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Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, October 08, 2007 - 9:08 am:   

Elizabeth Drake McDonald Collection Inventory (#20355)


Biographical Note

Born in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada, in 1943, Elizabeth Drake McDonald grew up in British Columbia's southern interior and taught school on the north coast. In 1965, she married Ralph McDonald, and they raised four daughters in Chase, British Columbia. McDonald first became acquainted with Bob Nolan's song lyrics in 1954 when she purchased his two songbooks of Original Cowboy Classics. Since that time, she has searched for the lyrics for the nearly 1500 songs that Nolan is said to have written. Her self-published collection, "Lyrics: The Song Poems of Bob Nolan," contains nearly 200 of Nolan's songs. McDonald also researched Nolan's life thoroughly and gathered much information about Nolan with the help of his daughter, Roberta Nolan Mileusnich, and grandson, Calin Coburn.

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Collection Overview

The collection centers around Elizabeth Drake McDonald's in-depth study and compilation of the lyrics of songwriter and musician Bob Nolan. Nolan is best known for his work with the singing cowboy group, the Sons of the Pioneers. He penned many trademark songs of the cowboy song genre, including "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," "Cool Water," and "Way Out There." McDonald has transcribed nearly 200 of Nolan's songs (he referred to them as "song poems") into a self-published book, "Lyrics: The Song Poems of Bob Nolan." Paul Lawrence Hopper worked with McDonald on the project, writing annotations to Nolan's song lyrics. Hopper also self-published a companion volume, "Bob Nolan: A Biographical Guide and Annotations to the Lyric Archive," which contains transcription recording information and a filmography for the Sons of the Pioneers and is included in the collection.

The collection includes material McDonald gathered during conversations with Nolan's daughter, Roberta Nolan Mileusnich, and his grandson, Calin Coburn. Mileusnich provided McDonald with lyrics from unreleased recordings, which are compiled in "Bob Nolan, Volume Two: The Last Song Poems." Calin Coburn donated 274 high-quality scans of documents, letters, manuscripts, and photographs from the Nolan family album, along with a CD-R of the images in electronic format. Printed versions of these are included in the collection as are McDonald's annotations of these materials. Also included are copies of Nolan's song lead sheets, sheet music, and lyric sheets from Brigham Young University.

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