1912 - 1929 ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN DETAILED AND COMPREHENSIVE JOURNAL AND SCRAPBOOK OF THE MUSIC CAREER OF ONE OF NEBRASKA’S MOST FAMOUS ORCHESTRA PIANISTS, WALLACE WHEELER, DURING THE ROARING 20s

By: WALLACE WHEELER

Price: $2,055.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good


On offer is an incredible, exhaustive, and deeply detailed scrapbook and diary entitled “The history of my career as a musician” by pianist Wallace Wheeler. Beginning with his joining of the Omaha Musicians Association in October, 1912, Wheeler traces his career as a classical piano player from his burgeoning days of professional engagements through his growing recognition and skill in the Omaha Symphony Orchestra and his election as president of the Midwest Conference of Musicians. His career is traced is written in exhaustive detail for almost twenty years, from 1912 - 1929 The book is made up seemingly equally of written pages describing his professional engagements, and newspaper cutouts, concert programs, photographs of himself and his band's, letters and postcards received, and various other ephemera directly relating to his musical career. The book is numbered up to page 80, and then there are roughly 40 pages or so of just ephemera (newspaper clippings, concert programs with his Wheeler’s name, letters and such). “The first engagement I ever played as a professional musician was on October 5, 1912 at Treynor, Iowa. On the engagement were - Frank Kiger - Violin; Jack Treen - Cornet; W.P. Jackson - Drums; Wheeler - Piano. I played with tes three men almost altogether until Jan. 26, 1913 when Louis Mareus opened up the Majestic Theater in Council Bluffs after having it completely remodeled and redecorated. We played here until July 2, 1913.” Though the writing is fairly matter-of-fact on his career, (when and where Wheeler played, who he played with, what type of music was played) there are also parts where adds additional comments to his professional life: “The five months we played there the policy of the house was for the greater part of the time, pictures and vaudeville. About six weeks of tabloid musical shows was the only interruption.” ; “That season (1913-1914) was a good one for me, I made a good living in proportion to the times and look back on those days with much pleasure.”; “In December 1915 I was elected secretary of the Omaha Musicians Ass’n and took office the first Tuesday in January 1916. I served that one year and bowed out not being a candidate for reelection....The season of 1915-1916 at the Nicholas Theatre was not a very profitable one so we played there off and on (more off than on) filling in with other work.” For the most part in the early years of his career, Wheeler takes on semi-steady jobs, working theatres (often playing for silent movies), hotels, and odd jobs to make a living. In each new engagement, he always writes who he played with. In June 1917, Wheeler enlists as a “3rd Class Musician the band of the 6th Nebraska (?) U.S. Band” He writes the names of the entire band, all 30 or so men on cornets, clarinets, drums, basses, and saxes. He serves with this outfit until early 1918, when he transfers to another band, the 135th U.S. Band.. He writes, “The names of all the members of this band I will attempt to list if my memory serves me correctly.” Amazingly (or perhaps by copying from a diary or something) he is able to write the names of over 50 men in the band. Ernest Meyers is the band leader. With this outfit, he visits France, where the band is broken up. After the break up he attends the “Ecole de Musique du Regiment” in Chaumont, Haute-Marne, France. Here he studied bassoon with Antoine Mathieu, 1st bassoon of the Paris. Opera Orchestra, and conducting under Andre Caplet, conductor of opera at the “Grand Opera” in Paris. He then joins the band of the 306th Field Artillery, 77th Division, with whom he returns to the U.S. in April 1919. Back in Omaha, he takes work at the Boyd Theatre, mentioning that it's opening night (September 28, 1919) is “the night of the famous riot when a mob nearly destroyed the courthouse.” This is the “Omaha Race Riot” he is referring to, when thousands of whites attempted to hang the Mayor of Omaha, and then set fire to the Douglas County Courthouse in downtown Omaha. The next few years are filled with a similar pattern. Wheeler finds a job for a couple months with a theater or hotel, then that closes, he does a bit of jobbing, then finds another engagement for a few months. In 1925, he spends much of the year working with five elementary school orchestras. He writes, “I find this work with the youngsters very interesting and I take a great deal of pleasure in it. It is inspiring what one can do with six, seventh and eighth graders. I did some of this work last year and find the idea spreading and interesting increasing from year to year...The main object of this work is to give the children