Smith, Kate (1907-1986)

The Kate Smith collection consists of scrapbooks, photographs, printed material, audio recordings, artwork, awards, film, and a manuscript.

Scrapbooks in the collection date from 1930 to 1960. They include numerous clippings regarding Smith’s work on stage, radio, film, and television; articles, reviews, and profiles regarding Smith; copies of Smith’s ads for A and P Supermarkets, (ca. 1936); and a run of her syndicated newspaper column “Hello Everybody” (1954-1955); items regarding Smith’s work selling war bonds for the U.S. during World War II; recipes; fan mail; and other items. A 1933 scrapbook regarding Smith’s work for the National Recovery Administration contains letters from Charlie Chaplin, Hugh S. Johnson (administrator), Burgess Meredith, Frances Langford, Clark Gable, John Gilbert, George Jessel, Walt Disney, Grantland Rice, Adolphe Menjou, Preston Foster, Paul Muni, Sally Rand, George Raft, Otto Kruger, Frederick Jagel, Ernest Truex, Constance Cummings and others.

Photographs in the collection are partially arranged into scrapbooks; these include images of Smith’s early career in the 1930s, Smith in concert, her first trip to Hollywood, Smith as an A and P spokeswoman, mith with Ted Collins and various celebrities, and other subjects. Other photos include publicity shots and personal photos. Notable individuals represented include Harry Truman, Fiorello LaGuardia, Ingrid Bergman, Bing Crosby, John Garfield, Cecil B. DeMille, Averell Harriman, John Foster Dulles, Jacob Javits, Hubert Humphrey, Ralph Bunche, Brian Aherne, Don Ameche, Robert Benchley, Irving Berlin, Boris Karloff, the Dead End Kids, Ray Milland, Henry Fonda, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Darryl Zanuck. The photos date from the 1930s to the 1960s.

Printed material in the collection includes several programs and brochures for performances by Smith and clippings regarding Smith; these items date from the 1940s to the 1960s. Also present is a copy of the Kate Smith Fan Club newsletter from Spring, 2003.

Audio recordings in the collection include numerous record albums of songs recorded by Smith, primarily from the 1930s and 1940s, including several test pressings for various record labels. The collection also includes several live recordings of Smith’s radio shows from the 1940s, as well as Smith’s own collection of big band and swing records.

Artwork in the collection consists primarily of drawings of Smith by various artists, including John Ascuoga, McClelland Barclay, Al Capp, Dorothy Edwards, and Albert Stompa. Also present is a plaster bas-relief of Smith.

Awards and other memorabilia in the collection are extensive; most date from the 1940s and 1950s. These items include the Congressional Medal of Honor (presented by Ronald Reagan), a Philadelphia Fliers hockey stick autographed by the team, various citations, plaques, keys to cities, and various other items. Some additional awards are for Ted Collins.

Film recordings in the collection primarily consist of several hundred reels of 16mm film containing kinescopes of Smith’s television programs The Kate Smith Evening Hour and The Kate Smith Hour . Present are many programs dating from Dec. 22, 1950 to Mar. 15, 1954. Some programs are on one large reel; some are split over four smaller reels (in the latter case, the collection does not always contain each segment of the entire program). Also present in the collection are several 16mm home movie of Smith’s house in Lake Placid, New York, footage from trips taken by Smith to various points in North America (ca. 1930’s), and a 16mm reel of America Sings, a Columbia Pictures short featuring Smith.

The collection also includes the unpublished manuscript for Kate Smith: The Early Years, 1926-1931, by Richard K. Hayes.

Notable Figures
1. Smith, Kate, 1907-1986
Associated Subjects
1. Women's Studies Collections -- Drama, Film, and Television Subject Guide
2. Music Collections Subject Guide
3. Theatre and Film Subject Guide
4. Radio Subject Guide
5. Television Subject Guide
6. Helen Deutsch Research Section
7. Women singers
8. Women entertainers
9. Music – Performance
10. Popular music
11. Scrapbooks
12. Singers
13. Sound recordings
14. Motion pictures