Dee, Sylvia (1915-1967)
The Sylvia Dee collection consists of manuscripts, printed material, scrapbooks, audio recordings, correspondence, memorabilia, and other material.        

Manuscripts by Dee in the collection include drafts of her novels (all unpublished) Sherlock the Ant; The Stream of Life (A Psychic Journey); The Twilight Years; Mr. Northrup’s Ark; The Bachelor’s Wife; Slumberland; and It’s a Lovely Day Tomorrow. Also present are drafts of several short stories, including many that were published in Redbook magazine; numerous lyrics, dating from the 1940s through the 1960s; poems; screenplays; record album narrations; and other items.

Printed material in the collection includes the published version of several short stories by Dee, as well as programs for two of her musicals.

Scrapbooks in the collection consist of albums regarding And Never Been Kissed (Macmillan, 1948), including book reviews, correspondence (including a letter from Gloria Swanson), reader’s reports, and photographs; Dear Guest and Ghost (Macmillan, 1950), including a reader’s report, book reviews, correspondence, a photograph of Dee, and a condensed version of the novel; and There Was a Little Girl (Macmillan, 1951), including three printed illustrations from the book, correspondence, book reviews, and a photograph of Dee.  Also present are scrapbooks regarding particular songs and musicals; these include reviews, articles, photographs, programs, correspondence, and other items.  There are albums about “Barefoot Boy with Cheek” (1946-1947), “Laroo Laroo Lilli Bolero” (1948), “Too Young” (1951), “A House with Love In It” (1956), “Chickery Chick”, “The End of the World” (1963), and various other songs.

Audio recordings in the collection include several record albums (78 rpm, 45 rpm, and 33 1/3 rpm formats).  There are many recordings of Dee’s most popular songs, including “Too Young,” with versions by Frankie Lymon, Nat “King” Cole, Lawrence Welk, Lesley Gore, Connie Stevens, and Sam Cooke; and “The End of the World,” with versions by Bobby Vinton, Roy Acuff, Al Martino, Julie London, Anita Bryant, Paul Anka, Herman’s Hermits, Dion, Jimmy Dean, The Mills Brothers, and The Andrews Sisters.  Other recordings include “My Sugar is So Refined”; “Somebody Nobody Wants,” by Dion; “Devil’s Waitin’” and “Dry Water,” by The Brandywine Singers; “Look for Me (I’ll Be Around)” by Ketty Lester; “The Mating Call,” by Jimmie Rogers; “Moonlight Swim,” by Elvis Presley (featured in the film Blue Hawaii), and Joel Grey; “Please Don’t Talk to the Lifeguard,” by Diane Ray; “The Best Dream of All,” by Vaughn Monroe; “A House with Love In It,” by The Four Lads; “After Graduation Day,” by Kate Smith; “Chickery Chick,” by Frank Sinatra; “Have You Changed?” by Gene Krupa and His Orchestra; “I’d Forgotten,” by Eydie Gorme; “It Couldn’t Be True,” by Buddy Rich and his Orchestra, and the Glenn Miller Orchestra; “There’s My Lover,” by Dean Martin; “Until,” by Dinah Shore; “I Taught Him Everything He Knows,” by Ella Fitzgerald; and “Truly Yours,” by Paul Anka.  Also present are several demo recordings, including “I’m Thrilled,” by Ella Fitzgerald; “Laroo, Laroo Lilli Bolero,” by Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Peggy Lee, and Vic Damone; “My Sugar is So Refined,” by Johnny Mercer; and “Too Young,” by Nat “King” Cole.  The collection also includes seven open-reel tape recordings.

Personal memorabilia in the collection includes various items awarded to Dee, including the key to the city of Birmingham, Alabama; three awards of merit from ASCAP; and a certificate regarding Dee’s election to membership of ASCAP.  Also present is a painting by Austin Briggs, used as an illustration for a story by Dee published in Good Housekeeping magazine (1958).

Other items in the collection include correspondence, legal contracts, and credits.

Included in the Sylvia Dee collection is a section of papers regarding Elizabeth Moore de Sylva, a novelist, newspaper writer and song lyricist, and mother of Sylvia Dee.  This material includes manuscripts for her novels Mamma-Mamma-Mamma, A Rose on her Bonnet, and Some Enchanted Evening; manuscripts for her memoirs The Girl I Left Behind Me and Some in Velvet Gown; manuscripts for short stories, poetry and song lyrics (ca. 1930s-1970s), notes and fragmentary drafts; notebooks of inventories of song lyrics, books, and sheet music; manuscripts for poems written for or presented to Elizabeth de Sylva by Edwin Quarles; photographs of de Sylva, her family and friends, and various others, including Geraldine Farrar, Anna Case, and Fritz Kreisler; printed material, including several items regarding de Sylva (1929-1957); two certificates regarding de Sylva’s membership in ASCAP; various legal documents; and correspondence, including letters from Joan Crawford, Arthur Conan Doyle, Harold Arlen, Walter Damrosch, Geraldine Farrar, Patricia Nixon, and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Notable Figures
1. Dee, Sylvia, 1914-1967
Associated Subjects
1. Music Collections Subject Guide