WOODY GUTHRIE - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED - HFSID 283633
Sale Price $3,612.50
The songwriter and folk singer penned this undated letter and his signature about a possible job at the California radio station KGIL
Autograph Letter Signed: "Woody Guthrie". Pencil notations near top left, left edge and bottom right corner, all in unknown hand. 1 page, 7x10½, ruled paper, rounded right corners, three binder holes at left edge, affixed to a 8½x11 sheet of paper with adhesive labels in top left and bottom right corners. El Ray Hotel, Los Angeles, California. Addressed to Cyrus Adler. In full: "Dear Cy & Clement & All: A certain disc jockey, George Wilhelm, plays on [sic] hour of folk records every night from 10 to 11 p.m., at the studios of KGIL, 4919 Van Nuys Blvd., Sherman Oaks, California. He makes a big splash over Burls [sic] records, Josh White's, My own, and others, He draws a goodly stack of mail per day. I hear that he invites live talent to come down and do a few numbers in betwixt & between folk rec-ordings. Burl quested out there some few days ago. They've had fold music & ballad lovers (performers) come into studio and knock off a whole evening in tribute to me & my legend & my ballads. George Wilhelm may cause bossman at KGIL to see clear reasons for giving me a hundred a week sustaining till sponsored to knock out a 30 minute song & story (news comment) spot over their facilities and wires and machinery. A ballad a day by me, plus a tall tale contest, winner gets free album of my recordings (and a folksinger visitor most days). I never met said Mr. Wilhelm nor any bigshots around KGIL. But I did ride out yesterday on the Red Trolley car and eat a burger across the street from station hooks young and new with progressing plate glass windows & doors. I didn't get their phone number. Best Regards". KGIL began broadcasting in 1947, mostly as a big band station. It's still broadcasting as of this biography as an oldies station. The most important American folk singer and songwriter of the first half of the 20th Century, Woody Guthrie (1912-1967) wrote more than 1,000 songs, many of them standards such as “This Land Is Your Land” (1940), “Grand Coulee Dam” (1941), “Talking Dust Bowl” (1950), and numerous others, many of which are still covered by folk, country, rock, and even pop musicians. Guthrie left home at 15 to ride the rails as a hobo, and his songs are fed by his many experiences in hobo and migrant worker camps and among the dispossessed of the Great Depression. Guthrie's songs are strongly left-leaning, with great sympathy for labor unions and farmer groups; he even wrote for Communist newspapers in the 1940s. Guthrie was especially popular as a recording artist in the 1940s, with many live performances as a member of the political folk group the Almanac Singers. Folk singers like Bob Dylan rediscovered his recordings in the 1950s and 1960s and revived his popularity. By this time, Guthrie was suffering from the effects of Huntington's disease, the illness that eventually caused his demise. Lightly toned and creased. Show-through from tape on verso touches body of letter but not signature. Letter has light tear in left edge. Letter is folded once vertically and thrice horizontally and unfolded. Mounting paper is folded in half and unfolded. Otherwise, fine condition.
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