Merrill, Robert (1917-2004)
Scope:
The Robert Merrill collection begins with subject files arranged by Merrill, which contain photographs and correspondence. Subjects include: Boston University; newspaper clippings from the 1940s through the 1970s; travel; programs; magazines; Merrill’s performances; the Metropolitan Opera; and other topics.

Scores in the collection include: 24 Preludes; 25 Jewish Songs; 52 Sacred Songs You Like to Sing; Agnus Dei; Ah Sweet Mystery of Life; America the Beautiful; Anthology of Italian Song; Ave Maria; Ballo in Maschera; The Barber of Seville; Berlin Medley; Carmen; Cortigani - Rigoletto; Cosi Cosa; Credo – Otello; Crosby Medley; Die Fledermaus/The Bat; Don Carlos; Don Giovanni; Donkey Serenade; Faust; Fiddler on the Roof; Gigi Medley; God Bless America; Guys and Dolls; I Only Have Eyes For You; I Pagliacci; Il Barbiere di Siviglia;  Il Trovatore; Kismet; La Traviata; Le Nozze  Di Figaro; The Oldest Established Crap Shoot; Otello; Porgy and Bess; Riders in the Sky; September Song; Showboat; South Pacific; The Star Spangled Banner; Thoroughly Modern Millie; Vesti la Giubba; The Whiffenpoof Song; and You’ll Never Walk Alone.  

Ephemera in the collection includes thirty-one booklets (1946-1974), including one signed by Hank Aaron; there are also press releases (1957-1965); invitations (1965-2000); periodicals; catalogs; journals; newsletters; flyers; and posters.  

Photographs in the collection include various contact sheets of Robert Merrill headshots and others at parties and events.  There are undated black and white prints of Merrill in Fiddler; prints that include Merrill with Louis Armstrong; and photographs of a Yankees game in 1985.  There are photographs of Merrill with his family; Merrill with various actresses, including Elizabeth Taylor and Dinah Shore.  A gala honoring Lyndon B. Johnson includes photographs of Merrill with Johnny Carson and Herbert Humphrey.  There are also photographs used in Merrill’s book, Once More From the Beginning (1965).  Merrill with various celebrities at various functions includes photographs of Merrill with Elizabeth Taylor; Richard Nixon and Bob Hope; Burt Reynolds; Frank Sinatra; New York Mayor Ed Koch; Brooke Shields and Dina Merrill.  There are photographs documenting Merrill’s appearance on the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour; Merrill with Joe Piscopo; Merrill with Cher as "Edith Bunker;" Merrill with Sonny Bono and Terri Garr; Merrill with Dick Cavett and Lucille Ball; Merrill with Sammy Davis, Jr.; Merrill with Frank Sinatra; and Merrill with Linda Evans and John Forsythe.  Presidential photographs include one of Merrill with President Ronald Reagan; other undated photographs include Richard Nixon, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harry Truman, and Governor of New York, Thomas E. Dewey.  There are numerous black and white prints of Robert Merrill in costume.  Photographs taken at events show Merrill with various celebrities including Joe DiMaggio; Phil Rizzuto; Dwight Eisenhower; Doug Flutie; Ed Koch; Frank Sinatra; Johnny Carson; Queen Elizabeth II; Tony Randall, Walter Cronkite; Reggie Jackson, Sammy Davis, Jr.; Sid Caesar, Nancy Reagan; Ed Sullivan; Danny Kaye; Cardinal Cushing; Charlton Heston; Angela Lansbury; Count Basie; Ella Fitzgerald; Arthur Fiedler; Dean Martin; Mickey Mantle;   Gerald Ford; Bill Clinton; Hilary Clinton, Beverly Sills; and Lady Bird Johnson. Publicity photographs include Merrill in Fiddler on the Roof; and in a number of Metropolitan Opera productions, including: Carmen; Tosca; Pagliacci; Il Trovatore; La Traviata; Turandot; and Aida.  There are photo albums of Merrill with family and friends and an album identified as The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary in the Career of Mr. Robert Merrill (1970).

Notable correspondents in the collection include Van Cliburn; Robert F. Kennedy; Bidu Sayao; Dag Hammarskjold; Dwight Eisenhower; Rudolf Bing; John Lindsay; Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis; Hubert Humphrey; Lyndon Johnson; Lady Bird Johnson; U Thant; Alfred Lunt; Red Skelton; Jacob Javitz; Stan Musial; Richard Nixon; Teddy Kollek; Frank Sinatra; Lynn Fontanne; Victor Borge; Alexander Haig; Bob Hope; Edward M. Kennedy; Ronald Reagan; Renata Tebaldi; E.L. Doctorow; Marilyn Horne; James Levine; Jerome Hines; Isaac Stern; David Halberstam; James Galway; Tito Gobbi; Dorothy Kirsten; and James McCracken.  

Manuscript material in the collection includes a three hundred page draft of Merrill’s autobiography Once More From the Beginning, published in 1965, along with an earlier draft titled Sing With Me!  There is also manuscript material related to shorter pieces: A Conversation with Robert Merrill (1967); My Friend Ruby; Schiller’s Don Carlos; and an untitled piece on Enrico Caruso.  There are also some pieces described as short stories.  They include: "The Divas," which was later expanded into a novel, published in 1978; "The Registered Yankee Fan"; "This Song is You"; "So In Love"; and three untitled pieces concerning Johnny Carson; vocal exercises; and song lyrics.  

