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Alan E. Abrams papers, 1959-2013 (majority within 1964-1971)

2 linear feet (in 4 boxes) — 507 MB (online)

Alan Abrams is a Detroit-based press agent/public relations consultant in the music business; publicist for Motown Record Corporation, 1964-1966, later with Stax Records, 1967-1968. The collection consists of press releases, clippings, publicity material, scrapbooks containing press coverage of the recording artists that he represented, including the Supremes, photographs, and his writings about Motown, Otis Redding, and Florence Ballard.

The Al Abrams collection contains scrapbooks, correspondence, press releases, photographs, and memoirs detailing Abrams' work as a publicist and press agent for Detroit's Motown and for Stax Records in Memphis. The collection is valuable for its documentation of Motown in the period of the early to mid-1960s when this Detroit company was beginning its great string of record successes. Abrams was a great collector of press and other materials about the artists who worked for Motown and Stax-Volt.

The Abrams collection measures two linear feet and four oversize volumes whose contents have been foldered. The collection has been arranged into the following series: Motown Record Company, Stax Record Company, Al Abrams Associates, Miscellaneous, Visual Materials, and Scrapbooks.


Todd Duncan papers, 1912-1998 (majority within 1935-1973)

12 linear feet

The Todd Duncan Papers document the life and career of baritone singer Todd Duncan. Trained as a classical singer, Duncan was chosen by George Gershwin to originate the role of Porgy in Gershwin's American folk opera Porgy and Bess. Duncan's career spanned numerous concert tours, productions, and performances. The papers in the collection include photographs, scrapbooks, news stories, and personal papers.

The Todd Duncan Papers consist of scrapbooks, photographs, news stories, production programs, and personal papers documenting the career and life of Todd Duncan. Many of the items are scrapbooks of Duncan's career and tours which feature newspaper clippings and photographs from the productions themselves. The collection came to the Bentley Library partially processed. That arrangement has been retained.

The collection spans the years from 1912 to 1998 with the majority of items falling between the years 1935-1973. The collection has ten series: Correspondence; Honors and Awards; Music Programs and Scores; Newspaper Clippings and Scrapbooks; Papers and Books; Photographs; Audio-Visual Materials; Productions and Performances; Topical Files; and African American Music Collection Numbered Items.