Sometimes a fellow needs a little help before the next paycheck:

Perhaps Fats was hungry?  The possible soundtrack:

A moderately familiar picture of the Lady, but a large bold signature:

Rudy Vallee was notoriously frugal, so this check is possibly more than usually rare, and since it is made out to Toots Mondello, we have the pleasure of two signatures:

and the reverse:

Those of you who know my habits will say, “Oh, Michael’s been at the eBay again.”  I could do worse.

Welcome to 2018 —

May your happiness increase!


  1. Nancie Beaven


  2. Dan Morgenstern

    Fats always needed money for alimony but this was most probably for work done. Rudy had a band. and a radio show so while frugal also employer. And while his singing is an unaquired taste for most of us must always be grateful for his enabling Louis to become the first (and for long time only) black artist with a sponsored radio show. PS That 50 Bucks was a lot of dough in them days! PPS What did these checks go for on eBay?


  3. Dear Dan,
    You sent me on a delightful quest down the eBay rabbit-hole. The Vallee-Mondello check is still for sale for $39.99. And other sellers have offered bushels of Rudy’s checks — some for $280. Most notable are two written to and endorsed by trumpeter Mickey Bloom. The Fats paper is no longer for sale, but his autographs start at nearly a thousand dollars and go over five thousand. The Billie is still available for $1250 “or best offer”. I will now go and take my nap. Cheers and happy 2018, Michael

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