Huddie Ledbetter

An Extremely Rare Autograph Letter Signed by Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter to His Manager, Marjorie Fairbanks.

Autograph Letter Signed, "H. Ledbetter," 1 page, 7.5" x 8.75" (visible), New York, March 28, 1949, to his manager Marjorie Fairbanks concerning the receipt of monies from his "Bass [player?]" Light toning toward bottom margin, light mailing folds, else fine. Elegantly matted and framed to 26.5" x 20.75" with a large color portrait of Ledbetter playing guitar.

Ledbetter writes, in full: "Dear mrs Fairbanks[,] i rec[eived] som[e] money From my Bass [player] He is all right But He was slow[.] i did[']n[t] [kn]ow whot [sic] was the mat[t]er But now i [kn]ow so Don[']t warrie [sic] we got every thing in front of us Take care of your Self and say Hello to Clif[f]ord [Manz] for me and martha H Ledbetter"

Although he is identified primarily with his solo-guitar work, in the late 1930s and early 1940s, Ledbetter began playing with jazz ensembles—part of the burgeoning New Orleans jazz revival. Huddie discovered that he was being credited as an important source in the development of jazz when music historians Charles Edward Smith and Frederick Ramsey, Jr. began inquiring into the roots of his music. In the early to mid 1940s, Ledbetter toured with several jazz and blues bands including combos headed by the likes of Bunk Johnson, Brownie McGhee and Art Hodes. Around June 1946, he recorded five songs in New York with George "Pops" Foster on bass (together with Willie "The Lion" Smith on piano, Sonny Terry on harmonica, and Brownie McGhee on guitar). During January and February 1949 he made several radio appearances on the WNYC Jazz Festival as well as a $75 gig at the Jazz Band Ball in February and in the same month he joined the musicians union (Charles K. Wolfe, Life and Legend of Leadbelly, 1992,  pp. 232-244).

Clifford Manz was serving the lecture and concert coordinator for the University of Minnesota when Ledbetter performed there in the fall of 1948. (Ibid, p. 253).

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


Item: 59261

Price: $14,000.00
Huddie LedbetterHuddie LedbetterHuddie Ledbetter
Huddie Ledbetter
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