McCracken, James (1926-1988)
Scope:
The collection of James McCracken includes manuscripts, printed material, photographs, correspondence, audio, video, and other material.

Manuscripts in the collection include multiple drafts of A Star in the Family, an autobiographical account of one year in the life of James McCracken and his wife, Sandra Warfield McCracken (1971); as well as handwritten sheet music, including Night Scherzo by Robert Massif, with a dedication to James McCracken, Sandra Warfield, and their daughter Anna.

Printed material in the collection includes seventeen scrapbooks (1953-1990) containing clippings of career reviews from newspapers and magazines.  While most are in English, some are in Italian, French, Hebrew, and German.  In addition to the scrapbooks, there are also reviews and articles from magazines and newspapers stored separately (1957-1989); magazines and numerous programs (1940s-1990s); scores, both for opera and songs, some annotated; and sheet music.

Photographs in the collection document McCracken in his signature roles in Aida, Otello, I Pagliacci, La Prophete, and Tannhauser. There are photographs of McCracken at the White House with Jimmy Carter, as well a letter to James McCracken from President Carter inviting him to the White House (1979); a photograph of James McCracken performing at a tribute for Elie Wiesel, accompanied with explanatory correspondence; photographs of McCracken rehearsing for a concert version of La Fiamma at Carnegie Hall (1987); McCracken conducting a small master class at the John F. Kennedy Center (1988); and other photos.  There is also a scrapbook identified as Sandra Warfield Photos (1956-1958).   

Correspondence in the collection includes fan mail, business correspondence (1984-1986), and personal correspondence (1987-1990).  There are also letters of condolence following James Mccracken's death to Mrs. McCracken and the family (1988-1989).

Audio recordings in the collection include records, open-reel tapes, audio cassettes, and compact discs.  Phonograph records in the collection include Fidelio, London; Carmen, Deutsche Grammaphon; Gurrelieder, Philips; Otello, EMI/Angel; A Song Recital by Sandra Warfield and James McCracken on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the United Nations with introduction and closing remarks by Richard M. Nixon, the White House (1970), Mirrosonic Records; An Old Met Christmas, a selection of songs by 19 artists, Metropolitan Opera; and The Meeting of the Waters: Irish and Scottish Songs and Ballads, Angel.  Open-reel tapes include recordings of Pagliacci (1975); Il Trovatore (1959); Otello (1962 and 1972); Tannhauser (1978), Metropolitan Opera Broadcast. There are also several audio cassette tapes: Otello (1962; 1972);  Queen of Spades, Metropolitan Opera (1966); Aida, Metropolitan Opera (1968); Turandot, Metropolitan Opera (1969); Samson et Delilah, Metropolitan Opera (1972); Pagliacci, Metropolitan Opera (1975); Il Trovatore, Metropolitan Opera (1969); Tannhauser (1978); James McCracken with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra (1967); Fidelio, Boston Symphony Orchestra (1982); and It's Christmas: Barbra Streisand, Andy Williams, Julie Andrews, Liberace … contains The Little Drummer Boy by Sandra Warfield and James McCracken. In addition there is a compact disc of James McCracken and Sandra Warfield performing at the White House (1970); and a disc titled Duets of Love and Passion.

Video tapes in the collection include Aida, WQXR, Metropolitan Texaco Broadcast (1968); Queen of Spades, David Trimble Recordings (1966); Gurrelieder; Samson et Delilah, Metropolitan Opera Broadcast (1972); Turandot, WQXR Metropolitan Opera Broadcast (1969); Samson et Delilah, San Francisco Opera Company (1963); La Forze del Destino, San Francisco Opera Company (1963); Pikova Dama, San Francisco Opera Company (1963); Samson et Delilah, Metropolitan Opera Company (1972); Samson et Delilah, Miami Opera Company (1968); and Le Prophete, Berlin (1966).  There are eleven video tapes covering a variety of McCracken-related events, interviews, round-table discussions, and performance fragments, dating from April 1975 to December 1985. These include a WNET 13/ KOA Denver Round Table with James McCracken and Sandra Warfield opening the Denver Opera with Otello (1983); the same tape contains McCracken in Otello at the Berlin Opera (1987); there is a  tape identified as Metropolitan Opera 100th Anniversary Gala, Part I (1983); Live From the Met: Aida with Leontine Price and James McCracken (1984); McCracken performs in a PBS Great Performances Tribute to Maria Callas at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London;  McCracken performs in a Gala in Bjoeling, Sweden (1985); McCracken participates in A PBS Tribute to George London (1982); James McCracken served as host for a WNET Channel 13 Fundraiser (1985); there is an undated tape identified only as Documentary: Seiji Ozawa. There is a video cassette of James McCracken in Otello with the National Grand Opera (1985). Other videos include A Tribute to Maria Callas: PBS Great Performances featuring an appearance by James McCracken at Covent Garden, performing Act IV from Otello; A Tribute to George London: PBS Great Performances with James McCracken, among others (1982); A PBS WNET Channel 13 Fundraiser hosted by James McCracken (1985); Live From the Met: Aida (1984).

Other items include documents regarding McCracken's honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy (1946); papers related to his first Holy Communion and completion of the eighth grade at Holy Angels School; his diploma from Horace Mann High School (1944); and his Honorary Doctor of Music Degree from Indiana University (1972).  Programs, separate from those in the scrapbooks, include material related to the appearance of James McCracken and his wife, Sandra Warfield, at the White House, October 24, 1970, including a letter, addressed to them both, from Richard Nixon.
Notable Figures
1. McCracken, James, 1926-1988
Associated Subjects
1. Music Collections Subject Guide
2. Opera Subject Guide
3. Singers -- United States -- Diaries
4. Scores
5. Posters
6. Tenors (Singers)
7. Videotapes
8. Autobiographies
9. Scrapbooks
10. Opera
11. Audiotapes
12. Programs
13. Sound recordings
14. Diaries