Skip to main content

Charles Evans Papers

Identifier: AOIAL-ATOC-RG0009
This collection consists of the manuscripts of theatre organ arranger Charles Evans. While there are some arrangements of hymns and sacred songs, most of the collection contains copies of secular, popular songs. There is one folder of biographical materials, including photographs, plus a complete alphabetical inventory of the arrangements.

According to Stan Guy, heir to the Charles Evans estate, "These manuscripts represent [Charles Evans'] life's work and love of music and the organ."


  • circa 1940-1990

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Any use of archival materials outside of the scope of education and/or research must be approved by the AOIAL staff and may be subject to copyright law.


7.50 cubic feet

Administrative History:

From, “The Charles Evans Manuscripts,” written by Stan Guy, located in the folder, “Clippings, Biographical Letter, Photographs, Moon River Program.”

Charles Evans was born November 25, 1919 in Bobtown, Texas and died August 8, 1999 in Dallas, Texas. These manuscripts represent his life’s work and love of music and the organ.

Charlie started studying piano at the age of six and began organ studies in High School in Oklahoma City, OK. He went on to study organ at Oklahoma City University and later at SMU in Dallas under Dora Poteet. All of his formal training was in the classics.

Upon leaving college, he moved to Dallas and began playing in theatres, restaurants, supper clubs and with his own dance combo at private parties. He played for several years at the Dallas Downtown Athletic Club then bought a Hammond B Model and went to work for the Eppley Hotel chain traveling throughout the Midwest and entertaining hotels.

He later returned to Dallas as staff organist for KRLD Radio and later KRLD Television. Technology put Charlie as well as many other organists out of work. He continued to play dances and private parties and began teaching which he continued until he lost his vision to glaucoma in the mid 1990’s.

Charlie had a life-long interest and love of the Theatre Organ and was a Charter Member of the North Texas chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society. He was a life long member of ATOS.

These manuscripts are a collection of arrangements he wrote over the years for teaching as well as for his own concertizing. Almost any song that could be thought of as a “standard” is here as well as many lead sheet arrangements of classical themes. Most of the arrangements are in lead sheet form. These are indexed in the Red Book. A designation of “S, A” indicates a simplified as well as an advanced arrangement of the song is there. There are many songs that he re-wrote over the years so at times there may be as many as four or five arrangements of the same song, each different in some way.

Charlie transcribed many arrangements of other organists….Jesse Crawford, George Wright, Don Baker, Lyn Larsen, to name a few. When an arrangement is one of another organist, he has noted it on the manuscript.

In later years, Charlie began doing arrangements in full three-staff format. Unfortunately, these were never indexed. They are included here as a separate group.

Musical notations and dynamics are in standard classical terms with the following exceptions:A letter name underscored means to play that note in the pedal;A letter name circled means to hold down that note when playing legato, or hold it as a rhythm pedal/chord pattern is being played.

Arrangement of Materials:

All of the collection is arranged alphabetically, as it was received from the donor.

Processing Information

In October 2017, Assistant Archivist Brynn Simons reprocessed the Charles Evans Papers. This reprocessing included adding unique item identifiers, making series-level distinctions, adding series-level scope and content notes, and adding more information to the Biographical/Historical Note and to the Acquisition Information. This reprocessing demonstrates the American Organ Institute Archives and Library's desire to follow current archival standards.
Guide to the Charles Evans Papers AOIAL.ATOC.RG0009 AOIAL.ATOC.RG0009
Finding Aid Authors: Andrew Schaeffer, Bailey Hoffner.
Language of description
The collection description/finding aid is written in English

Revision Statements

  • March 2nd, 2017: Revised by Bailey Hoffner, March 2nd, 2017. Two folders added from "The Red Book" binder, found within unprocessed materials: clippings etc. and inventory originally intended to remain with the arrangements.

Repository Details

Part of the The American Organ Institute Archives and Library Repository

2101 W. Tecumseh Rd
Suite C
Norman Oklahoma 73069 United States
(405) 325-3341