Guide to the Lucia Thorne papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1943-1957
Creator: Thorne, Lucia (1918-2009)
Extent: 10.00 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0894
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Professional singer from Clinton, Iowa who was a featured vocalist on WHO Des Moines radio for fifteen years in the 1940s and 1950s.

Administrative Information

Alternate Extent Statement: 1 CD, 7 audiocassettes, 11 record albums. Photographs in box 1.

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 1273) were donated by Roxanne and Nancy Hovland in 2010.

Preferred Citation: Lucia Thorne papers, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason

Biographical Note

Lucia Thorne was born in 1918 in Clinton, Iowa to Madge Watkins Thorne and Jent George Thorne. She began to study singing at the age of sixteen, first learning at home with her mother, who was herself a music teacher. After her mother's death in 1938, nineteen-year-old Lucia Thorne moved home to Maquoketa to stay with her father for a year, then left for Chicago to study at the Chicago Musical College. She had previously attended Maquoketa Jr. College. Thorne's musical career began in Chicago nightclubs and developed through tours in the Midwest. Around 1945 she was offered a position at WHO radio in Des Moines, where she would spend fifteen years singing on such programs as Barn Dance Frolic, Lavender and Lace, and Melody Madhouse. During this time, she also wrote and copyrighted songs, including "The Moon is High" (1945) and "You're My One and Only" (1946). In 1949 she married Henry "Bud" Hovland, a fellow staff member at WHO, with whom she had three children: Nicholas Thorne Hovland, Nancy Hovland, and Roxanne Hovland. Bud Hovland died in 1972. After her professional singing career, Lucia Thorne Hovland worked as a piano and organ teacher. She died in 2009, at the age of ninety-one.

Content Description

The Lucia Thorne papers date from 1943-1957 and measure ten linear inches. The papers are organized into two series, General and Musical Recordings. The papers are primarily concerned with Thorne's professional singing career and work with WHO Des Moines radio.

The General series consists of magazine articles and newspaper clippings about Thorne, radio scripts, photographs of Thorne alone and with other performers, sheet music for the songs she wrote, and a short autobiographical note by Thorne.

The Musical Recordings series consists of eleven 12-inch 78-rpm record albums, seven audiocassettes, and one CD of Thorne's music. The CD includes sixteen songs Thorne recorded at WHO Radio in the 1940s and 1950s. The audiocassettes contain songs from Melody Madhouse and Standard Melody Parade programs, as well as Bud Hovland's audition material. On the records are songs recorded at WHO studios, audition material, and recordings Thorne made with Jack Lester and his Orchestra. Some of the record albums are duplicates. A complete listing of the songs on the records, audiocassettes, and CD is filed in the General series (Box 1, folder 5).

Detailed Description of the Collection

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This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.