I'm assuming each of you has your own story of scouring for that one song that is a needle in a haystack. We heard a music track, it came up in a playlist, it is on some archived cast album from decades back... As cabaret artists, we are often trying to find material that is uniquely "us."
On line music is a great asset, with possibilities on MusicNotes and others sites to not only purchase individual charts, but have them transposed to a key that fits our range. Our connection in TCCAN allows us to also exchange pieces or share obscure tabs from old vintage books in our collections. Even our public library has a reserve shelf that can provide us an occasional treasure if we are willing to dig a bit through an archaic card catalogue. But I am here to praise a new find in Hollywood Sheet Music. Enough so, that I am adding it as a resource in our links here. Their by line is "if you can't find it here, you won't find it anywhere."
I am currently work shopping a new set of Cy Coleman material and choosing to really delve into some of his lost trunk songs. Through an adventure chase that began with his own publishing company, I was lucky enough to get a lead to them. Somewhere along the way, some of Cy's songs are still owned by his estate, others went over to the Hal Leonard company. And yet there is a third option of those straggling songs that were never deemed important enough to be published, but merely copyrighted. Somehow Hollywood Sheet Music has assembled many of those stray ducks in a massive strip mall warehouse in Burbank CA. So if anything you are seeking may have come from a musical score or a film soundtrack, chances are that you might have some luck here.
Their website is hardly high tech. And the search engine there is deceiving and not always at face value. I was told to send a personal inquiry to Stephanie, the librarian there. And that is where I struck gold. Within a day, she responded back and had both rare tunes I was looking for; one from the original theater score and the other chart in Coleman's own notation. They were a bit more expensive than other on line sites - but far less than having someone arrange them by hand. Another great resource to remember!
Hollywood Sheet Music
Hollywood Piano Warehouse