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Lucia Thorne papers

Identifier: IWA0894

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Scope and Contents

The Lucia Thorne papers date from 1943-1957 and measure ten linear inches. The papers are organized into two series, General and Musical Recordings. The papers are primarily concerned with Thorne's professional singing career and work with WHO Des Moines radio.

The General series consists of magazine articles and newspaper clippings about Thorne, radio scripts, photographs of Thorne alone and with other performers, sheet music for the songs she wrote, and a short autobiographical note by Thorne.

The Musical Recordings series consists of eleven 12-inch 78-rpm record albums, seven audiocassettes, and one CD of Thorne's music. The CD includes sixteen songs Thorne recorded at WHO Radio in the 1940s and 1950s. The audiocassettes contain songs from Melody Madhouse and Standard Melody Parade programs, as well as Bud Hovland's audition material. On the records are songs recorded at WHO studios, audition material, and recordings Thorne made with Jack Lester and his Orchestra. Some of the record albums are duplicates. A complete listing of the songs on the records, audiocassettes, and CD is filed in the General series (Box 1, folder 5).


  • Creation: 1943-1957


Conditions Governing Access

The papers are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa.

However, copyright status for some collection materials may be unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility and potential liability based on copyright infringement for any use rests exclusively and solely with the user. Users must properly acknowledge the Iowa Women’s Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, as the source of the material. For further information, visit

Biographical / Historical

Lucia Thorne was born in 1918 in Clinton, Iowa to Madge Watkins Thorne and Jent George Thorne. She began to study singing at the age of sixteen, first learning at home with her mother, who was herself a music teacher. After her mother's death in 1938, nineteen-year-old Lucia Thorne moved home to Maquoketa to stay with her father for a year, then left for Chicago to study at the Chicago Musical College. She had previously attended Maquoketa Jr. College.

Thorne's musical career began in Chicago nightclubs and developed through tours in the Midwest. Around 1945 she was offered a position at WHO radio in Des Moines, where she would spend fifteen years singing on such programs as Barn Dance Frolic, Lavender and Lace, and Melody Madhouse. During this time, she also wrote and copyrighted songs, including "The Moon is High" (1945) and "You're My One and Only" (1946).

In 1949 she married Henry "Bud" Hovland, a fellow staff member at WHO, with whom she had three children: Nicholas Thorne Hovland, Nancy Hovland, and Roxanne Hovland. Bud Hovland died in 1972. After her professional singing career, Lucia Thorne Hovland worked as a piano and organ teacher. She died in 2009, at the age of ninety-one.


10.00 linear inches

1 CD [d 0190], shelved with digital media; 7 audiocassettes [AC1575] - [AC1578], shelved with audiocassettes: 11 record albums. Photographs in box 1. items

Language of Materials



Professional singer from Clinton, Iowa who was a featured vocalist on WHO Des Moines radio for fifteen years in the 1940s and 1950s.

Method of Acquisition

The papers (donor no. 1273) were donated by Roxanne and Nancy Hovland in 2010.

Jessica Lawson, 2014
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Iowa Women's Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)