- Collection Overview
- Collection Description & Creator Information
- Access & Use
- Collection History
- Find Related Materials
- Bowman, Brooks, 1913-1937
- Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
- Brooks Bowman Papers
- Princeton University Archives
- Permanent URL:
- 11 boxes and 2 items
- Storage Note:
- Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Box 1-11
Brooks Bowman '36 is best remembered as the composer of the songs "East of the Sun (and West of the Moon)" and "Love and a Dime." The Brooks Bowman Papers consist of correspondence and photographs that document his school years and his foray into the music industry. The bulk of the papers consist of Bowman's correspondence with his mother, sister, and numerous friends.
Collection Description & Creator Information
The Brooks Bowman Papers consist of correspondence and photographs that document his school years and his foray into the music industry. The bulk of the papers consist of Bowman's correspondence with his mother, sister, and numerous friends. The papers also contain a small amount of material on Bowman collected by Frederic Fox '39.
Please see series descriptions in contents list for additional information about individual series.
- Collection Creator Biography:
Brooks Bowman '36 is best remembered as the composer of the songs "East of the Sun (and West of the Moon)" and "Love and a Dime." Bowman was born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 21, 1913 to George H. and Mary Augusta Brooks Bowman. He attended the University School in Cleveland, Ohio, then the Asheville School in Asheville, North Carolina for his first three years of high school. Bowman then returned to the University School to finish high school. At the University School he participated in football, drama, and the Glee Club.
Bowman entered Stanford University in 1932, choosing to attend school in California primarily for health reasons, having dealt with a severe form of diabetes from childhood. He transferred to Princeton in the fall of 1933 as a member of the sophomore class. A philosophy major, he was a member of the Tiger magazine editorial board, Glee Club, Theater Intime, and Triangle Club. During his senior year, he was vice-president of his class, president of Tower Club, and vice-president of Triangle.
It was in the Triangle Club that Bowman truly made his mark at Princeton and earned his reputation as "Princeton's Cole Porter." Bowman wrote the music for Stags at Bay, notably the songs "East of the Sun (and West of the Moon)" and "Love and a Dime." In a letter to Bowman, former Triangle Club member F. Scott Fitzgerald '17 called Stags at Bay "the best in ten years" and thought Bowman's work "both as actor and composer the brightest spot in it." Both "Love and a Dime" and "East of the Sun" were hits beyond Princeton, but it was the latter song that made its way into the American songbook, especially after 1940, when Tommy Dorsey recorded the song with Frank Sinatra on vocals. Bowman's best-known work has been recorded countless times, with versions by artists including Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Billie Holliday, and Stan Getz.
After graduating from Princeton in 1936, Bowman lit out for Hollywood, and in June 1937 signed a contract with David O. Selznick and Selznick International Pictures as a composer and songwriter. In September, Bowman was released from the contract. Though his tenure with the motion picture industry was brief and relatively unfruitful, while in Hollywood Bowman did manage to collaborate with Hoagy Carmichael on lyrics for a song entitled "You and Romance and Me." In 1937 he reunited with a Triangle Club friend, Bill Borden '37, and the pair returned east as a songwriting team--Bowman as lyricist and Borden on piano. Bowman also had plans to enter Yale Law School. Based in part on the success and popularity of "East of the Sun" a New York City publisher offered the two a contract. Tragically, the weekend before Brooks Bowman was to sign the contract, he was killed in a car accident near Poughkeepsie, New York, returning from the Yale-Army game.
The papers were donated by the Bowman family.
- Custodial History:
Frederic Fox '39, then Princeton University Recording Secretary, transferred his collected material on Brooks Bowman to the University Archives in 1974. The Bowman correspondence and photographs came to the Archives sometime after that date.
- Archival Appraisal Information:
Appraisal has been conducted in accordance with Mudd Library guidelines. Nothing was separated from the papers during 2007 processing.
- Processing Information:
This collection was processed by Christie Lutz with assistance from Mercy Chesiror '10, Samuel Clendon '07 and Christina McMillan '07 in May through July 2007.. Finding aid written by Christie Lutz in June 2007.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
- Conditions for Reproduction and Use:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. The Trustees of Princeton University hold copyright to all materials generated by Princeton University employees in the course of their work. If copyright is held by Princeton University, researchers will not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with non-commercial use of materials from the Mudd Library. For materials where the copyright is not held by the University, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. If you have a question about who owns the copyright for an item, you may request clarification by contacting us through the Ask Us! form.
- Special Requirements for Access:
Series 2, Photographs, contains a large number of negatives, most of which are without accompanying prints.
- Credit this material:
Brooks Bowman Papers; Princeton University Archives, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Permanent URL:
- Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript LibrarySeeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library65 Olden StreetPrinceton, NJ 08540, USA(609) 258-6345
- Publication Note:
"Princeton's Cole Porter" by Robert D. B. Carlisle '44 in the May 7, 1986 Princeton Alumni Weekly draws on material in the Bowman Papers, in particular Fred Fox's collected material.
"Princeton's Cole Porter" by Robert D. B. Carlisle '44 in the May 7, 1986 Princeton Alumni Weekly and Bowman's undergraduate alumni file were consulted in preparation of the biographical note. Also, the David O. Selznick Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas, Austin, provides details of Bowman's tenure at Selznick International.
- Genre Terms:
- Asheville School (Asheville, N.C.)
University School (Hunting Valley, Ohio)
Princeton University. Triangle Club
Bowman, Brooks, 1913-1937