|Provenance: Raymond F. "Peg" Meyer, of Cape Girardeau, collected the Jess Stacy materials and donated them to the Kent Library Special Collections and Archives.|
|Citation: Stacy Collection, Special Collections and Archives, Southeast Missouri State University.|
Some of the music in this collection is subject to copyright law.
Some of the media in this collection, such as the audio recordings in Series VII and Series VIII, require special equipment (i.e. cassette player, record player, etc.) to access. Please contact Special Collections and Archives prior to a visit so that we can make arrangements for your visit.
Special Collections and Archives reserves the right to restrict access to fragile or damaged materials in the collection. The following items are damaged and unavailable for use: Box 1490/016 and Box 1036/008/Item J.
|Separated Materials: Two items, photocopies of the album covers for "Jazz Club: Jazz at Pasadena Vol. I and Vol. II" were removed from the collection due to poor quality, also those albums are not part of the collection.|
Jess Stacy was born Jesse Alexandria Stacy in Bird’s Point, Missouri, on August 11, 1904. Stacy moved to Cape Girardeau, Missouri in 1918. In 1920, Stacy played in Peg Meyer’s jazz ensemble at Cape Central High School, the Bluebird Confectionary on Broadway and Fountain, and the Sweet Shop on Main Street. By 1921, the ensemble was known as "Peg Meyer’s Melody Kings" and toured the Mississippi River on riverboats. During his time in Cape Girardeau, Stacy received his only formal training in music, studying under Professor Clyde Brandt of Southeast Missouri State Teachers College.
In the 1920s, Stacy moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he made a name for himself with Paul Mares, and later joined Floyd Towne’s Orchestra. Stacy’s big break came in 1935 when Benny Goodman asked Stacy to join his band. Stacy moved to New York City, New York, and played with the Benny Goodman Band from 1935-1938. In this era, he also played with Bob Crosby, Gene Krupa, and Horace Heidt. Stacy’s most famous solo was "Sing, Sing, Sing" at Carnegie Hall in 1938 . Following a Goodman/Krupa duet, Stacy received a nod from Goodman to take a solo, and he created a memorable, masterpiece.
After several later band changes, Stacy moved to Los Angeles, California. The popularity of jazz/swing music was in decline and Stacy found himself working primarily in small jazz clubs. He eventually retired from public performance, he did however come out of retirement in 1974 and produced an album “Stacy Still Swings” in 1977. Stacy continued to do compilation albums and special performances until his death in 1995.
|Scope and Content|
|One letter, photographs, sheet music, ephemera, periodicals, newspaper clippings, phonographic and tape recordings relating to the life of Jess Stacy. Four of the photographs and two of the record jackets are autographed. Materials are arranged into series by type.|
Archivists Note: 1036/008/Item K has been digitized.