Billy Strayhorn Songs, Inc. (BSSI) is in search of a permanent archival residence for the Billy Strayhorn Manuscript Collection. BSSI would enter into a contractual relationship with an institution of educational excellence to provide Curator/Custodial Services for the preservation and cultural exploitation of the Collection.


Billy Strayhorn Songs, Inc. (BSSI) was established to bring recognition to Billy Strayhorn who, as one of America’s greatest composers, has made a major contribution to the world of music; to provide the written music of Billy Strayhorn enabling study of his legacy and performance of his compositions. The manuscript collection is copyrighted and managed by Billy Strayhorn Songs, Inc. (BSSI).

The Billy Strayhorn Manuscript collection consists of over eight thousand (8,000) hand-written manuscripts created by Billy Strayhorn, one of America’s greatest composers. The collection represents Billy Strayhorn’s entire musical career and validates him as being one of the most prolific composers in American history. The collection includes both published and unpublished titles. The manuscripts reflect the legacies of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.

A significant portion of the collection consists of Strayhorn compositions that stand alone outside the Ellington legacy. Among the classic titles are: Take the ‘A’ Train, Chelsea Bridge, Lush Life, and many others. Also included are a number of theatrical production songs from the original program Jump For Joy as well as Beggar’s Holiday, Queen’s Suite, etc. The manuscript collection is copyrighted and managed by Billy Strayhorn Songs, Inc. (BSSI).

The Collection consists of “precious” historical materials that need to be managed by professionals, academic leaders with an unwavering passion to exploit this “timeless” treasure. This will enable other scholars and researchers to access these materials and provide further enlightenment and perpetuation of history.

Inquiries relative to this overview should be directed to:

William E. Strayhorn



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