Mar 31, 2016 - Sale 2408

Sale 2408 - Lot 416

Estimate: $ 4,000 - $ 6,000
"A MUSICIAN CAN CONVEY A MESSAGE JUST AS WELL AS A PREACHER" (MUSIC.) HANDY, W.C. Archive of 9 items signed by Handy for the Fischer family. Unsung Americans Sing. * 4 music sheets * Three Typed Letters * Photograph. Format and condition vary. Vp, 1951-56

Additional Details

TLsS (3). The first, elaborately answering questions about his music: "My opinion of the music which is popular today is that it is in keeping with the spirit of the times which are somewhat chaotic because of world conditions; I can't call it good neither can I call it bad . . . I consider the 'St. Louis Blues' the most outstanding of my compositions because the people say it is . . . Gershwin's music is representative of America . . . I am working on various compositions although blind . . . [M]y interest in Ethiopia goes back to the building of Solomon's Temple and the Queen of Sheba . . . [W]e fought two World Wars unprepared and if we are not in a War now I would like to know what it is, so, you have had these wars as a result of ignoring Theodore Roosevelt's big stick policies although politicians may dispute this . . . My father a preacher said, 'he had rather follow me to the grave than to see me be a musician,' and yet . . . I have sent my spirituals and sacred music around the world showing that a musician can convey a message just as well as a preacher . . ." 2 1/2 pages.
The second, sending a printed pamphlet to clarify his statements about copyright law and the influence of the juke box on composition [present], and stating that American music is advancing and influencing the world: "[T]he instruments in [Duke] Ellington's band [are] producing tones . . . never dreamed of by the European masters. " 1 page. The third, expressing thankfulness at recovering from a head injury sustained by falling in the subway, describing his role in helping to elect Eisenhower with his song, 'Hike with Ike', and complaining of discrimination by the press. 2 pages. Each 4to, written on rectos only, first page on "Handy Brothers Music" stationery. Two with the original envelope. New York, 15; 20 March; 26 November 1952.
Photograph Signed and Inscribed, "Mr & Mrs Edwin Fischer / William C. Handy / 5-7-1956," 1/2-length portrait, showing him holding a copy of sheet music for "St. Louis Blues" with his painted portrait on wall behind him. Inscribed in the image, upper and lower left. 9x7 inches. With the original envelope. Np, 7 May 1956
Unsung Americans Sing. Ed. Handy. Signed and Inscribed, on the front free endpaper: "To Miss / To [sic] Evelyn Fischer / William C. Handy / 3-3-1951." 4to, publisher's pictorial boards; rear hinge cracked, minor toning at edges throughout; dust jacket worn. New York, (1946); inscription: Np, 3 March 1951 Sheet music (4), each on the front cover or dedication page. The first, Handy and Cooke, "The Big Stick Blues March." 8 pages. 1951. The second, Handy, "They That Sow in Tears." 8 pages. 1950. The third, Razaf and Handy, "Vesuvius." 6 pages. 1935. The fourth, Johnson and Evanti, "Beloved Mother." 4 pages. 1952. Each 4to, self-wrappers. New York; inscription: Np, 17 or 18 March 1952.
with--Group of 8 unsigned items: a typed letter from Handy to the Fischers describing the celebration held for his 79th birthday [with printed signature] Christmas cards (3) Two complete issues of Handy News, vols. 1 and 4 Two pieces of sheet music: The first, Handy, "Aframerican Hymn." New York, 1925. The second, Aaronson, "I See Tho my Eyes are Closed." New York, 1951.