Richard S. Becker collection of Alex Bradford and Arthur Alexander and other papers
Scope and Contents
The collection contains memorabilia relating to Alex Bradford and Arthur Alexander assembled by music publisher Richard S. Becker and some of Becker's personal papers. The memorabilia, consisting chiefly of albums and printed ephemera, relates to Alex Bradford's and Arthur Alexander's better known works, including Bradford's theatrical work, "Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope," and covers of Alexander's songs by The Rolling Stones ("You Better Move On") and Beatles ("Anna"). Becker's personal papers include awards and a small number of photographs and letters from political figures.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Box 10 (DVD and CD): Restricted fragile. Access copies of digital files may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.
Conditions Governing Use
The Richard S. Becker Collection of Alex Bradford and Arthur Alexander and Other Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Richard S. Becker, 2005 and 2014.
Organized into five groupings by date of acquisition: January 2005 acquisition, March 2005 acquisition, April 2005 acquisition, October 2005 acquisition, and November 2014 acquisition.
1.88 Linear Feet ((9 boxes) + 1 art storage)
Language of Materials
Collection contains memorabilia relating to Alex Bradford and Arthur Alexander assembled by music publisher Richard S. Becker and some of Becker's personal papers. The memorabilia, such as framed albums and printed ephemera, relates to Alex Bradford's and Arthur Alexander's better known works, including Bradford's theatrical work, "Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope," and covers of Alexander's songs by The Rolling Stones ("You Better Move On") and The Beatles ("Anna"). Becker's personal papers include awards and a small number of photographs and letters from political figures.
Alex Bradford (1927-1978)
Alex Bradford, born in 1927 in Bessemer, Alabama, was a clergyman, gospel singer, stage actor, composer, and lyricist. A minister and choir director of the Greater Abyssinian Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, Bradford believed in bringing black gospel music to the theater. He collaborated on several gospel plays with Vinnette Carroll, including "Your Arms Too Short To Box With God" (1976), which was nominated for several Tony awards. Bradford also won Obie and Drama Desk awards in 1972 for his performance in the musical "Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope." In addition, the actor headed a number of gospel singing groups that toured widely, such as the Bradford Specials and the Professor Alex Bradford Singers. His musical compositions include "Too Close to Heaven." Bradford died February 15, 1978, in New York City.
Biographical information taken from "Alex Bradford." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 18 Oct. 2012.
Arthur Alexander (1940-1993)
Arthur Alexander, born in 1940 in Sheffield, Alabama, was a singer and songwriter. In 1953 Alexander led a teenage gospel group, The Heartstrings, before singing rock-and-roll on regional television in Alabama in the late 1950s. His first recorded song, "Sally Sue Brown," was later covered by Bob Dylan; the title track from his first album, "You Better Move On" (1962), was covered by the Rolling Stones; and the single "Anna" was covered by the Beatles. Alexander toured extensively in the 1960s before quitting the music business in the mid 1970s. He returned to music in the early 1990s, but then died of a heart attack on June 9, 1993.
Biographical information taken from "Arthur Alexander." Contemporary Musicians. Vol. 14. Detroit: Gale, 1995. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 19 Oct. 2012.
This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.
Former call numbers: Uncat MSS 749, Uncat MSS 774, Uncat MSS 775, and Uncat MSS 816.
- Guide to the Richard S. Becker Collection of Alex Bradford and Arthur Alexander and Other Papers
- by Beinecke staff
- October 2012
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
- September 2020: Added 2014 addition
Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.