There is a file containing correspondence and contract information from publisher McGraw-Hill (1976-1978).  Also included in this section of professional materials are press biographies on Robert Merrill and his wife, Marion; press kits; performance notes; schedules; and business cards.  There is also a file containing Merrill’s marriage certificate; certificate of citizenship; and a document concerning his name change.  

Photo albums in the collection include Merrill at various events, some unidentified; the dedication of the Robert Merrill Postal Station (2008); personal family pictures; a presentational album celebrating Merrill’s appearance on The Mike Douglas Show (1967); Merrill performing at and attending baseball games, with photographs of Don King; LeRoy Nieman; Nancy Reagan; Joe DiMaggio; Billy Martin; Yogi Berra; Reggie Jackson; Joe Pepitone; Mickey Mantle; Casey Stengel; Don Drysdale; Howard Cosell, Roger Maris; and Gen. Colin Powell (1967-2000).  

There are scrapbooks concerning a London trip (1962-1963); and another scrapbook dated 1935-1953.  

Awards and certificates include: the Veterans Association Certificate of Appreciation (1930); Board of Education, City of New York, to Morris Miller (1931); US Navy Citation Award (1947); US Army and Air Force performance appreciation (1951); City of New York Robert Merrill Day Proclamation (1960); Metropolitan Opera 25th Anniversary Appreciation Award (1971); Lotus Club Dinner in Honor of Robert Merrill (1976); Certificate of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences to Leontyne Price, Jon Vickers, Robert Merrill, Rita Gorr, and Giorgio Tozzi as principal soloists for Best Opera Recording in Aida; Medal of George Frideric Handel presented to Robert Merrill by John V. Lindsay, Mayor of the City of New York (1970); Diploma from Gustavus Adolphus College to Robert Merrill for the degree of Doctor of Music; Diploma from the City University of New York for the Honorary Degree of from the New York Yankees to Robert Merrill for singing on opening day for the past twenty-five years (1997); Medal for Excellence in Music from the National Arts Club (1998); Medal from the United Nations, New York City, presented by Mayor John V. Lindsay; Keys to the Cities of Florence, SC, Miami, FL, Clearwater, FL, and Kansas City, MO; and a Plaque for Induction into the New York State Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame (1984).  

Audio cassette tapes in the collection include: multiple copies of the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Ballo in Maschera (1968); the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Carmen (1971); the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Don Carlo (1970); the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Faust (1969); an undated album, Baritone Songs and Opera Arias; the Metropolitan Opera production of Tosca (1965); and a Robert Merrill-Richard Tucker interview (1974).  

Reel-to-reel tapes include: The Barber of Seville (1969); The Bell Telephone Hour (1964); Hit the Road to Victory, 1943 (1974); interview of Met Stars Robert Merrill and Richard Tucker (1974); Sands Hotel, 2nd Show (1956); Lucia Di Lammermoor, Metropolitan Opera Broadcast (1948); The New Christy Minstrels at The White House (1964); Robert Merrill and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, North Shore Theatre (1982); Saint-Saens' Samson and Delilah (highlights), including Rise Stevens, Jan Pierce, Robert Merrill, and Leopold Stokowski.  

Compact discs in the collection include An Hour of Stars, CBS (1960); "New Yankee Stadium Ground-Breaking Ceremony" (2006); and Robert Merrill Favorites.  

VHS video cassettes in the collection include: 1992 French Foundation Dinner Gala (1992); Don Mattingly Day at Yankee Stadium (1997); I Love America, taped live in Washington, D.C. (1991); Richard Tucker: Telecasts from the Bell Telephone Hour (1962-1965); Robert Merrill: Telecasts from the Bell Telephone Hour (1962-1965); Robert Merrill: Your Show of Shows (March 1950-1952); Sinatra: the First 40 Years;  Verdi Festival (1991); Vocal Class With Robert Merrill (1990); Yankees: Tribute Video for the New York Yankees Homecoming Dinner (2003).  

Long-playing phonograph records include: The Barber of Seville, the Cincinnati Summer Orchestra (1952); Barbirolli – Part I – Listening to Music with Robert Merrill (1960); Don Carlo (1950); Faust (1953); Free Hungarians – Part II – Listening to Music with Robert Merrill (1960); Great Operatic Arias (1958); A Masked Ball (1949); Opening Nights at the Met, 1893-1959 (various artists including Robert Merrill); Porgy and Bess (various artists including Robert Merrill) (1976); Tex and Jinx (1950); Yankee Doodle Dandies: the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with Robert Merrill (1976); Carmen with Rise Stevens, Jan Pierce, and Robert Merrill; The Spider and the Fly with Robert Merrill and Dinah Shore; Robert Merrill in Concert at the Hollywood Bowl (1954); Robert Merrill as “Marcel” in La Boheme (1952); Stars for Defense (1956); Robert Merrill as Rigoletto (1953), and several others, including some from the 1940s.
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Notable Figures
1. Merrill, Robert
Associated Subjects
1. Music Collections Subject Guide