographical/Historical Note

 

Radio and television journalist, political observer, actor, and storyteller Brooks Read was born in Baton Rouge, La., in 1926. He began broadcasting on Baton Rouge radio station WJBO at the age of nine reading Uncle Remus stories on air. He continued announcing at WJBO and entered Louisiana State University in 1941, where he participated in theatrical productions. Read then attended Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) on scholarship from the National Broadcasting Company, and later Columbia University.   Read managed several Louisiana radio stations, and from 1955-1964 he worked for Baton Rouge television station WBRZ as "Your Esso Reporter." Also during the 1950s, Read produced a recording of Joel Chandler Harris's Tar Baby, and then began creating and recording original stories, using some of the same characters known from folklore that Harris used, like Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox, but also featuring characters he created.  These recordings, known as the Uncle Remus Radio Programs, were marketed to and broadcast by radio stations nationwide. He produced and sold several Uncle Remus stories on record albums known as the Brer Rabbit Albums.

 

In the mid-1960s, Read established an advertising and public relations firm while also serving as capitol correspondent for New Orleans television station WWL. He served as Gov. John J. McKeithen's press secretary, 1969-1970, and also participated in numerous Louisiana Democratic party committees, 1974-1991.

 

Read married Maureen Hushar in 1949, and they had three daughters.  He died in 1991.

 

Scope and Content Note

 

The collection is primarily comprised of reel to reel audio tape and scripts of Read's recordings of both original Brer Rabbit stories and stories he wrote based on the characters. User copies on audio cassette have been made of the reel to reel recordings.

Subject files include correspondence, contracts, marketing materials, artwork, and newspaper articles related to his recordings.  The subseries are Articles and Newspaper Clippings; Brer Rabbit Albums; Liberty Broadcasting System; Radio Stations; Storytelling; Uncle Remus Radio Programs; and Webber Correspondence, July 18, 1952-July 28, 1959.  Phonographic records in 33, 45, and 78 formats are of background music and sound effects used in the shows. 

 

List of Series

 

I.         Reel to reel Recordings, ca. 1950-1959, n.d. (Boxes 1-20) and user cassette

tapes, ca. 1950-1959, n. d. (Boxes 25-37)

                  Summary: A collection of 495 reel to reel audio tapes (5,” 8” and 17”

format) containing Read’s recordings of the Harris originals and stories written by Read based on the characters.

 

II.        Scripts, 1951-1952, n.d. (Boxes 21-22)

Summary:  The scripts that Read read from while recording his renditions of the Uncle Remus stories.

 

III.      Subject files, 1952-1991, n.d. (Boxes 23-24)

                        Subseries, A.  Articles and Newspaper Clippings

B.      Brer Rabbit Albums

C.      Liberty Broadcasting System

D.      Radio Stations

E.      Storytelling

F.      Uncle Remus Radio Programs

G.     Webber Correspondence, July 18, 1952-July 28, 1959

 

IV.       Phonographic records, n.d. (Boxes 38-39)

Summary:  Phonographic records in 33, 45, and 78 formats include background music and sound effects used in the shows.


 

Summaries of Subseries

 

A.                 Articles and Newspaper Clippings

Articles and newspaper clippings, largely from local newspapers, describing Brooks Read’s radio career and announcing his storytelling events. One magazine article is about Joel Chandler Harris.

 

B.                 Brer Rabbit Albums

Correspondence concerning the making of the Brer Rabbit albums and their distribution.  Advertisements, publicity articles, order forms, and original artwork.

 

C.                 Liberty Broadcasting System

Correspondence and memorandums concerning the broadcasting of the Uncle Remus stories on Liberty Broadcasting System (LBS) affiliate stations.  Also, correspondence and documents dealing with the LBS bankruptcy.  Other papers contain lists of radio stations; a schedule of programs; production, traffic and program reports; F. C. C. decisions for 1952 and a report to affiliates.

 

D.                 Radio Stations

Correspondence with radio stations that aired the Uncle Remus stories. Other documents include bills for monthly use of Uncle Remus tapes, file folders with reel numbers and dates listed on them, commercial scripts for sponsors, contracts, testimony letters and check stubs.

E.                 Storytelling

Various documents concerning Brooks Read’s storytelling appearances, contracts with the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, photos of Brooks Read in Uncle Remus costume and booklets and catalogs dealing with making puppets. Story ideas include cartoon clippings and a list of folktales with some of their sources.

 

F.                 Uncle Remus Radio Programs

Documents about the Uncle Remus radio program include promotional fillers, commercial scripts, opening and closing formats, scripts for public service announcements, scripts of songs, an advertisement flyer, a print relief, sales material, schedules, testimony letters, a resume flyer, a clipping from Variety (December 12, 1951) and various correspondence. Also included are an inventory of titles and reel numbers, the Uncle Remus Club plan and scripts, a television pilot script produced by Hushar Productions, Inc., and a 1974 draft of a proposal to William Morris Agency.

