IRA FREDERICK ALDRIDGE
-- The first
African American Shakespearean actor.
Aldridge will play the role of Shylock in
"The Merchant of Venice."
MARIAN ANDERSON -- A superb vintage signed
portrait of the great contralto c. 1939
Jazz pianist and composer -
signed 1964 "TIME" MAGAZINE cover
VAUGHAN - "THE DIVINE ONE" - Jazz vocalist extraordinaire.
Although much of "Sassy's" popularity was due to her interpretation of
ballads, she was a brilliant scat singer as well, and could adapt to
virtually any style of music.
JAZZ ALTO SAXOPHONE LEGEND CHARLIE PARKER
who invented be-bop along
with trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie
JOHN BIRKS “DIZZY” GILLESPIE -
A signed photo of the revolutionary be-bop
trumpet player, vocalist and bandleader
BILLIE HOLIDAY -
A signed performance
contract from 1952. Known as "Lady Day", her
vocal delivery, inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new
style of manipulating phrasing and tempo.
JOHN COLTRANE'S INSCRIBED
1961 TIFFANY 18K GOLD WATCH - This
elegant timepiece (which one British watch expert called "the Rolex of its
time"), was given to Coltrane in 1961 by Creed Taylor, the founder of
Impulse Records, a new jazz label. Trane was Taylor's first major signee,
receiving a very large advance of $20,000 and this expensive gold watch.
Recordings with his quartet such as “Live at Birdland,” “Crescent,”
“Impressions,” “Ballads,” and the landmark work “A Love Supreme,”
underscored this important partnership.The great saxophonist generated large
sales for Impulse which has been called in a recent book on the iconic
label, "The House That Trane Built."
JOHN COLTRANE (1926-1967), innovative tenor and soprano
saxophonist - Rare signed
publicity photo from the 1964 "A Love Supreme"
recording session. "Trane" pens,
"God is all, Thank you, John
EDWARD KENNEDY "DUKE" ELLINGTON (1899-1974) -
A signed vintage 78 recording with two songs
from the 1930 "Amos 'n' Andy film "Check and Double Check". The disc
is also signed on the flip side by lead clarinetist and saxophonist, Barney
DUKE ELLINGTON'S FAMOUS
This 1930 image shows
Ellington on a Hollywood set, rehearsing his band for the two numbers on the
recording at left. The songs were "Three Little Words," and "Ring Dem
JOSEPHINE BAKER (the "Black Venus") -
Inscribed, signed in French vintage (1939) photograph of the legendary
African American vocalist, dancer, actress, and civil rights activist who
was catapulted to stardom in the Follies Bergeres with a risque banana
costume, and reigned as a Paris music-hall queen for some fifty years.
signed 1920 vintage photo
of the legendary black star of vaudeville. For 15 years, he performed
internationally either as a solo or duo act until 1910, when Flo Ziegfeld
hired him as the first black star of the iconic Ziegfeld Follies. Always
appearing in blackface, audiences applauded his amazing talent and good
looks. Williams also made records said to have sold in the hundreds of
thousands. He made his home in New York City and steadfastly refused to
perform below the Mason Dixon Line.
PAUL ROBESON (1898-1976) -
African American singer, actor, college athlete, and
political activist. At right is his original signed and notarized 1935 application for the
American Society of Recording Artists
SIGNED OIL ON CANVAS FOR
FIRST SIGNET PAPERBACK EDITION OF RICHARD WRIGHT'S NOVEL,
LOUIS ARMSTRONG (1901-1971) -
Remarkable three-page handwritten letter on his personal "SATCHMO"
letterhead penned just four days before his death. The great trumpeter,
bandleader, singer, and composer tells his friend Mr. Kauffmann in Germany,
"Now for my
health. I am gladto say that I am feeling fine and almost well. Just a little
weakness in my legs and I will soon walk without my walking cane. I
have a very good doctor and my dear wife Lucille who takes real good care of
Speaking of his music:
"I practice on my (horn) (meaning) my trumpet every day a half hour before my
dinner. And I am very happy about it." Sadly,
Armstrong passed away on
July 6, 1971 in Corona, Queens, New York of a heart attack.
CHUCK BERRY - ROCK 'N' ROLL
Singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Chuck Berry is
considered a “founding father” of rock and roll and rhythm-and-blues music. His many hit records included such classic rock tunes as "Maybellene", “Roll Over
Beethoven,” “Reelin’ and Rockin’,” “Sweet Little Sixteen,” “Rock ‘n’ Roll
Music,” and the
still popular “Johnny B. Goode.” Berry's trademark "duckwalk" thrilled
teenage audiences, and his uplifting music during the 1950s and 1960s
helped transcend the color barrier at a critical time in America's
ARETHA LOUISE FRANKLIN - "THE QUEEN OF SOUL" -
Gospel, R&B, soul, pop and jazz vocalist, Ms. Franklin never
thought of herself as confined to any one genre. Winner of numerous Grammys
and maker of nearly fifty albums, some of her huge hits include "Respect,"
"Chain of Fools," and "Bridge Over Troubled Waters," which are still played
worldwide today. Franklin is also widely thought of as a symbol of
Black America itself, helping instill confidence and pride in African
Americans during the civil rights movement, and donating large sums of money
to Black causes.
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