John W. Warner Papers

ca. 1946-1986
Manuscript Collection #519
Warner, John W.
Physical description
0.9 Cubic Feet, 51 items , consisting of correspondence, legal papers, post cards, a 45 rpm record, scripts, newpaper clipping, financial records, and photographs.
Preferred Citation
John W. Warner Papers (#519), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
ECU Manuscript Collection
No restrictions

Papers (1947-1986) including correspondence, legal papers, post cards, a 45 rpm record, script, newspaper clipping, financial records, and photographs.

Biographical/historical information

"Pitch a Boogie Woogie," released by Lord-Warner Pictures, Inc., in 1948, was the first movie made by a production company based in North Carolina. The film, which had an all-black cast of mostly local Greenville, N.C., performers, enjoyed success in the Carolinas, but was never shown outside that area. Lord-Warner dissolved in 1949 and John Warner went to work for a local TV station. His brother William Lord, who changed his name from Warner in the 1920s, returned to New York.

Scope and arrangement

Correspondence consists of two letters (1947) from John Warner and Sam Underwood to the Guaranty Bank and Trust Company concerning loans and a letter (1948) from the Marvel Distributing Corporation offering to buy camera equipment. Legal papers in the collection include the incorporation of Lord-Warner Pictures, Inc. (1947), promissory notes, deeds of trust, a bill of sale for film negatives and prints, and an agreement between a manager and a performer.

Memorabilia from the rediscovery of the film in 1986 include a post card of a poster, post cards of still photographs from the film, a post card of William Lord, a soundtrack recording, background information about the people who made the film, a copy of the script, and a proclamation by Governor James Martin declaring "Pitch a Boogie Woogie Week."

Miscellaneous papers include a receipt for shipping a copy of the film to the Library of Congress (1948) and a stock certificate for Lord-Warner Pictures, Inc. There are bills for equipment and storage (1947, 1952) and an original script for a screenplay called "Integration" by John Warner. Copies of newspaper clippings are of reviews and advertisements for the film as well as for the rediscovery in 1986. The collection also contains three insurance policies for camera equipment and miscellaneous financial records.

Administrative information
Custodial History

October 8, 1986, 28 items; Papers (1947-1949) of Greenville, N.C., film maker, including legal records for Lord-Warner Pictures, Inc., correspondence, photographs, scripts, and soundtrack recording from "Pitch a Boogie Woogie." Gift of Mrs. Shirley W. Taylor, Jacksonville, Florida

June 10, 2010, (unprocessed addition 1), 2 items, 0.50 cubic feet; Motion Picture Films (ca 1946-1986) by John Warner including his 16 mm color film with sound of Hurricane Helene for WNCT-TV, Greenville, North Carolina; also, his 35 mm silent film of West Greenville, N.C. Businesses that he possibly intended for use as commercials in his theatre on Albemarle Avenue. Motion Picture Films & Cases. 2 reels. Recd. 9/16/2009. Note: The family of the late Mac Nicholson gave #519.2.a to Mr. Albright. William Shepherd gave #519.2.b to Mr. Albright. See also related collection: Boogie in Black and White Documentary Collection #1086. Donor: Mr. Alex Albright.

Source of acquisition

Gift of Shirley W. Taylor

Gift of Alex Albright

Processing information

Processed by M. Cherry, January 1988

Encoded by Apex Data Services

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Key terms
Personal Names
Lord, William, -1981
Warner, John W.
Corporate Names
Lord-Warner Pictures
Motion pictures--North Carolina--Greenville
Pitch a boogie woogie (Motion picture)

Container list
Box 1 Folder d John Warner's insurance policies (1946-1949) with Phoenix Insurance Company, Hartford, CT, & the Globe & Republic Insurance Company, Philadelphia, PA & Moseley Brothers, Inc., Loans, Real Estate, Insurance, Greenville, NC & Godfrey P. Oakley Ins. Agency, Greenville, NC. Printed forms & typescript. 3 items. 13 p
Box 1 Folder e William Lord's Guaranty Bank and Trust Company, Greenville, NC Check Register, Blank checks & Deposit slips (1 Nov. 1947-30 Dec. 1948) 1 vol. 33 p. used of 112 p. & 13 loose p. 14 items. 126 p
Box 1 Folder f Pitch A Boogie Woogie Advertising Photographs (PC-519/6 - PC-519/7 - PC-519/8) (ca. 1947-1949) Reproductions of Photographic prints. Black & White. 10.75" x 13.5" 3 items. 3 p