Pleasants, Henry (1910-2000)

The Henry Pleasants collection includes manuscripts, correspondence, audio material, printed material, professional material, research material, memorabilia, and other items.

Manuscripts by Pleasants in the collection include his books The Great American Popular Singers (1974); The Music Criticism of Hugo Wolf (translated by Pleasants; 1979); The Great Tenor Tragedy: The Last Days of Adolphe Nourrit, As Told (Mostly) by Himself, translated by Pleasants and Richard Pleasants (1995); and From London to Vienna With Love.

Also present in the collection are drafts of Pleasants' columns for the International Herald Tribune (1967-1981) and the Herald Tribune (London) between 1967 and 1971.

Correspondence in the collection is, for the most part, arranged chronologically. Most letters from others to Pleasants are accompanied by a carbon copy of Pleasants' reply. The letters in total date from 1944 to 1999, and include letters from friends, publishers, agents, and others. 

Notable correspondents include Edwin McArthur, Ernst Bacon, Dave Brubeck, Bing Crosby, Allen W. Dulles, John Gielgud, Ralph Gleason, Stan Kenton, H. C. Robbins Landon, Melvin Lasky, Peggy Lee, Erich Leinsdorf, George London, Henry Mancini, Yehudi Menuhin, Ethel Merman, Charles Morton, Carl Orff, Winthrop Sargeant, Harold Schonberg, Frank Sinatra, and Sam Wanamaker. Some royalty statements are also included in with the correspondence.
Audio material in the collection consist of about sixty long-playing record albums collected by Pleasants, primarily jazz.

Printed material in the collection includes sixteen scrapbooks of newspaper clippings regarding opera, primarily reviews by Pleasants written between 1935 and 1942. Also in the collection are clippings of Pleasants’ writings for the International Herald Tribune (1967-1982), HiFi Stereo Review, Opera News, High Fidelity, Recorded Sound, and other publications; reviews of Pleasants' books, including several regarding The Great American Popular Singers; sheet music; and clippings about or mentioning Pleasants.

Professional material in the collection consists of subject files arranged by Pleasants, and span several musical subjects from Elvis Presley to George London. There is also material regarding Pleasants’ and his works, which includes reviews of his books; articles by Pleasants from the International Herald Tribune (1967-1973); and various other publications by Pleasants dating from 1967 to 1975.

Research material in the collection includes files on George London’s letters, which span from 1948 to 1990; holograph notes regarding music;

Memorabilia in the collection consists of several diplomas, including Pleasants' honorary degree from the Curtis Institute of Music (1977). There are also awards, including a Bronze Star; Grand Army of the Republic Veteran medal; and a rank insignia, oak leaf pin, for rank of Army major.

Other items include about photographs and personal notes.

Notable Figures
1. Pleasants, Henry
Associated Subjects
1. Music Collections Subject Guide
2. Criticism Subject Guide
3. Music critics
4. Music -- History and criticism
5. Musical criticism
6. Authors, American
7. Editors
8. Scrapbooks
9. Photographs