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Lou Busch scores collection

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Lou Busch scores collection

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Lou Busch:

A Guide to His Scores Collection at Georgia State University Library

Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library
100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia, 30303

Profile Description

Creation: This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2014-06-16T15:13-0400

Collection Summary

Repository: Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library
Creator:Busch, Lou
Title: Lou Busch scores collection
Dates: circa 1950-circa 1966
Quantity: 31.5 linear ft.
Abstract:Lou Busch (1910-1979) was a musician, composer, and record company executive who also had a successful recording career as pianist Joe "Fingers" Carr. The Lou Busch scores collection consists of orchestral and small-group arrangements of a variety of popular songs, many recorded by Busch.
Identification: M215
Language: English

Arrangement Note

Arranged alphabetically by song title. In the Contents List, the composers and the date of the original composition are noted, as are the instrumental parts for each arrangement.

Scope and Contents of the Records

The Lou Busch scores collection consists of song arrangements written by Lou Busch. Many of the songs are original compositions, but the scores also include arrangements of classical pieces, jazz standards, popular songs, and novelty tunes written by others. The bulk of the arrangements date from the 1950s and 1960s and were recorded by Busch in the persona of ragtime pianist Joe "Fingers" Carr. Typically, the arrangements include a conductor's score with the music of all the instruments, as well as various parts. The majority of the scores are arrangements for a small group (piano, guitar, bass, and drums), but many include parts for brass, woodwinds, strings, and other instruments. Some of the arrangements are handwritten in pencil, but the majority were inscribed in ink by copyists for musicians' use.

Biographical Note about Lou Busch

Lou Busch (1910-1979) was a musician, composer, and record company executive who also had a successful recording career as pianist Joe "Fingers" Carr. Born Louis Ferdinand Bush, he began playing piano professionally as a teenager, later also receiving formal conservatory training. Following Army service during the Second World War, he served as a musician and talent scout, and eventually producer and executive, for Capitol Records. As an accompanist, orchestra leader, or producer, Busch worked with such successful Capitol vocalists as Peggy Lee, "Tennessee" Ernie Ford, Jo Stafford, Kay Starr, and Margaret Whiting. He was married to Whiting for a time, and the pair had a daughter, Deborah.

Starting in 1950, Busch had a parallel career as a recording artist. Under the name Joe "Fingers" Carr, he had a number of hits with his ragtime piano performances, making over 20 albums by 1966. As Carr, he recorded for Capitol (1950-1958) and Warner Bros. (1960-1962) as well as Coral and Dot Records (1964-1966). While at Capitol, he also recorded orchestral pop and jazz under his own name with the Lou Busch Orchestra. He continued to work as a producer, arranger, and orchestra leader, having great success with the comedian Allan Sherman while at Warner Bros. Busch was still performing occasionally at the time of his death in 1979.

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the Georgia State University Library online catalog (GIL). Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Arrangement (Music)
Piano music (Popular)
Popular music--United States
Carr, Joe Fingers


Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the Worldwide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult the reference archivist to determine copyright holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original. All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Administrative Information


[item], [folder title], Lou Busch Scores Collection, M215, Popular Music and Culture. Special Collections and Archives Department, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Debbi Whiting, 2010.

Processing Information

Processed by Tony Dinh, October 2013; descriptions by William W. Hardesty, May 2014.

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