Morrison Music Company sheet music, recordings, and other material, 1920-1983  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Morrison Music Company
Title
Morrison Music Company sheet music, recordings, and other material
Dates
1920-1983 (inclusive)
Quantity
.84 cubic feet, (2 boxes plus oversize materials)
Collection Number
1990.8 (accession)
Summary
Sheet music, recordings, publications and other material produced by or related to a Seattle based publishing and recording company
Repository
Museum of History & Industry, Sophie Frye Bass Library
Sophie Frye Bass Library
Museum of History & Industry
P.O. Box 80816
Seattle, WA
98108
Telephone: 206-324-1126
Fax: 206-780-1533
library@mohai.org
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public by appointment. Advance notice is required to listen to sound recordings.

Additional Reference Guides

A complete list of the collection's sheet music titles is available in the repository.

Languages
English.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Howell O. "Morrie" Morrison (1888-1984) and Alice Nadine Morrison (1892-1978) created the Pacific Northwest's first local popular music empire, the Morrison Music Company. The Morrison's business began as a sheet music publication company, capitalizing on the success of Alice's hit songs, the royalties from which provided the company's start-up capital. The sheet music company evolved into a series of family-run business enterprises which included dance studios, instrumental groups, a recording and record manufacturing business, and a film production endeavor, under such names as: Morrison's Marimba Xylophone Orchestra, Morrison's Dancing Academy, Morrie's Musical Comedy Co., and Morrison Music Company, Electronic Recorders and Associates.

Though the Morrison's son Lew and grandson Ken carried on the professional music legacy, the Morrison music empire came to an end after the deaths of Alice and Morrie Morrison in 1978 and 1984.

Information source: HistoryLink.org

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Sheet music, recordings, publications and other material produced by or related to the Seattle based Morrison Music Company and the related enterprises of Howell O. "Morrie" and Alice Morrison. The sheet music collection includes many songs written by Alice or Morrie Morrison, published by Morrison Music Co. as well as other publishers; music by other composers published by Morrison Music Co.; and a small file of sheet music by Seattle area and other publishers. The collection also includes several sheets of manuscript music, mostly by Alice, Morrie or Lew Morrison. Dance related publications include two booklets by Morrie Morrison containing practical and theoretical information on dance, as well as several sheets of dance instructions and diagrams and a group of materials about Morrison's "Elysian Phenemona" approach to creativity and dance.

Recordings include various sized discs produced by Morrison Record Co. and other record companies, and sample and blank recording discs from several companies.

Photographs depict Jackie Souder's Orchestra, which recorded on the Morrison label, and the Andrews Sisters, who recorded Alice Nadine Morrison songs.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

View selections from the collection in digital format by clicking on the camera icons in the inventory below.

Restrictions on Use

The Museum of History & Industry is the owner of the materials in the Sophie Frye Bass Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from MOHAI before any reproduction use. The museum does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

Morrison Music Company sheet music, recordings, and other material, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Sheet musicReturn to Top

Arranged by publisher.
Container(s) Description Dates
Published by Morrison Music Company
1919-1977
Box/Folder
1/1
1-37c: Music composed by Alice, Nellie (Morrie's sister), Morrie or Lew Morrison
39 items
Some of the songs are written by one of the Morrisons and another composer.
Includes the sheet music for Alice Nadine Morrison's "My Love Is All For You," a waltz that became locally popular and was reissued by the Chicago-based sheet music company Forster Publishing (see folder 1/3). The song became a nation-wide hit which eventually sold a half-million copies. Also includes the music for "Love's Ship," which sold a reported one million sheet music copies and was included in the score for the 1920 movie Shore Acres; and the music for the show "Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow," produced by Morrie Morrison. Also includes the orchestration for "Under the Moon of Tahiti," by Alice Nadine Morrison and Abe Brashen (1945) and professional sheet music copies.
1920-1977
1/2
38-71c: Other composers
37 items
1936-1970
Box/Folder
1/3
72-75b: Published by Forster Music Publisher, Inc., Chicago, Illinois
5 items
Consists of sheet music for five Alice Nadine Morrison songs: "Say You'll Be Mine (My Love is All For You)," a reissue for national distribution, "Sweet Anabel," "Orinoco," "Pan American," and "Love's Ship."
1920-1922; 1968
1/4
76-89: Published by Seattle area publishers
14 items
Sheet music by miscellaneous composers (excluding the Morrisons) published by companies and individuals in Seattle, Mercer Island and Olympia.
1931-1970
1/5
90-91: Other publishers
2 items
Includes "Playmate of Mine" by Morrie's sister Nellie Morrison, published by Weaver Music in Vancouver, B.C.; and "Chong (He Come From Hong Kong)" by Harold Weeks, published by Leo. Feist Inc., New York.
1919, undated
1/6
92-113: Manuscript sheet music
22 items
Manuscript sheet music by Alice, Morrie, and Lew Morrison and others
undated

