Bernard Green Collection

Finding Aid File: 


Summary Information

Brooklyn Public Library - Brooklyn Collection
Green, Bernard, 1908-1975
Bernard Green Collection
Date [inclusive]
1932 - 1972
0.4 Linear feet 1 document box
Location note
Central Library, Brooklyn Collection, Map Room, Shelf 4.3. oversized sheet music stored with Sheet Music Collection, MR 5.3.
Mixed materials [Box]
Mixed materials [Box]
Sheet Music Collection
This collection consists of correspondence, photographs, ephemera and sheet music. The autographed letters are from notable celebrities in response to a book idea suggested by Green, for a collection of stories about their mothers. Additional correspondence includes professional and personal letters.

Preferred Citation note

This collection should be cited as the Bernard Green Collection, Brooklyn Collection, Brooklyn Public Library.

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Biographical/Historical note

Bernard “Bernie” Green was born in New York on September 14, 1908. His family name was Greenwald, but he used the name Green professionally, and was known to most friends and associates as “Bernie”. Green received a music degree from the New York University College of Fine Arts in 1932 and worked principally in music, as a composer, conductor, and arranger for film, radio and television. He became widely known in the 1940s, when he earned a headlining spot on the Henry Morgan radio show. His better-known credits include the television shows "Mr. Peepers" and "Caesar's Hour". Green also worked in other facets of the show-business industry, recording albums, writing columns for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, The New York Times, and the International Musician, promoting fellow musicians like Les Brown, and writing comedy scripts.

In his later years, Green began preparations for a book he hoped to publish. He envisioned a collection of anecdotes by celebrities (many of whom he knew personally) about their mothers, and sent out letters requesting material from comedians, actresses, scientists, politicians, and other notable people. The replies he received make up much of this collection. The project was never completed, however, and Green died at the age of 66 at his home in Westport, Connecticut, on August 10, 1975.

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Scope and Contents note

The bulk of the Bernard Green collection is correspondence. From what we have learned about Green, he was in the exploratory stages of writing a book of favorite stories by notable people about their mothers. Other highlights from the collection include a program from the “roasting” of Ed Sullivan by the Friars Club, sheet music, and a scrapbook of Green’s column in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

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Arrangement note

The collection is arranged first by format, with correspondence, photographs, ephemera and sheet music as distinct categories. Within each format, the arrangement is chronological.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Brooklyn Public Library - Brooklyn Collection

Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn, NY, 11238

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is located in the Brooklyn Collection at the Central Branch at Grand Army Plaza. The collection may only be used in the library and is not available through interlibrary loan. Requests to view the collection must be made at least 48 hours in advance of visit.

Conditions Governing Use note

While many items in the Brooklyn Collection are unrestricted, we do not own reproduction rights to all materials. Be aware of the several kinds of rights that might apply: copyright, licensing and trademarks. The borrower assumes all responsibility for copyright questions.

Custodial History note

The Bernard Green Collection was donated to the Brooklyn Public Library by the daughter-in-law of Mr. Green, Janice Greenberg.

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Controlled Access Headings

Geographic Name(s)

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)


  • Arts, Modern -- 20th Century
  • Composers -- United States -- Correspondence

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Collection Inventory

Correspondence 1934-1972 

Box Folder

Correspondence I 1934-1935   Two letters from Walter Winchell

1 1

Correspondence II 1941   Two letters in reference to Lionel Hampton from: LaGuardia, Fiorello Shaw, Stan Three letters in reference to RCA Manufacturing Company from: Hartigan, Margaret Hendler, Herb One letter from publication The International Musician One letter from Columbia Recording Corporation regarding composer/arranger Les Brown One undated letter from “Les”, presumably Les Brown.

1 2

Correspondence III c. 1941   Four letters from Sid Garfinkel

1 3

Correspondence IV 1942-1943   Five letters from Joe Glaser. One letter from Roy Topper, mentioning Joe Glaser.

1 4

Correspondence V 1972   Letters from celebrities in response to a request by Green. He was trying to compile material for a collection of favorite stories by notable people about their mothers, which he hoped to publish. Listing: Borge, Victor; Crosby, Bing; Dangerfield, Rodney; Ernst, Morris L. (4 letters); Farley, James A.; Glenn, John; Goldwater, Barry; Goodman, Andrew; Josefsberg, Milt (2 pages); Kazan, Elia; Lyons, Leonard; Paley, William S.; Pine, Arthur; Reed, Rex; Rockefeller, Nelson A. - letter from Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (Mother); Rubinstein, Arthur; Salk, Jonas; Silvers, Phil; Styne, Julie; Sullivan, Ed (2 pages); Thomas, Lowell; Wilson, Earl; Wouk, Herman; Zanuck, Darryl

1 5

Correspondence VI 1972   Letters written on behalf of notable individuals who declined Green’s request for a story about their mothers. Listing: Bing, Rudolf – Written by Mary Dake Smith; Bundeskanzleramt – Written in German by Hubinger; Cronkite, Walter – written by Carolyn Dorsett; Ford, Henry II – written by Mott B. Heath; Gabor, Zsa Zsa – Written by Marilyn Reiss; Graham, Billy – Written by Martha Warkentin; Hoover, Edgar – written by Helen W. Gandy; Lindsay, John – Written by Thomas B. Morgan; Nixon, Richard – Written by Roland L. Elliott (2 pages); Reagan, Ronald – Written by James E. Jenkins; Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Jr. – written by Merle H. Lambert; Sabin, Albert B. – written by Ilana Brand; Shepard, Alan B., Jr. – written by John E. McLeaish; Sinatra, Frank – Written by Jim Mahoney; Trudeau, Pierre – Written by Henry Alan Lawless

1 6

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Photographs c. 1939 - 1965 

Box Folder

Photographs I 1939-1965   Ten photographs, most undated, of Bernard Green with friends, family and colleagues.

1 7

Photographs II undated   Seven photographs of Bernard Green with friends, family and colleagues. Also includes promotional shots of unidentified women, and a cast shot of the Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.

1 8

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Ephemera 1932-1968 

Box Folder

Scrapbook 1932   Scrapbook of clippings from Green’s “Penned Portraits” column in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

1 9

Miscellaneous ephemera undated   Items relating to collaboration between Bernard Green and Eli Lloyd Hoffman. Sanford’s Restaurant “menu-ette”, newspaper clipping, and radio play script co-authored by Green and Hoffman.

1 10

Friars' Club Program March 15, 1956   Program for Friars Club “roast” of Ed Sullivan at the Waldorf Astoria. Includes anecdotes from fellow entertainers, images of Friars Club members and celebrities, and advertisements.

1 11

“Night of the Century” Salute to the U.S.O. Program February 11, 1968   Program from opening event at Madison Square Garden. Includes features on U.S.O. entertainers, (e.g., Bob Hope and Bing Crosby) and promotional copy on the design and building of Madison Square Garden.

1 12

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Sheet Music 1941-1949   Sheet music for two songs by Bernard Green: “I was an April Fool” (Lyric by Bernie Green, Music by Doug Watt) and “Twenty Questions” (by Moe Jaffe, Dick Hardt and Bernie Green)

Sheet Music Collection

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