RARE, UNIQUE, NICE (featuring LOUIS, LUCKY, BUNNY, BILLIE, HAWKINS, CLAUDE, ISRAEL, FLETCHER)

Delights from the eBay treasure chest . . . costly but surely unique.

This  is a concert program from the 1948 Nice Jazz Festival (notice that Louis and the All-Stars are billed as the Hot Five).  That would be enough in itself, but notice the autographs: Louis himself, Big Sid Catlett, Lucky Thompson, Jack Teagarden, Earl Hines, Barney Bigard, Arvell Shaw, Velma Middleton, Humphrey Lyttelton, Bob Wilber, Baby Dodds, Sammy Price, Sandy Williams, and more.

And here’s a picture (the eBay site has other close-ups):NICE FESTIVAL 1948 program 1But wait!  There’s more!

How about a copy of HOT  DISCOGRAPHY— signed by Billie Holiday, Bunny Berigan, Claude Jones, Coleman Hawkins, Fletcher Henderson, Buster Bennett, Israel Crosby . . . ?  No, I didn’t believe it, either.

But here is some evidence.  Even though the photographs are (perhaps intentionally?) blurry, the overall effect is dazzling:

Billie, once:

eBay BILLIE ONE

Billie, twice:

eBay BILLIE TWO

Claude Jones:

eBay CLAUDE JONES

Coleman Hawkins:

eBay HAWK

Buster Bennett:

ebay BUSTER BENNETT

Bunny Berigan:

eBay BUNNY

Fletcher Henderson:

eBay FLETCHER

Israel Crosby:

eBay ISRAEL

The Nice concert program obviously has a specific location in time and space.  The seller hasn’t said anything about this copy of HOT DISCOGRAPHY, but given the signatures, I suspect that its owner was at one time a Chicagoan . . . and you can guess when the signers took out their pens, at least by their death dates.

To me what is important here is that the owners of these artifacts not only loved the music but idolized the players and singers — so much so that having the seconds of personal contact needed to approach Lucky Thompson or Israel Crosby and ask for an autograph was worth the effort.  We benefit immensely from this kind of devotion.

Neither item is inexpensive, but the value here is immense.

May your happiness increase!

9 responses to “RARE, UNIQUE, NICE (featuring LOUIS, LUCKY, BUNNY, BILLIE, HAWKINS, CLAUDE, ISRAEL, FLETCHER)

  1. I have followed your blog for many years and have always enjoyed your elegant prose. As you combine this prose with an extensive knowledge, and love of, the Jazz realm, the resultant writings are a joy to read. This being so, it is with regret that I take you to task over the heading to this edition of your ejournal. The words rare should not be used in reference to a unique article. Surely an item, if unique, is the only one of its kind and would obviously be rare.
    This unlikely slip in your usually impeccable writing does in no way lessen my admiration for the manner in which you disseminate your knowledge
    in such lyrical fashion. I look forward to each edition of your entertaining, instructional essays and, when applicable, the music videos you provide, especially those of the Earregulars who supply in abundance the raw essence of the music we all love, improvisation of the first order.
    Many thanks from one of your many adherents,
    Bertie W.

  2. Pingback: RARE, UNIQUE, NICE (featuring LOUIS, LUCKY, BUN...

  3. pug & bob wilber

    Thank you for the Nice Program info…Bob Wilber is the only one left..Lets
    celebrate them all!

  4. Wow. . . just WOW!

  5. I knew a guy who had a copy of Jazzmen that was signed like the discography. I haven’t any idea what happened to it after he died. Sad, as his heirs and family had no interest in his stuff at all.

  6. I understand that also the so called “Swiss All Star Bebop Team” was playing in Nice that year, but can’t find neither a recording nor a picture nor see them on the program.
    Have you come across them?

  7. I have not, and this is the first I’ve heard of them. Do keep me informed! Is there a Swiss Jazz Archives of any kind?

  8. There are books and some records, mostly compilations. But I have not yet come across a true archive. I keep digging!

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