Care for a hot eBay link?
This photograph was on sale a day ago — its price varied from $809 to — but it may have been sold. Here’s what the seller said:
Louis Armstrong & Sidney Catlett “Big Sid” Signed 8 x 10 Photo RCA Building
This Autographed Signed Press Photo is and Estate Find.
This Press Photo has printing that reads,
SIDNEY CATLETT — LOUIS ARMSTRONG’S
Sensational Drummer Getting off a Few
Hot Licks with “SATCHMO” Himself
R C A Building 30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York N.Y.
It is signed, (in green ink)
To My ‘Pluto Pal”
To Lou Gottlieb
In blue, possibly black ink, it is also signed,
My boy, Who is this guy, Milton Berle. Big Sid
and this is the rear. I don’t know if this date refers to when the photo was acquired or when it was signed, and perhaps the two signatures were done at different times.
The seller adds:
I, personally, found it in my mother’s garage. She lived in El Cerrito, California.
For reference LOU GOTTLIEB, was a member of the music trio, The Limeliters, lived in El Cerrito, and was a Huge Fan of Louis Armstrong which is why he had the signed photo. My mother received a folder of some of Gottlieb’s papers in which this photo was included.
“Pluto Pal” does not refer to the Disney character or to astronomy, but rather to Louis’ pharmaceutical pleasure in “Pluto Water.” You could look it up. Perhaps Lou Gottlieb had learned the secret to health from Louis. What the Milton Berle connection is might remain a mystery.
And here’s another treasure:
I no longer have the details on the second page — clearly from an autograph book — but the seller wrote that it was from 1949 in New York City, when Arvell and Sidney were a propulsive team in Louis’ All-Stars.
And one of the finest jazz recordings ever: STEAK FACE (dedicated to Louis’ Boston Terrier, “General,” but also a medium blues to show off Sidney amidst Louis, Jack Teagarden, Barney Bigard, Dick Cary, and Arvell Shaw) from the 1947 concert at Symphony Hall:
May your happiness increase!