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Crooner Rudy Vallée signed this typed letter to Michigan Congressman Paul W. Shafer in 1937, asking him to support a bill that would set up a comprehensive system of military bands in the U. S. Armed Forces.

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Crooner Rudy Vallée signed this typed letter to Michigan Congressman Paul W. Shafer in 1937, asking him to support a bill that would set up a comprehensive system of military bands in the U. S. Armed Forces.
Typed letter signed "Rudy Vallée" in blue ink. 2 pages, 7x10¼, single-sided sheets, on letterhead of Steinway Hall in New York City. March 23, 1937. Addressed to Congressman Paul W. Shafer, Washington, D. C. In full: "Dear Sir: That Army band Leaders did not continue as commissioned officers after the World War was, in my opinion, an unfortunate circumstance. During the Brief period when the strength of band was increased, and the Leaders were commissioned, rapid improvement in the morale and musical ability of all Army bands was the result. Serving as a non-musician in the United States Navy during the World War gave me a profound respect for and a deep personal interest in the Bandsmen who served in the various branches of the military. Doing their best under adverse conditions, it always seemed to me that music in the Service suffered for want of a Director-in-Chief- for lack of a planning of routines, training, instruction, education, and the other necessary elements which make up a progressive policy. I have been privileged to play at least a small part in the great musical transition which has taken place in America since the War. This development would not have been possible without the promise of greater rewards for those who did the planning, as well as those who did the playing. The musician in the military service is not different than his civilian brother - he too requires en-couragement and promise of better things in order to keep step with a changing world. Instead of reduced bands, we need larger once, better ones, improved through intelligent and proper training and administration. The bill, H. R. 4947, introduced by Congressman J. Joseph Smith of Connecticut, provide the groundwork for a comprehensive and progressive program of Bands. The Bandmaster must be educated and able. He is entitled to proper recognition for his ability. The musician in the ranks is entitled to an opportunity to develop his talents with the assurance of proper reward for work well done. While the rest of the branches of the military are being keyed to this great age of advancement, Bands are seriously re-tarded by a system of regulation which is far from modern or in keeping with the times. I urge you sir, to give the Bands of our military Service the opportunity to, take their rightful place among the Bands of the World. Will you assist in supporting H. R. 4947. Yours for more and better Bands, Rudy Vallee". PAUL W. SHAFER (1893-1954, born in Elkhart, Indiana) represented Michigan's 3rd Congressional District in the House of Representatives (1937-1954). JOHN JOSEPH SMITH (1904-1980, born in Waterbury, Connecticut) was a U. S. Congressman from Connecticut (1935-1941). From the mid-1920s to the mid-1950s, RUDYVALLÉE (1901-1986, born Hubert Prior Vallée in Island Pond, Vermont) enjoyed a successful career on radio, in movies, in Broadway musicals and with a solo nightclub act. His films include The Palm Beach Story (1942), I Remember Mama (1948), The Helen Morgan Story (1957), The Night They Raided Minsky's (1968), Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976) and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967), in which he reprised his role from the successful 1961 Broadway musical. The first singer to be called a "crooner", Vallée was known for carrying a small megaphone and for his catch phrase "Heigh-Ho, Everyone", which he first used when appearing at New York's Heigh-Ho Club. Lightly toned and creased. Discolorations from adhesive residue and mounting remnants (do not touch signature). Folded twice and unfolded. Otherwise in fine condition.

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