ARTIE SHAW - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 12/22/1980 - HFSID 308267
Sale Price $531.25
The band leader responds to the gift of a Christmas cake from fellow band leader Bob Wilson with a warm letter, concluding with a bilingual pun he had once used as a name for his band!
Autograph Letter signed: "Con mucho amor/de sus amigo/Arturo (or, if you/prefer Catalan, Artixó)", 1 page, 5¾x9.No place, 1980 December 22. On personal letter head to "Dear Audrey & Bob [Wilson]", in full: "1. Just received cake. 2. Tempted, but have not opened as per instructions. 3. Will open on Xmas day. 4. Will then sample. 5. Will then think a heartfelt thanks, and beam same toward you (youse?) 6. Will hope you (you'se?) receive same. Meanwhile, all best wishes for a peachy Xmas and a nifty New Year. And thanks again, natch!" Bandleader Artie Shaw (1910-2004), born Arthur Jacob Arshawsky, was also an accomplished jazz clarinetist, composer and writer. During the Swing Era, Shaw, the chief rival of Benny Goodman, and his band had a number of hits, including "Begin the Beguine" (1938), "Lady Be Good" and "Frenesi", and Shaw was the first white bandleader to hire a Black female lead singer - Billie Holiday. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, Shaw appeared in two feature films, Artie Shaw's Class in Swing (1939) and Second Chorus (1940), and he wrote songs for the Marx Brothers' film, The Big Store (1941) as well as for Second Chorus. Enlisting in the U.S. Navy during WWII, Shaw and his band played for Navy personnel in the Pacific Theatre for 18 months. In 1954, Shaw "retired" from playing the clarinet to concentrate on writing semi-autobiographical non-fiction, but he came out of retirement several times, including reorganizing a new Artie Shaw Band (1981, with Dick Johnson as band leader and soloist; Shaw would make guest conducting appearances) and appearing as a guest star on several TV shows, from What's My Line? (1950) to Police Woman (1975) as well as making several appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1971-1972. Married eight times, his wives included Elizabeth "Betty" Kern, the daughter of songwriter Jerome Kern, and actresses Lana Turner (February-September 1940), Ava Gardner (1945-1946) and Evelyn Keyes (1957-1985; his longest marriage, but Shaw said they lived separate lives much of the time). Shaw, who was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award on February 8, 2004, died on December 30, 2004 at the age of 94. In France, the joke was that "Artie Shaw" sounded like the French word for artichoke ("artichaut"). When Shaw lived in Spain, he formed a band called "Artixó", which in Catalan also sounds like "Artie Shaw." This letter is from the collection of noted Big Band-era musician Bob Wilson.Normal mailing folds. Slightly creased. Otherwise, fine condition.
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