some idea of ensemble playing before they reach high-school age. Their reaction to our efforts is proof indeed of the importance and desirability of this sort of work. During this time, he is also composing his own original music. Around page 45, there are a dozen or so pages of newspaper clippings and the occasional description by Wheeler. This clippings deal mostly with his Summer 1926 engagement of music at Peony Park, an amusement park and concert venue in Omaha. “Wallace Wheeler and His Band” play from May until the end of October. The next few years follow the same as before. Wheeler goes from engagement to engagement, usually staying for a season or two and then moving on. He usually leaves pleasantly, but he does say of one engagement: “Well! I closed at the Riviera on Thursday August 30, 1918 and felt very much like a prisoner doing about ten years and is suddenly released.” After more pages of programs and newspaper clippings, a long entry begins “Santa Monica, Cal. July 26, 1929.” “Here we are again, little book, and much water has flowed beneath the bridge since the program was pasted on the preceding page. First of all - when the aforementioned program was under rehearsal, I had a personal squabble with Herr Harmati. It was a very regrettable incident and I am sorry that I lost my temper - not without provocation, in my own opinion - but none the less a very unfortunate happening. I bear the Signor no ill-will and still consider him a fine musician, however widely our ideas diverge on the manner of handling an orchestra. So much for that!” Wheeler sells his house and possessions and moves to California. On the trip, he is accompanied by his wife and Ben Nye (who was a renowned American makeup artist for the Hollywood film industry from the 1930s to the early 1980s). They find an apartment in Whittier, California, in Los Angeles County. “All we ask is a chance to earn a decent living and achieving that, we will give thanks to the ‘Great Presence’ on high and after all these annoying vicissitudes, shall dedicate ourselves to the building of a new life beneath the ever smiling sky of Southern California.” He finishes: “Here shall we pause, little book. Santa Monica, Cal. Fri. July 26, 1929.” However, there is another entry in which Wheeler updates the book, written on November 21, 1929, a month after the beginning of the Great Depression. He states that he finds a job in “the arranging department of the Fox Film Corp. at the Fox Hill studios in Los Angeles...This, so far, is a very good position, well paid and more desirable than the theatre game on account of having evenings and Sundays off.” The Great Depression seems to not be making an immediate effect on him, but whether or not his livelihood at the Fox Film Corp. lasts is unknown. Fox Film Corp. would eventually become the company 20th Century Fox, which still exists today. After this final entry, the scrapbook has roughly 60 pages devoted entirely to programs, newspaper clippings, and photographs, all concerning Wallace Wheeler and his life. In its entirety, the scrapbook is over 220 pages in length, in a 3-ring binder format, with a blank board cover. A number of pages are detached, especially near the beginning. Many pages are slightly worn with age, but still easily readable, and Wheeler’s handwriting is neat and legible throughout.; Manuscript; 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall; KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, WALLACE WHEELER AND HIS BAND, ERNEST MEYERS, ANTOINE MATHIEU, PARIS OPERA ORCHESTRA, ANDRE CAPLET, JAZZ AGE MUSICIAN, MUSIC IN THE ROARING 20s, PEONY PARK, MUSICIANS IN NEBRASKA, OMAHA MUSIC SCENE, OMAHA MUSICIANS ASSOCIATION, MIDWEST CONFERENCE OF MUSICIANS, OMAHA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, COUNCIL BLUFFS, LIFE OF A PIANIST, GIGGING FOR A LIVING, U.S. ARMY BANDS, MUSICIANS IN WORLD WAR 1, EARLY 20TH CENTURY MUSICIANS, 6TH NEBRASKA BAND, 135TH U.S. BAND, 306TH FIELD ARTILLERY 77TH DIVISION, WITNESS TO THE OMAHA RACE RIOT, FOX FILM CORP, LIFE OF A BAND LEADER, BEN NYE, MUSIC BEFORE THE GREAT DEPRESSION, WHITE MEN IN EARLY JAZZ, AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL,, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D’ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL

Title: 1912 - 1929 ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN DETAILED AND COMPREHENSIVE JOURNAL AND SCRAPBOOK OF THE MUSIC CAREER OF ONE OF NEBRASKA’S MOST FAMOUS ORCHESTRA PIANISTS, WALLACE WHEELER, DURING THE ROARING 20s

Author Name: WALLACE WHEELER

Categories: 20th Century Diary, Books and Manuscripts General Overview, All, 20th Century Manuscript,

Publisher: OMAHA NEBRASKA NE SANTA MONICA CALIFORNIA CA, 1912

Book Condition: Good

Seller ID: 0009020

Keywords: Keywords: History Of Wallace Wheeler And His Band Ernest Meyers Antoine Mathieu Paris Opera Orchestra Andre Caplet Jazz Age Musician MUSIC IN THE ROARING 20s Peony Park