 

 

 

G.                 Webber Correspondence

Inclusive dates:  July 18, 1952 – July 28, 1959.  Correspondence in the form of letters, telegrams and notes of telephone calls. Contents cover the transcription rights of the Uncle Remus show, regular business information and litigation between Read and George Webber. Documents include a contract between Read and Webber, Air Express receipts for shipping tapes, envelopes with a record of checks received on them, Western Union money orders, non-sufficient funds notifications, a flyer for a rival storyteller (Jimmy Scribner) and a Dunn and Bradstreet Report on Webber Radio Programs.


Container List

 

Each story is designated by a number referred to on the actual reels as the reel number.  The scripts also have a number, but most of the script numbers do not correspond to the story/reel numbers.

 

 

Stack location

Box

Folders

Description

 

 

 

I. Reel to Reel Recordings

91:48-57

1-20

na

Episodes 1-495 and miscellaneous recordings (see episode list for episode titles and location of originals)

*do not page—page user copies

91:60

25-37

 

User copies on audio cassette  (see episode list for episode titles and location of user copies)

 

 

 

 

II. Scripts [photocopies] (see episode list or script list for corresponding episode number)

91:58

21

1

#1-25

 

 

2

#26-48

 

 

3

#49-69

 

 

4

#70-82

 

 

5

#83A-90

 

 

6

#91-104

 

 

7

#105-117

 

 

8

#118-128

 

 

9

#129-140

 

 

10

#141-153

 

 

11

#154-165

 

 

12

#166-179

 

 

13

#180-191

 

 

14

#192-203

91:58

22

1

#204-217

 

 

2

#218-232

 

 

3

#233-250

 

 

4

#251-267

 

 

5

#268-290

 

 

6

#291-307

 

 

7

#308-336

 

 

8

#337-353

 

 

9

#354-379

 

 

10

#380-399

 

 

11

#400-420

 

 

12

#421-442

 

 

13

#443-462

 

 

14

#463-485

 

 

 

III. Subject Files

91:59

23

1

Articles and Newspaper Clippings

 

 

2

Articles and Newspaper Clippings – Brer Rabbit Fest-For-All ‘Performers’

 

 

3

Articles and Newspaper Clippings – Copy of “Saturday Review” featuring a story about Uncle Remus

 

 

4

Articles and Newspaper Clippings – Gris Gris

 

 

5

Articles and Newspaper Clippings – St. Francisville

 

 

6

Brer Rabbit – Cajun Cupboard

 

 

7

Brer Rabbit – Dickinson Records

 

 

8

Brer Rabbit – Miscellaneous

 

 

9

Brer Rabbit – Order forms

 

 

10

Brer Rabbit – Original artwork by Brooks Read

 

 

11

Liberty Broadcasting System

 

 

12

Liberty Broadcasting System – Mullinax, Wells and Ball, Liberty Broadcasting System Bankruptcy (Charles Morris)(Miss Purcell)

 

 

13

Liberty Broadcasting System – Stations (including inquires for tape or e. t.)

 

 

14

Radio Stations – KRSN, Los Alamos, New Mexico, PO Box 749 or Community Center Plaza

 

 

15

Radio Stations – KTCS, Fort Smith, Arkansas, PO Box 217 (Bill Harper)

 

 

16

Radio Stations – KTJS, Hobart, Oklahoma

 

 

17

Radio Stations – KWDM, Promos for Brer Rabbit Program

 

 

18

Radio Stations – Miscellaneous Contracts, Correspondence

 

 

19

Radio Stations – WELO, Tupelo, Mississippi

 

 

20

Radio Stations – WKEY, PO Box 710, Covington, Virginia

 

 

21

Radio Stations – WMAZ, Bankers Bldg., Macon, Georgia

 

 

22

Radio Stations – WMCH, Church Hill, Tennessee

 

 

23

Radio Stations – WMEV, Marion, Virginia, (February 26, 1953 – November 14, 1953)

 

 

24

Radio Stations – WMEV (December 9, 1957 – July 31, 1959)

 

 

25

Radio Stations – WMEV, Marion, Virginia (August 6, 1958 – April 14, 1962)

 

 

26

Radio Stations – WMEV, Box 470, Marion, Virginia (U. R. shipments) (folder 1 of 2) (August 29, 1959 – May 15, 1961)

 

 

27

Radio Stations – WMEV, Box 470, Marion, Virginia (U. R. shipments) (folder 2 of 2) (June 10, 1961 – June 3, 1964)

 

 

28

Radio Stations – WNRG, Grundy, Virginia

 

 

29

Radio Stations – WTCW, Whitesburg, Kentucky

 

