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Dick Charles papers

Identifier: UA-10.3.289

Scope and Contents

The Dick Charles papers contains dance band arrangements used by the Dick Charles Band, which was active in Michigan and later in California. The majority of the music is for saxophone ensemble or saxophone orchestra. These arrangements include popular dance tunes from the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s and provide a rare glimpse into the performing life of big band musicians.

Note: Box and folder designations may not match the current inventory.


  • Creation: 1888 - 1960


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Biographical Note

The Sawyer Saxophone Orchestra was active throughout the Midwest in the 1920's and 1930's. Dick Charles, a student of H. Owen Reed, later took over the band, added to its repertoire, and changed its name to the Dick Charles Band. Under the new name, the band was active in Michigan and California. Dick Charles and his wife, Ruth, were both graduates of Michigan State University and retained a strong interest in the university.


5 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Mrs. Ruth Charles donated her late husband's music to the School of Music, which transferred it to Special Collections in the MSU Library. Later, the collection was transferred to the MSU Archives.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

General Note

Research guide available at


Dick Charles Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US