Cowan, Lester

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Lester Cowan (1907-1990) was an independent producer of motion picture films during the 1930s and 1940s. He was hired by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1928 and shortly thereafter became active in organizing industry events in California, including the annual Academy Awards and a lecture series on film studies at the University of Southern California. Cowan also assembled the film industry's research council, which was responsible for developing technical standards and conducting audience research. His production credits include "You Can't Cheat On Me" (1939), "My Little Chickadee" (1940), "Ladies in Retirement" (1941), "Commandos Strike At Dawn" (1942), "Tomorrow the World" (1944) and "The Story of G.I. Joe" (1945). He collaborated on the proposal for "The Trial of Billie Holiday" with his wife and scriptwriter, Ann Ronell.

Ann Rosenblatt Ronell (1908-1993) was a composer, teacher, vocal coach, and songwriter. During her studies at Radcliffe College, she met George Gershwin, who subsequently gave her a job as a rehearsal pianist for Broadway shows. After writing a handful of successful songs in the 1930s, Ronell began to compose music for films, including a noteworthy collaboration with composer Frank Churchill for the first Disney hit song, "Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf?" She received two Oscar nominations as music director for "The Story of G.I. Joe" (1945) and also composed a Broadway musical of her own in 1942 ("Count Me In").

From the description of Lester Cowan and Ann Ronell "Trial of Billy Holiday" collection, 1957-1988. (University of Maryland Libraries). WorldCat record id: 233824877

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Lester Cowan and Ann Ronell "Trial of Billie Holiday" collection, 1957-1988 University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
creatorOf Ronell, Ann. Ann Ronell papers, 1914-1999. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. 1921 - 2008. Audio Recordings. 1945 - 1965. THE ADVENTURES OF W. C. FIELDS
referencedIn Ronell, Ann. Papers, 1923-1998 (inclusive). Radcliffe College, Archives
referencedIn Lester Cowan and Ann Ronell "Trial of Billie Holiday" collection, 1957-1988 University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
referencedIn Miles, Walter R. Research concerning Eadweard Muybridge, 1928-1932. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Gore Vidal papers, 1850-2020 (inclusive), 1936-2008 (bulk) Houghton Library
referencedIn Miles, Walter R. Research concerning Eadweard Muybridge, 1928-1932 Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Fitzgerald, F. Scott (Francis Scott), 1896-1940. Collection of papers on the F. Scott Fitzgerald / Lester Cowan relationship, 1940-1993 (bulk 1940-1973). University of South Carolina, System Library Service, University Libraries
referencedIn Ann Ronell papers, 1914-1999 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
correspondedWith Fitzgerald, F. Scott (Francis Scott), 1896-1940. person
associatedWith Holiday, Billie, 1915-1959. person
correspondedWith Lester Cowan and Ann Ronell Trial of Billie Holiday Collection corporateBody
associatedWith Miles, Walter R. person
associatedWith Ronell, Ann person
associatedWith Ronell, Ann. person
associatedWith Ryerson, Florence person
associatedWith Vidal, Gore, 1925- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Subject
Motion picture music
Women composers
Songs
Motion picture producers and directors
Occupation
Activity

Person

Active 1957

Active 1988

English

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