In a period that encompassed nearly the entire range of radio's golden age (circa 1930-1960), the Cities Service Petroleum Corporation sponsored a series of four unique musical productions, each striving to bring a great variety of fine musical entertainment to millions of listeners each week. The productions were directed by four impresario conductors, each of whom were stars in their profession: Edwin Franko Goldman (1927), Rosario Bourdon (1928-1938), Frank Black (1938-1944), and Paul Lavalle (1944-56).
Paul Lavalle, a tireless composer, arranger, and advocate of concert band music, was at the center of the continuation of the American concert band movement into the second half of the twentieth century. Lavalle's ensemble, the Band of America, reached millions in their broadcasts on NBC radio and ABC television, through ambitious regional and nationwide tours, and through their twenty-three phonograph albums released by MGM, NBC, and RCA.
The purpose of this study was to identify the original compositions and arrangements for concert band by Paul Lavalle contained in the Band of America Library at the University of Wyoming American Heritage Center, the archive, rare book, and manuscript repository of the University of Wyoming. The Band of America Library, which is housed within the Lavalle Collection, is a substantial holding of historical band music. Of the nearly 1,000 works contained in the Band of America Library, the number of original works for band that have been discovered by the researchers to be the compositions or arrangements of Paul Lavalle totals 228, many of which are unpublished and contain original manuscripts.
Methodology for the study included the creation of a detailed catalog of these works, including the following information: title, composer, arranger, classification, instrumentation, score type, condition, usability, publisher, publication date (if available), and notes. Of the 228 works identified, 93 (41%) are the original compositions of Paul Lavalle. One hundred thirty-five works (59%) have been identified as the original arrangements of Paul Lavalle. Through this effort the researchers discovered, categorized, and commented on the condition and suitability of the original band compositions and arrangements of Paul Lavalle contained in this collection.