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Maurice & La Monte papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: Coll2008-033

Scope and Content of Collection

This collection consists of sound recordings used for Kugler and Jouron's Maurice & La Monte acts, descriptions of those recordings, programs from their performances and from theater performances they attended, a framed collage of newspaper clippings relating to their act, a keychain-size gun that fires blank cartridges and was used in their act, photographs of celebrities and other female impersonators (some signed by the subjects), and notes from fans. Miscellaneous materials include two publications on Mother Mason, a book of poems given to Kugler and Jouron on their 28th anniversary by Tymchuck and his partner, and a painting of a toucan, used as the backing for a framed photograph.

Dates

  • 1937-2005
  • Majority of material found within 1955 - 1980

Creator

Access

The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

Publication Rights

Researchers wishing to publish materials must obtain permission in writing from ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives as the physical owner. Researchers must also obtain clearance from the holder(s) of any copyrights in the materials. Note that ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives can grant copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold the copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for all other materials directly from the copyright holder(s).

Biography

Biography

William Stewart Kugler was born Aloysius Kenney on June 22, 1912 in Buffalo, New York. He was adopted at a young age and given the name William Stewart Kugler. He performed as a female impersonator in New York and Chicago in the 1930s.

Henry Joseph Jouron was born in Chicago on August 13, 1930. He also became involved in the performing arts.

Kugler and Jouron met in the late 1940s while they were each performing separately in Florida. They became a romantic couple, and shortly afterward decided to begin performing together. They created the Maurice & La Monte "Off the Record" pantomime act and staged their first shows in Florida. The act paired music made famous by other performers (and used in the act with their permission) with visual jokes and physical comedy. Maurice & La Monte wore simple black costumes to emphasize the individual costume pieces they used to create different characters (a colorful scarf, for example). Jouron made all of the costume pieces for the shows (he also made costumes for other female impersonators); they did each other's make-up.

The act toured in gay night clubs across the nation, with Kugler and Jouron working their way north from Florida to New York, then west to Chicago, and even further west to San Francisco and Los Angeles. Performing was difficult for the duo because of laws against female impersonation, particularly in California. Kugler and Jouron were plagued by police; they were even jailed briefly for impersonating females.

In 1965, Maurice & La Monte performed with Judy Garland in her last performance in Las Vegas, at the Thunderbird Hotel. Later, Maurice & La Monte often performed with Judy Lynn, a lesbian and Judy Garland impersonator. Maurice & La Monte performed through the mid-1980s, mostly in California and Hawaii. Kugler died in Los Angeles on January 29, 1993. Jouron died on March 11, 2006, also in Los Angeles.

Source:

Maurice & La Monte Papers, Coll2008-033, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California

Extent

0.75 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Audio recordings, programs, photographs, and ephemera relating to female impersonators and pantomime artists Henry Jouron and William "Billy" Kugler (known theatrically as Maurice & La Monte). The bulk of the collection consists of sound recordings used for Maurice & La Monte's "Off the Record" pantomime act. The collection also contains photographs of celebrities and other female impersonators, some of which are signed.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Robert Tymchuck, June 6, 2008.

General Physical Description note

1 archive carton + 1 oversize archive box

Processing Information

Collection processed by Johanna Michael, June 27, 2008.

In June 2013, open-reel audiotapes were assigned call numbers (ARR####), replacing the box/folder numbers that were assigned to the audiotapes when this collection was originally processed. These items were formerly housed in Box 2 of this collection.

Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Title
Finding aid of the Maurice & La Monte Papers
Status
Completed
Author
Johanna Michael
Date
© 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in: English

Repository Details

Part of the ONE Archives at the USC Libraries, University of Southern California Repository

Contact:
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles California 90007 United States
(213) 821-2771