Special Collections and Archives
researched by Music Librarian Christopher Popa
In 1979, when trombonist Vincent Lopez, Jr. put a big band back together several years after his father's death, he needed the proper vintage music to play.
"A lot of it was destroyed in a garage in Florida during a rainstorm or hurricane or whatever," Lopez Jr. revealed to me in 2004. "But I was fortunate to have in my band, in the early years, an arranger who... his name was Frank Mann . . . he had offices in the Brill Building in New York, as did the Dorseys and, I think, Lombardo, all the musicians had offices there. He got the job of cutting down the arrangements for the Dorsey band -- Tommy Dorsey -- from 18 to 12, and had to make it sound like 18 with 12 musicians. So Frank had played with me for a number of years, and he actually reconstructed a lot of the arrangements from the heyday of the Lopez band, from recordings. We have some of the stuff, that's available, some of the original arrangements, but I would say, out of the 'Lopez era,' probably 90% are transcriptions."
As far as memorabilia, one of the most-prized items the son has is a facsimile of the star Vincent received on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
According to Lopez Jr., "This was, maybe, six, eight years ago. I had come home and was getting ready to go into the door of the house and there was a package there; it was all wrapped up and, apparently, UPS had delivered it. I looked at it and it had a Hollywood, California address on it. So I got it inside, opened it up and here, in this package, somebody was kind enough to send me... and I knew of this before, obviously, but I had never seen anything like this . . . here was the plaque commemorating that. I have it hung up in my family room, which I feel is neat, very c-o-o-l, you know."
The American Heritage Center at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, WY holds the "Vincent Lopez Papers, ca.1920-1973," which includes sheet music and songbooks, newspaper clippings, and artifacts such as his conductor's baton and music stands.
Other memorabilia, such as the autographed request card from a 1939 appearance by Lopez at the Jung Hotel in New Orleans, shown below, is in the hands of private collectors.
Entertainment Industry Resources, http://ahc.uwyo.edu/documents/use_archives/guides/
Vincent Lopez, Jr. Interview with author, Dec. 2, 2004.