Dance instructionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/7
114: Ballroom Dance Book: A Journey of a Thousand Steps with music and instruction by Morrie "O," published by Sinclair and Morrison, Seattle
1942
1/8
115: Morris Morrison's Dance Book: A Journey in the Land of Terpsichore
This volume introduces Morrison's "Newmo--a new motion-a new mode of social dancing"
1955
1/9
116: "Dance Steps of the Month," pamphlet published by Morrison Music Company with with sheet music and instructions for "Newmo" dancing
1956
1/9
117: "Dance of Mexico"
Sheet music of "authentic Latin music" by Macario Luna with dance instructions on back cover, published by Morrison Music Company
1963
1/9
118: "La-De-Da" dance instructions, published by Morrison Music Company
undated
1/9
119: "Learn to dance the Bossa Nova" instructions from Morrison records
circa 1960
1/9
120: "Morocco" instructions, probably a record insert, from Morrison records
circa 1960
1/9
121-123: Morrison Records dance recordings lists with dance instructions included
3 items
Includes instructions for the "International Dance," the "Gayway," the "Boston Two-Step," the "Spanish Waltz," and the "Pan-American."
undated
1/9
124-126: Dance description without diagrams (typewritten and handwritten)
3 items
circa 1960
1/10
127: Instruction for "Lady of Spain," sent to Morrie Morrison by Gordon Moss
1952
1/11
128-129: Manuscript dance diagrams
2 items
undated
Dance instruction ephemera
Box/Folder
>1/12
130-131: Lists of Morrison Company dance records
2 items
One typewritten list of Morrison Records "best pattern dances" and trifold advertisement for Morrison Music Company dance records.
circa 1947
1/13
132: "Gay Nineties Dance Club" membership list, handwritten on hotel register page
1941 November-December
1/13
133: Invitation to the Danceart Club dances at the Dreamland Ballroom, Fourth Avenue, Seattle
circa 1941
1/13
134: Flier for dance lessons given by Morrie Morrison at the Encore Ballroom, East Pike at 13th, Seattle
undated
"Elysian Phenomena"
The "Elysian Phenomena" was promoted by Morrie Morrison as "an astounding breakthrough into a world of new conception," which espouses methods "combining, blending and utilizing the forces from Eleven Essential Sensates" to improve life "physically, spiritually and mentally." One the sensates was Movement, expressed through "Elysian Dancing," which purportedly improved and extended the lives of those who practiced it.
circa late 1960s-1980s
Box/Folder
1/14
135: Booklet: Morrie Morrison's Discovery of Elysian Phenomena
24 pages
circa late 1960-1980s
1/14
136: Book The Elysian Dance
38 pages
circa late 1960-1980s
1/14
137: Untitled booklet of writings by Morrie Morrison, related to the "Elysian Phenomena"
Numbered to 38 pages; several pages missing
circa late 1960-1980s
1/14
137b: "Tall Tales"
39 pages
Note printed inside front cover: This is the first printing of THE ELYSIAN PLAN there will be other editions.
1966
1/15
138-142: Manuscript pages related to the "Elysian Phenomena," probably written by Morrie Morrison
6 handwritten pages
1983, undated
1/15
143-146: Fliers, writings and sheet music related to Morrison's motion picture "Discovery of the Elysian Phenomena"
5 pages
circa late 1960-1980s

