Sousa Archives Acquires the Della Perrone Photographs

The Bears (front row: Adrian Belew and Rob Fetters; back row: Bob Nyswonger and Chris Arduser), ca. 1980 [top left], Turning Curious at Pogo Studio (Nick Rudd, Jeff Evans, Steve Scariano, and Berni Proeschl), ca. 1983-85 [top right], Della Perrone self-portrait, ca. 1983-84 [center left], Perrone Family photograph, ca. 1945 [center right), and Fabulous Thunderbirds performing at Mabel’s, ca. 1980 (guitar: Jimmie Vaughan, vocals/harmonica: Kim Wilson, drums: Fran Christina, and bass: Preston Hubbard) [bottom]

In January 2015 the Sousa Archives has acquired the Della Perrone Photographs.  Perrone’s career as a photographer has been closely tied to the Urbana-Champaign community where she grew up, and its vital local music scene.  Between 1981 and 1989, she photographed hundreds of live concerts of local bands and national acts performing in such Urbana-Champaign venues as Chico’s, Mabel’s, and the University Auditorium, as well as other performance spaces throughout the Midwest. The musicians and music groups she has photographed include Adrian Belew and the Bears, John Kellogg and Combo Audio, Captain Rat, George Faber, The Rave/Invaders, Smokehouse, Mystery Dots, B-Lovers, the Vertebrats, Nix 86, U2, the Ramones, Jason & the Scorchers, Robin Trower, Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Brian Setzer, and Wendy O. Williams.  Throughout these years, Perrone’s photographs have artfully capture the on-stage, and sometimes back-stage, and off-stage exploits of these bands’ performances, and provide a vivid illustration of Urbana-Champaign’s dynamic music scene.  In addition to her professional photographs there are many family photographs that were take by Perrone’s maternal grandparents, mother, father, and two uncles who were avid camera enthusiasts, and many of their images captured family events and their world travels immediately after World War II.  This wonderful addition complements the Sousa Archives’ growing local music collections, and will be made available to researchers, local historians, and the general public in early April when the collection has been fully arranged and described.  For more information on this exciting collection call 217-244-9309 or email

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