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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 768

Johnny Green sound recordings and motion pictures


Sound recordings and motion pictures of American conductor, arranger, and composer Johnny Green.


  • 1934-1989

Language of Materials

Collection materials are predominantly in English; some materials in French, German, and Italian.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Some of this collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.


74 linear feet (88 containers)
Consists of rehearsal, demo, and master recordings made by Green of motion picture soundtracks, television and radio broadcasts, and concert performances. Includes sound recordings made by others in which Green is featured. Also includes copies of motion pictures and videotape of television broadcasts that relate to Green's career.

Biographical / Historical

Conductor, arranger, and composer Johnny Green, Harvard AB 1928, achieved early fame as a songwriter and orchestra leader in the 1920s and 1930s. Among his most well known original compositions are such songs as "Body and soul", "Out of nowhere", and "I cover the waterfront". Beginning in 1942, he served for the next three decades as music director for several Hollywood motion picture studios, chiefly Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. In the course of his career, he won Academy Awards for his work orchestrating, arranging, and conducting music for the following films: Easter parade; An American in Paris; West side story; and Oliver!. He also won an Academy Award as producer for The merry wives of Windsor overture, a subject in MGM's Concert hall series. In addition to his work in films, Green composed and conducted for radio and television; he was a board member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and guest conductor for a number of symphony orchestras, including the Hollywood Bowl.


Organized into the following series:
  1. I. Reel-to-reel audiotape recordings, 10.5-inch
  2. II. Reel-to-reel audiotape recordings, 7-inch
  3. III. Reel-to-reel audiotape recordings, miscellaneous sizes
  4. IV. Audiocassettes
  5. V. Motion pictures

Special Equipment Required for Access:

Special equipment or surrogate required; consult Houghton Public Services.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository [Some materials temporarily stored in Lamont stacks awaiting end-processing].

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2004MT-49. Gift of Bonnie W. Green; received 1991 April 25.

2004MT-119. Purchased with the Rose fund from Ward Harrison; received: 2005 March 12.

2005MT-23. Purchased with the Rose fund from Ward Harrison ; received: 2005 October 7.

Related Materials

See also: Johnny Green papers (MS Thr 542); Johnny Green additional papers (MS Thr 569)

General note

Some of this collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.

Processing Information

Processed by: Michael W. Austin
Link to catalog
Green, Johnny, 1908-1989. Johnny Green sound recordings and motion pictures, 1934-1989: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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