Sound recordings and sample recording discsReturn to Top

Arranged by record label or type, then by size
Container(s) Description Dates
Morrison Records
All discs bear the Morrison Record label.
Box/Folder
OS box
147-151: 33 1/3 RPM
4 discs
Gene Boscacci Quartet, Dance Tunes (2 discs); Dance Tunes from Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow; also includes covers for "Music for Dancing by Saturday Night Dance Bands" Volumes 1 and 2, with diagram/instructions for dances "Space Shift" and "Dance of Mexico" on versos.
circa 1960, undated
Box
2
152-167b: 78 RPM
17 discs
Consists mostly of recordings of music written by Alice or Morrie Morrison, or performed by the Morrison Recording Orchestra, almost all of them dance music identified by dance. Dances include the Hesitation Waltz, fox trot, Shottische, seven-step, polkas, the Gayway, the Toddle, the "amphilula dance" and others. The disc for "Morocco" by Morrie Morrison includes a sheet with dance instructions. Other performers include Art Mineo's Orchestra, Jackie Souders and his Orchestra, Ray "Curley" Johnson and the Western Medley Boys
undated
Box/Folder
2/1
168-172: 45 RPM
5 discs
Recordings of dance music and vocal music. Performers include Art Mineo's Orchestra and the Stan Boreson Trio. Includes a disc with the Alice Nadine Morrison songs "My Love is All For You" and "Love's Ship."
circa 1960s-1970s
Other record labels
78 RPM
3 discs
Box/Folder
2/2
173-174: Linden Recording Company, Seattle
2 discs
Recordings by the Nordic Rhythm Boys and Bob Harvey and his Orchestra.
circa 1950
2/3
175: Edison Records thick record
"Other Lips" fox trot.
undated
Box/Folder
2/4
176-177: 45 RPM
2 discs
Includes a record by the Ken Morrison Ensemble on the Take Five record label (unknown city), and a "special bi-centennial" recording on the Melophonic Records label (Seattle, 1976).
undated
Recording and sample discs
Box/Folder
2/5
178: Sample 45 RPM record from Empire Record Corp., New York, NY
undated
2/6
179: Audiodisc recording blank, Audio Devices, Inc., New York, NY
10"
Aluminum core disc
undated
2/7
180: Presto recording disc
10"
Aluminum core; has been recorded on both sides
undated
2/8
181: Wilcox-Gay Recordio discs
2 discs (6" and 8" diameter)
These yellow fiber-core discs were commonly used for amateur home recording in the 1940s and 1950s.
circa 1940s-1950s
2/9
182: Federal Perma Disk Type 2 (red)
Aluminum core disc. Disc is labeled "Monologue and Masks" and "Masks--Virginia Way" recorded by Lew and Alice Morrison.
1940 October 8
2/10
183: Metal disc (recorded) perhaps master pressing disc
In envelope with "The Charles Eckart Co." from Los Angeles, California stamped on upper left corner.
undated
2/8
184: Cardboard stroboscope disc for checking turntable speed
undated
Instructional and promotional recording information
Box/Folder
2/11
185-187: Recording disc company brochures
3 items
"Facts about RCA VICTOR Custom Recording, Processing, Pressing Services for Independent Labels," Soundcraft Presto recording discs price list, Armco (Allied Recording Manufacturing company) trifold information brochure.
undated
2/11
188: Booklet: "Engineering Facts and Practical Data Relating to the Record Pressing Industry" compiled and written by Trumpis-Collar and Associates, Consulting Industrial Engineers, Los Angeles, California
1949 January 5

Writings by Morrie MorrisonReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/16
189: Untitled dialogue
4 pages
Typewritten dialogue on Morrison Music Company letterhead, presumably by Morrie Morrison
undated
1/16
190: Poem: "Once I was a Mountain"
undated
1/16
191: Poem: "A Saturday Night in Dawson"
8 pages
Written by Morrie Morrison with illustrations by D. Griffen and D. McGowan
1920

Photographs and drawingReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/17 circa 1945
1/17
193: The Andrews Sisters signing autographs at table
Written on verso: Andrews Sisters - Recorded songs by Alice Nadine Morrison
circa 1946
1/17
194: Photocopy of drawing of Morrie Morrison
undated

EphemeraReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/18
195: H.O. Morrison business cards
2 cards
undated
1/18
196: Blank stationery and envelope for Morrison Music Company
undated
1/19
197: Forms
Blank copyright registration forms and musicians' union contract
undated
drawer
VI.a.17
198: Poster sized advertisement for Morrison Publications (located at 720 Queen Anne)
undated
Box/Folder
1/20
199: Poster for Vin Plunkett and his Jazz Band
Writing on back is probably song lyrics or a poem by Morrie Morrison
undated
Poster "Old Time Dance The Western Rangers"
missing
undated
Box/Folder
1/21
200-202: Programs
3 items
Program for Harvest Hoe-Down at the Civic Auditorium, September 23, 1949 with music by Morrie Morrison's Western Rangers 15 piece recording orchestra, and programs for "Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow," at the Metropolitan Theatre, directed by Morrie Morrison. Back page of Hoedown program is a full page advertisement for Morrison Music Company records.
1947, 1949
1/22
203: Clippings
5 items
1948-1983

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Dance music--20th century
  • Music publishing--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Sound recording industry--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Personal Names :
  • Morrison, Alice Nadine, 1892-1978
  • Morrison, Howell Oakdeane, 1888-1984
  • Morrison, Lew, b. 1913
  • Corporate Names :
  • Morrison Music Company
  • Morrison Records
  • Geographical Names :
  • United States--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Ephemera
  • Sheet music