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Louis and Henry Manners Katzman collection

Call Number: MS 156


The Louis and Henry Manners Katzman collection comprises annotated sheet music used by the Katzmans and others to create arrangements of popular music for George Gershwin's radio program "Music By Gershwin" in the early 1930s.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1892-1970 ( 1892-1935)


Language of Materials

Predominantly English; Romanian characters used in finding aid.

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biographies of Louis and Henry Manners Katzman

Louis Katzman was a conductor, composer, session musician, and arranger in the first half of the twentieth century. He was born in Kishinev, Russian Empire (present day Chișinău, Moldova), and played in a number of Russian orchestras prior to his immigration to New York in 1907. While he initially found it difficult to find full-time work as a musician on his arrival in the United States, he eventually gained steadier employment as a musician and conductor with various bands and orchestras in the city, ultimately becoming involved in radio as well.

Katzman was a music director for various radio stations, including Brunswick Laboratories, and he was a key member in the inception of Broadcast Music, Incorporated (BMI). Katzman was also a conductor and music arranger for George Gershwin's radio program "Music By Gershwin" in the 1930s. Each episode of the program consisted of Gershwin's music, an interview with a guest composer, and a medley of the guest's hits. Other arrangers included Louis' son Henry Manners Katzman, Morton Gould, Cesare Sodero, Mark White, and Leith Stevens.

Following his work on Gershwin's radio program, Katzman became heavily involved with the production-arranging department at BMI and remained so until shortly before his death in 1943.

Henry Manners Katzman (1912-2001) was a composer, musician, and arranger from New York City. He worked with his father, Louis, as a rehearsal and orchestral pianist on "Music By Gershwin," later working on recordings directly with Gershwin. Katzman went on to become an arranger and manager at Broadcast Music, Incorporated. He died in San Francisco, California, on May 11, 2001.

[Information gathered from items in collection; "Louis Katzman: His Musical Life and Times," Michael M. Katzman, ARSC Journal, Fall 2014; Henry Manners Katzman's May 15, 2001 obituary in the New York Times.]


1.5 Linear Feet (3 document cases + 2 oversize folders)

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of printed and handwritten scores, the majority of which are arrangements of popular music for George Gershwin's "Music By Gershwin" radio program. Not all scores included were used on the radio show; some were published after Gershwin's death in 1937 and therefore could not have been used on the show.

The sheet music includes works by popular composers of the 1930s including, besides George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Rudolf Friml, Victor Herbert, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael, and Richard Rodgers, among many other composers. Henry Katzman noted that the handwritten annotations on the scores are largely his own "notes and traffic signals," but may also be partly annotations by other arrangers on the show and infrequently by Gershwin himself.

Also included in the collection are two letters from Henry Manners Katzman to George Griffin reminiscing about working with Louis Katzman and Gershwin on the radio show.

Physical Location

MS 156

Physical Location

MS Q11:2-3

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Henry Manners Katzman, 1969.

Related Materials

Louis Katzman Collection, MS 251, Dr. Kenneth J. LaBudde Department of Special Collections, University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Processing Information

Original processors kept track of the original order of this collection's materials. This information is available in the paper Cat IV record for this collection; contact staff for assistance if wishing to see this information.

Guide to the Louis and Henry Manners Katzman Collection
Louis and Henry Manners Katzman collection
Finding aid prepared by alh, 1978. Finding aid encoded by vej, 2020.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Louis and Henry Manners Katzman Collection, MS 156, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States