My fifty-two years in the music business in Newark
Scope and Contents
This typescript history, compiled by Henry Mutschler during his retirement, is filled with detailed accounts of the music teachers of Newark and surrounding towns, of music festivals, music clubs and societies, virtuoso performances, music promoters like Joseph Fuerstman, music in the schools, Works Progress Administration (WPA) music programs, theaters and vaudeville houses, and of the craze for movie theaters, with their hard-working piano accompanists. It includes photographs of the business (exteriors and interiors, with staff), music programs, correspondence, and clippings.
- Mutschler, Henry F. (Person)
Biographical / Historical
The full title of Henry F. Mutschler's manuscript, lavishly illustrated with original photographs, correspondence, and ephemera, is "My Fifty-two Years in the Music Business in Newark, N.J. 1902-1954." Mutschler (b. 1887) was first employed by the A. K. DeLemos Music Company of Newark in 1902. He wrote the history of his career with the firm after his retirement. The manuscript begins with a brief history and chronology of music performance (including church music) in Newark. Adolfo Kay (or Adolphe Karl) DeLemos (1850-1936), an Alabama native, was educated in Germany and served an apprenticeship in a music business there. Returning to the U.S. in 1874, he worked for some years for G. Schirmer and Co. of New York and opened his own business at 215 Washington St. in Newark in 1879. At the time there were already some fourteen music businesses in Newark, but DeLemos prospered and eventually bought out several of his rivals. The firm specialized in serious music and in supplying the City's many music teachers.
Newark-born Henry Mutschler attended the German-English School on Green Street, and left school at fourteen to work in the jewelry business of an uncle. He was soon recommended to Mr. DeLemos and took up work in the rapidly expanding music business. The demand for classical sheet music in Newark was so great that Mutschler or another clerk traveled to New York daily to fill special orders. The business eventually moved to premises at 30 Halsey St. and Mutschler took over proprietorship of the company in 1929 when DeLemos retired.
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Part of the Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center, Newark Public Library Repository
Newark Public Library
5 Washington St.
Newark NJ 07102 United States