Skip to main content

Richard S. Becker collection of Alex Bradford and Arthur Alexander and other papers

 Collection
Call Number: JWJ MSS 95

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.

Dates

  • 1961 - 2005

Creator

Language

English

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

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.

Arrangement

Organized into four groupings by date of acquisition: January 2005 Acquisition, March 2005 Acquisition, April 2005 Acqusition, and October 2005 Acquisition.

Extent

1.67 Linear Feet ((8 boxes) + 1 art storage)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.becker

Overview

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.

Processing Information

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.
Title
Guide to the Richard S. Becker Collection of Alex Bradford and Arthur Alexander and Other Papers
Author
by Beinecke staff
Date
October 2012
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977