 

30

Radio Stations - WWOD

 

 

31

Radio Stations – WXCR, FM

 

 

32

Storytelling Appearances

 

 

33

Storytelling - Miscellaneous

 

 

34

Storytelling – New Orleans Jazz and Heritage

 

 

35

Storytelling – Photos of Uncle Remus

 

 

36

Storytelling – Puppets

 

 

37

Storytelling – Story Ideas

 

 

38

Storytelling – Story Parallels

91:59

24

1

Uncle Remus (August 6, 1951)

 

 

2

Uncle Remus (February 1, 1952 – December 1, 1953)

 

 

3

Uncle Remus – Club Formats

 

 

4

Uncle Remus – Club Materials

 

 

5

Uncle Remus – Commercials

 

 

6

Uncle Remus – ET Intros and Closings Commercials

 

 

7

Uncle Remus – Formats and PSA’s

 

 

8

Uncle Remus – Fragments

 

 

9

Uncle Remus – History of Development

 

 

10

Uncle Remus – Inventory Listing of Reel Numbers and Titles #1-170 and #194-293

 

 

11

Uncle Remus – Pilot Script, “A Dose of His Own Medicine” and “An Introduction to Our Company and to Brooks Read’s Uncle Remus Series”

 

 

12

Uncle Remus – Possible TV Program and Miscellaneous

 

 

13

Uncle Remus – Print reliefs

 

 

14

Uncle Remus – Promos

 

 

15

Uncle Remus – Publicity

 

 

16

Uncle Remus – Sales Material, Letters, etc.

 

 

17

Uncle Remus – Special Introduction for No. 45

 

 

18

Uncle Remus – Introduction enclosure:

(1)     Remus Bulletin

(2)     Remus Testimony letters

 

 

19

Uncle Remus – The Critters and their songs

 

 

20

Webber Correspondence – Letters of Recommendation

 

 

21

Webber Correspondence (July 18, 1952 – November 7, 1952)

 

 

22

Webber Correspondence (November 10, 1952 – February 28, 1953)

 

 

23

Webber Correspondence (3) (folder 1 of 2) (February 24, 1953 – May 10, 1953)

 

 

24

Webber Correspondence (3) (folder 2 of 2) (May 12, 1953 – June 22, 1953)

 

 

25

Webber Correspondence – Additional File (June 5, 1953)

 

 

26

Webber Correspondence – August 7, 1953 – November 30, 1953

 

 

27

Webber Correspondence – (5) (May 20, 1954 – November 4, 1954)

 

 

28

Webber Correspondence – (6) (folder 1 of 2) (January 4, 1955 – June 23, 1955)

 

 

29

Webber Correspondence – (6) (folder 2 of 2) (May 1, 1955 – August 13, 1955)

 

 

30

Webber Correspondence – (7) (folder 1 of 3) (August 19, 1955 – March 4, 1956)

 

 

31

Webber Correspondence – (7) (folder 2 of 3) (August 19, 1955 – March 4, 1956)

 

 

32

Webber Correspondence – (7) (folder 3 of 3) (August 25, 1956 – July 20, 1957)

 

 

33

Webber Correspondence – September 26, 1957 – July 28, 1959

 

 

 

IV. Phonographic Records

91:61

38

 

The Mood Maker, 33 1/3 RPM

 

 

 

The Ken Nording Group, 33 1/3 RPM

 

 

 

Mort Crim Commentaries, 33 1/3 RPM

 

 

 

A Holiday Happens Only Once, 33 1/3 RPM

 

 

 

Paula Records, 45 RPM

 

 

 

Robert Hall Productions I, 45 RPM

 

 

 

Robert Hall Productions II, 45 RPM

 

 

 

Robert Hall Productions III, 45 RPM

 

 

 

Major Records, 45 RPM

 

 

 

Audition Record, 45 RPM

 

 

 

Starhill Musical Logos, 45 RPM

 

 

 

Capitol Records I, 33 1/3 RPM

 

 

 

Capitol Records II, 33 1/3 RPM

91:61

39

 

Chappell Recorded Music, C. 830A, generally 78 RPM

 

 

 

Chappell Recorded Music, C. 831A

 

 

 

Chappell Recorded Music, C. 832A

 

 

 

Chappell Recorded Music, C. 833A

 

 

 

Chappell Recorded Music, C. 834A

 

 

 

Chappell Recorded Music, C. 835A

 

 

 

Chappell Recorded Music, C. 836A

 

 

 

Chappell Recorded Music, C. 837A

 

 

 

Chappell Recorded Music, C. 838A

 

 

 

Cinemusic, 33 1/3 RPM

 

 

 

 

91:61

40

 

Fragile originals from Scripts and Subject Files that have been photocopied—do not page

 


 

 

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