The Library of Congress announced Wednesday it will receive a collection of Broadway and personal memorabilia from the estate of Broadway actor John Raitt, who originated the role of Billy Bigelow in the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic “Carousel” in 1945.
Raitt, a native of Southern California, also starred in “The Pajama Game” and a few other productions on Broadway. Prior to hitting it big in New York, Raitt played Curly in the national tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” in 1944.
The Library of Congress said the John Raitt Collection includes six decades’ worth of personal scrapbooks as well as photographs from his private collection, annotated scripts, orchestrations and personal letters. It will become part of the library’s music division, which houses the collections of George and Ira Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II, Bob Fosse and other stage notables.