ARTIE SHAW - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 08/14/1978 - HFSID 308265
Sale Price $432.00
Preparing to move to a new California address, he invites friends to visit and to stay with him.
Typed Letter signed: "Artie", 1 page, 8½x11. 2127 W. Palos Court, Newbury Park, California, 1978 August 14. (Shaw has hand printed his new address and telephone number.) On personal letterhead (with earlier return address inked out) to Bob Wilson, Honolulu, Hawaii, in full: "Yes, of course I meant it when I said you and Audrey could stay with me in my new house when you come here. My only problem - if it is a problem at all, which I don't think it is --= is whether things will be settled by the time you arrive here. But even if they're not, there'll still be a room where you can stay while I'm getting the rest of the place in order. As it looks right now, I'll be moving in on or about the end of this month. The painter expects to finish up sometime this week, and after that it's simply a matter of getting things in, arranging furniture, kitchen stuff, books, records, paintings, etc. - in short, the accumulated debris of a fairly complex lifetime - all of which shouldn't take me more than five or six years, which is about what it's taken to get everything half-way straightened out where I now am and am in process of getting moved out of so I can go through the miserable process all over again for about the fortieth time! Well, enough of that for one life, is what I say. As far as I'm concerned, anyone wants to get me to go through that all over again better be prepared to use sheer brute force, by God! Anyway, by all means come and stay with me when you come. Let me know as soon as you can, so I can be sure I won't be on my way to some other part of the world when you arrive. Also be sure and tell Audrey I look forward to sampling some of those obviously super-culinary skills of hers that you've been thriving all these many years. Looking forward to hearing from you as and when you know the exact date and time of arrival, etc., etc. Meantime, I'm scouting around for some sort of reasonable sleeping facility to put into what I'm now referring to as 'the guest room' - which is at the moment empty except for carpeting. Never fear, though, by the time you arrive there'll certainly be a bed, or a nice sofa bed I've got my eye on, and (with a bit of luck) even a chest of drawers so you won't have to live out of your suitcases. Which, now that I think of it, is something a couple of annual (or is it semi-annual?) gypsies like you two are undoubtedly accustomed to doing anyway. My best to both of you. As always". Accompanied by original mailing envelope, with handwritten return address. 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. 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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