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Office Of The President. Presidential Committees. Rudy Vallee Tribute Committee (University Of Maine) Records

 Record Group
Identifier: UA RG 0003-006-002

Scope and Contents

The records mainly contain textual information created by the University of Maine's Rudy Vallee Tribute Committee, but there are also photographs. Includes: Committee meeting minutes and correspondence regarding the organization of the tribute and communications with the Vallee family, draft tribute programs, biographical profiles of Vallee, press releases regarding the tribute and Vallee in general, posters and invitations for the tribute, and photographs from the event. Files of David C. Smith, a professor of history at the university and chair of the committee, are also included.


  • Creation: 1987-1989


Conditions Governing Access

Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on literary rights available in the Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department.

Biographical / Historical

The Rudy Vallee Tribute Committee was formed to plan University of Maine tributes to Rudy Vallee, including a book and program. The Committee also considered how best to manage the University of Maine's "Stein Collection". The tribute was held on Saturday, April 23, 1988 at the Maine Center for the Arts.

Rudy Vallee was one of the most popular vocalists of the pre-swing era. With his megaphone and nasal voice, he will forever be remembered as the archetypal image of the early crooners. Born in Island Pond, Vermont, in 1901, Hubert Prior Vallee grew up in Westbrook, Maine, where he played drums in his high school band. He dropped out of school and joined the Navy in 1917, at the start of America's involvement in World War I, but was soon discharged when the Navy discovered that he was only fifteen years old. Returning home, he found work as a movie projectionist and began to study the clarinet but switched to the saxophone when he first heard recordings of sax player Rudy Wiedoeft. He also re-entered high school and graduated, enrolling at the University of Maine in 1921. Hubert's fraternity brothers, knowing of his great admiration for Wiedoeft, nicknamed him 'Rudy' Vallee, a name which stuck. In the fall of 1922, Vallee transferred to Yale University, where he worked for his tuition by playing at country clubs, social functions, and school dances, often as a member of the Yale Collegians. He also began to sing, using a megaphone to enhance his voice. It quickly became one of his trademarks and, in those days before electric amplification, was later copied by other vocalists. His career included theater, Broadway stage, screen, radio, TV, composer, author, recordings, singer, actor, stand-up comedian, orchestra leader, musician, night club, college, military service, and a career longevity span from 1921 to 1986. He introduced the Maine Stein Song on his radio show in 1930. It became an instant hit. He died in 1986.


1 box (Half size box)

1 folio folder

Language of Materials



Physically the folders are arranged by subject. Some file names and dates were changed to make them more meaningful and to correct errors. Material was rehoused into archival quality storage.


Accruals from the Committee are not anticipated because they concluded their activities in 1988.

Related Materials

There is material regarding the Tribute Committee in the record groups Office of the President Records, UA RG 0003 and Raymond H. Fogler Library Records, UA RG 0006.012.001. There are also the collections Vallée (Rudy) Memorabilia, SpC MS 1777 and Vallée (Rudy) Papers and Memorabilia, SpC MS 0598.

Processing Information

Processed by Matthew Revitt and student worker Julia Haberstick August 2018, Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department. Processing involved a collection survey and the creation of this finding aid. Material was rehoused into appropriate archival folders and the boxes and folders numbered and titled using information from ArchivesSpace.

University Of Maine. Rudy Vallee Tribute Committee Records
Matthew Revitt
August 31, 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Raymond H. Fogler Library University Archives Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States