I call eBay one-stop jazz shopping. Type in “jazz,” click on “Entertainment Memorabilia,” and watch the hours — and sometimes the dollars — fly.
Treasures abound. Of course, one has to pick delicately through the signed photographs of Sir Laurence Olivier in THE JAZZ SINGER, the forged Louis Armstrong signatures, the absurd pricing (“MEGA RARE!”) but surprises and delights await. Here are a few recent ones.
Willie Lewis (leader of the Entertainers, a band most of us know because of its work with Benny Carter and Bill Coleman) — a silhouette inscribed to his friend, trumpeter George Brashear. I am not planning to buy this, but think the image would make a perfect Twenties-jazz-geek-scholar t-shirt:
Here’s a particularly delicious Entertainers recording — a nice stroll through STOMPIN’ AT THE SAVOY with a glorious Bill Coleman solo and a closing bridge given over to Herman Chittison. (The YouTube site offers more than thirty of the band’s sides — all mislabeled, so you will have fun figuring out which tune goes with which title):
Then, an autographed picture of Mildred Bailey — her particularly loopy girlish handwriting makes me sure that this one is authentic:
How anyone could fold such a treasure in thirds is beyond me. And the reverse is equally interesting to scholars of Thirties music:
And now . . . autographs from the Basie band of 1939. Most of them are easy to decipher, and I think the bottom one is arranger Andy Gibson:
May your happiness increase!