Skip to main content

Kenneth Pitts papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 7895

Scope and Contents

Collection contains printed vocal songbooks from the early 20th century featuring folk songs and "cowboy tunes," and manuscripts of orchestrations and arrangements done by Pitts, some pertaining to his time in the "Light Crust Doughboys." The collection spans the dates of 1922-1970 and features popular vocal music orchestraited for large and small ensembles.


  • 1922-1970


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.

Permission to publish material from the Kenneth Pitts papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical history

Kenneth Pitts (circa 1915) is an accomplished musician, teacher, arranger and composer who played for the Light Crust Doughboys band and the Fort Worth Opera orchestra of Texas.

Pitts started studying classical violin as a young teenager, and for a few years after he graduated from high school he worked as a janitor for a church in Fort Worth, Texas, while playing in a small fiddle band for practically nothing.

In 1935, a good friend who was playing with the Light Crust Doughboys from Burrus Mill convinced Pitts to come down for an audition. Because of Pitts' skill in improvising harmonies he got the job, which paid better than he was making as a janitor, and started a long time relationship with music, playing fiddle and occasionally singing baritone with the Doughboys.

Pitts had no formal training in music composition, but he began to write down popular melodies and create accompanying harmonies; this led to trios and quartets for vocal ensembles. From continual experience of writing music for the Light Crust Doughboys, Pitts eventually started arranging for all sizes and sorts of groups. Pitts created most of the arrangements used by the Doughboys, and picked what they would perform for the radio shows.

In 1940 Pitts and a few other members of the band decided to continue their musical training by attending Texas Christian University. After WWII Pitts attained his bachelor’s degree in music education, and began to teach in the Fort Worth public schools. After the Light Crust Doughboys disbanded in 1942, Pitts continued teaching in schools, while at the same time taking on forty-five private students to support his family. Pitts continued on in his education to earn a master’s degree in music education, and spent thirty years playing in the Fort Worth Opera orchestra.


9 cartons (9 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



The original order of the collection has been retained.

Custodial History

Donated by Kenneth Pitts in 1990.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated: Kenneth Pitts; 1990.


Popular music of the 19th and 20th centuries (section IV.a.i.3 Music Special Collections Development Policy September 2010).

Processing Information

Processed; Melissa James; June 2011.

Kenneth Pitts papers
Melissa James
2011 June 23
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States