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Charles Lee Hill Papers

Identifier: A-0108

Scope and Contents

This collection includes photographs, conductor's scores of musical compositions, newspaper clippings, concert programs and publicity, ads for sheet music and sound recordings, correspondence, World War II Army post newspapers, Hill's writings on Army life, musical theory of jazz and swing, and music education.


  • Creation: 1933-1983
  • Event: Donated 2/8/1984
  • Event: Addendum donated 8/7/1984
  • Event: Addendum donated 1/30/1985


Language of Materials

The collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Biographical or Historical Information

Charles Lee Hill was born in Houston Heights on November 15, 1910. He attended public schools in La Porte and Nacogdoches, Texas. In 1933 he graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University and was band director there during the summers of 1934 and 1935. From 1934 to 1935 he was high school band director in Troup, Texas, and from 1935 to 1942 he directed the high school band at Overton, Texas. While in the U. S. Army (1942-1945), he wrote for camp newspapers, led a medical detachment dance band, and composed music for camp shows. From 1946 to 1947 he played tenor saxophone and clarinet and arranged music for the Ted Johnson Society Band. After obtaining a master's degree in Music Education at North Texas State University in 1948, he became Associate Professor of Music at Sam Houston State University until 1953. Hill returned to public school teaching in 1953 and taught music and high school band at Lovelady, Texas until 1959. For the next several years he taught instrumental and vocal music in North Forest Independent School District in Houston. In 1966, having earned a Librarian Certificate during summer studies at Sam Houston State University, he became the Librarian at North Forest Middle School. He renewed his interest in music in 1982 when he was called upon to direct the Good Times Brass Band, a non-profit historical society in Houston dedicated to preservation of old band music.

Hill's first published composition was "Red Rhythm Valley" in 1942. Composed in 1939, it was frequently performed and was even played at the 1940 Democratic Convention in Chicago before finally finding a publisher. "At the Gremlin Ball" (1944) was a favorite of military bands and popular overseas. In addition to publishing original music and arrangements of popular music in jazz and swing styles, Hill also wrote articles about music theory, techniques, and education for music journals. Perhaps the highlight of his musical career was the composition of "Space City, U.S.A." as a tribute to the Space Center in Houston in 1962. The piece was premiered at the reception for President John F. Kennedy at the Houston airport in 1962.


1.60 Cubic Feet


This collection is described in 78 folders and five single items. The colletion and was originally housed in four clamshell boxes and one oversize bundle. The clamshell boxes were consolidated into a single banker's box. The original folder numbering remains in place. This collection is organized at both the folder and item levels.

Guide to the Charles Lee Hill Papers
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the East Texas Research Center Repository