Skip to main content

Lou Busch scores collection

Identifier: M215

Scope and Contents of the Records

The Lou Busch scores collection consists of song arrangements written by Lou Busch. Many of the songs are original compositions, but the scores also include arrangements of classical pieces, jazz standards, popular songs, and novelty tunes written by others. The bulk of the arrangements date from the 1950s and 1960s and were recorded by Busch in the persona of ragtime pianist Joe "Fingers" Carr. Typically, the arrangements include a conductor's score with the music of all the instruments, as well as various parts. The majority of the scores are arrangements for a small group (piano, guitar, bass, and drums), but many include parts for brass, woodwinds, strings, and other instruments. Some of the arrangements are handwritten in pencil, but the majority were inscribed in ink by copyists for musicians' use.


  • Creation: circa 1950-circa 1966


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research use.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Georgia State University is the owner of the physical collection and makes reproductions available for research, subject to the copyright law of the United States and item condition. Georgia State University may or may not own the rights to materials in the collection. It is the researcher's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and obtain permission from the copyright holder before publication, reproduction, or display of the materials beyond what is reasonable under copyright law. Researchers may quote selections from the collection under the fair use provision of copyright law.

Biographical Note about Lou Busch

Lou Busch (1910-1979) was a musician, composer, and record company executive who also had a successful recording career as pianist Joe "Fingers" Carr. Born Louis Ferdinand Bush, he began playing piano professionally as a teenager, later also receiving formal conservatory training. Following Army service during the Second World War, he served as a musician and talent scout, and eventually producer and executive, for Capitol Records. As an accompanist, orchestra leader, or producer, Busch worked with such successful Capitol vocalists as Peggy Lee, "Tennessee" Ernie Ford, Jo Stafford, Kay Starr, and Margaret Whiting. He was married to Whiting for a time, and the pair had a daughter, Deborah.

Starting in 1950, Busch had a parallel career as a recording artist. Under the name Joe "Fingers" Carr, he had a number of hits with his ragtime piano performances, making over 20 albums by 1966. As Carr, he recorded for Capitol (1950-1958) and Warner Bros. (1960-1962) as well as Coral and Dot Records (1964-1966). While at Capitol, he also recorded orchestral pop and jazz under his own name with the Lou Busch Orchestra. He continued to work as a producer, arranger, and orchestra leader, having great success with the comedian Allan Sherman while at Warner Bros. Busch was still performing occasionally at the time of his death in 1979.


30.7 Linear Feet (in 25 boxes)

Language of Materials



Lou Busch (1910-1979) was a musician, composer, and record company executive who also had a successful recording career as pianist Joe "Fingers" Carr. The Lou Busch scores collection consists of orchestral and small-group arrangements of a variety of popular songs, many recorded by Busch.


The collection is arranged alphabetically by song title.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Debbi Whiting, 2010.

Processing Information

Processed by Tony Dinh, October 2013; descriptions by William W. Hardesty, May 2014. Arranged alphabetically by song title. In the Contents List, the composers and the date of the original composition are noted, as are the instrumental parts for each arrangement.

Lou Busch:
A Guide to His Scores Collection at Georgia State University Library
William Hardesty
May 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404-413-2881 (Fax)