Collection ID: NPkMC-222-217

Collection context


Marist College
The Nelly Goletti Collection documents portions of the career of the popular and classical composer, performer and pianist. Born in Algiers, North Africa, Goletti was considered a child prodigy by the age of six. She completed her musical education by the age of fourteen and went on to become a popular and critically acclaimed composer and performer throughout Europe and the United States.Included in this collection is the music for many of the over 300 songs and compositions by Goletti. Also included are sound recordings, photographs and newspaper clippings.
18 Linear Feet
Preferred citation:

[Description of item, date, location of item in order of series, box number, folder number ], in the Nelly Goletti Papers, Archives and Special Collections, James A. Cannavino Library, Marist College.


Scope and Content:

The Nelly Goletti Collection consists of sheet music, scores, lyrics, musical sketches, sound recordings, photographs, portraits and newspaper clippings. The collection includes materials primarily from the latter portion of the 20th century.

Biographical / Historical:

Nelly Goletti, French chanteuse, composer, and pianist was born in Algiers, North Africa on December 25, 1908. Goletti began studying piano at the age of five and enrolled in the Beaux Arts Conservatory at the age of six. At the age of six she gave her first concert and was recognized from then on as a child prodigy. At the age of thirteen she became the youngest member of S.A.C.E.M., the French society of composers. By the age of fourteen she had completed her studies at Conservatories of Classical Music in Milan and Paris, where she was honored with fourteen first prizes. A student of the world renowned Isadore Phillip, her mark remains at the Paris Conservatory, where her piano etudes are still taught. At the age of sixteen she became the youngest member of the Society of Authors and Composers.

Goletti performed extensively in well-known clubs and cabarets throughout Europe and the United States, including London’s Bagatelle Club in Mayfair. She composed the music to the state musical "Talleyrand" by Sacha Guitry and the complete score for the Casino de Paris. Her songs have been sung by Jean Sablon, Jean Lumiere, Guy Berri, Reda Caire, and others. She has appeared on every major radio network in Europe from Luxemburg to Monte Carlo. In 1947 she was acclaimed as a "female Rachmanioff" by the Ce Soir critic Jean Weiner after a concert at Salle Pleyel. Her two American films performances include "One Too Many" and "The Best is Yet to Come". She became the musical director of Hallmark Productions in Hollywood and she wrote the music for the film "Rich, Young and Pretty", starring Jane Powell. While living in New York she had her own fifteen minute prime time program on WOR-TV every Thursday evening from 7:00 to 7:15 PM. She also appeared on the Steve Allen Show and in Hollywood on Peter Potter’s show.

Nelly Goletti has over three hundred songs and compositions to her name. Her first major song was called "Serenade", other songs were written specifically for music stars like Jean Sablon and Tino Rossi. Her recordings, mainly done in Paris, were on the Decca, Pacific, Columbia and Pathe labels. She was a long-time staff artist at the Paris studios of Decca. Her works, both in the popular and classical musical idioms, have been performed extensively in Europe and the United States. Nelly Goletti’s style as a composer and pianist can be recognized by her unusual harmonies, contrapuntal treatment, beautiful tones and strong attack.

Acquisition information:
The Nelly Goletti Collection was presented to the Marist College Library by the Fusco Family.

Materials are arranged into twenty series: 1) Lyrics and music by Nelly Goletti, 2) Music by Nelly Goletti (no lyrics), 3) Lyrics by other lyricists, 4) Collective works by Nelly Goletti, 5) Lyrical interpretations by Nelly Goletti, 6) Arrangements by Nelly Goletti, 7) Special Arranements, 8) Works Arranged by Eddie Sauter, 9) Marcel Valenve, 10) Copyrights and Royalties, 11) Sketches, 12) Photographs, 13) Newspaper clippings, 14) Professional papers, 15) Personal papers, 16) Handwritten songs by other composers, 17) Practice books, 18) Audio collection, 19) Audio - Original form, and 20) Cassettes

Materials are arranged alphabetically

Physical location:
Please contact the Marist College Archives and Special Collections for information regarding use and access of this collection.
Rules or conventions:
DACS Describing Archives: A Content Standard. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2013.



There are no restrictions on this collection


Individuals requesting reproductions expressly assume the responsibility for compliance with all pertinent provisions of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. ss101 et seq. Patrons further agree to indemnify and hold harmless the Marist College Archives and Special Collections and its staff in connection with any disputes arising from the Copyright Act, over the reproduction of material at the request of patrons. For more information please visit the following website:


[Description of item, date, location of item in order of series, box number, folder number ], in the Nelly Goletti Papers, Archives and Special Collections, James A. Cannavino Library, Marist College.

3399 North Road
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601, United States