One-of-a-kind signed letters/albums/contracts/sheet music from Nat King Cole, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Louis Armstrong, B. B. King, Ethel Waters, Pearl Bailey, Miles Davis, Lindy Hoppers, Sarah Vaughan, Fats Domino, Quincy Jones, Earl Hines, Etta James, S. Coleridge-Taylor, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis, Jr., Grover Washington, Jr., Count Basie, Mills Brothers, Ozzie Davis, Lena Horne, Four Tops, Cicely Tyson, James Brown, Charley Pride, Bo Diddley, Bobby Blue, Chubby Checkers, and others...Negro Actor's Guild 1945 Program (NAG, with Noble Sissle as president) is pictured to the left.
-- AFTRA Contract signed by Cicely Tyson for her appearance on the Nancy Wilson Show pilot, Mar. 18, 1973. Paid $181.
-- AFTRA Contract signed by Lena Horne for her appearance on Kraft Music Hall, Nov. 17, 1969. Paid $7500 and $50 per diem, plus 2 First Class R/T air tickets from LA to NY.
-- AFTRA Contract signed by the Four Tops for their appearance on Kraft Summer Music Hall, signed April 10, 1968. Paid $2500 for show to be aired August 21, 1968.
-- Waiver for late AFTRA filing signed by Diahann Carroll on Dec. 9, 1987.
-- Employment contract signed by Ella Fitzgerald on October 31, 1960.
-- 1989 NBC contract signed by Lionel Hampton, no compensation for appearance. November 15, 1989.
-- American Federation of Musicians contract signed by Bo Diddley for his appearance in Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa Feb. 20 - March 1, 1970.
-- American Federation of Musicians contract signed by Duke Ellington and his Orchestra for appearance in Shrine Auditorium, LA on June 4th, 1960. Headline billing, paid $3000, but paid an extra $1000 if promoter grosses over $10,000.
-- Original signed engagement contract for jazz legend Lionel Hampton at Mansfield State College, PA on March 9, 1963 (band was paid $2000 for the gig!).
-- KABC radio contract for the Michael Jackson Show, signed by Robert Guillaune, states that "he discussed his career as Benson in Soap and as Benson in his own sit-con, Benson." No compensation for his appearance. November 19, 1979.
-- American Federation of Musicians contract signed by Charley Pride for an event at the Ozark Mountain Amphitheatre in Branson, MO. Rider states that he is to receive 100% top billing and that his name is to be spelled correctly (Charley). Paid $20,000 plus 60/40 split over $55,000. Neal McCoy is opening act. June 25, 1988.
-- Original 4-Page contract (1935) between the Lindy Hoppers and Samuel Goldwyn. Signing twice are George "Shorty" Snowden, Freddie Lewis, Madeline Lewis, Beatrice Gay, Beatrice Elam and Leroy Jones. They were paid $2500 for a week's service. Research has determined that this document is most probably the contract for the film short, "Ask Uncle Sol".
-- Actors Television Motion Picture contract signed by Leslie Uggams for her role as "Amanda Price" in the movie "Hotel -- Discoveries." Paid $10,000. October 13, 1986.
-- Standard AFTRA Engagement Contract for Single TV Broadcast signed by Leslie Uggams for her appearance on the Glen Campbell Show. Paid $7500. December 20, 1968. Show aired March 2, 1969.
-- American Federation of Musicians contract signed by jazz great, Donald Byrd (Blackbyrd Productions), to appear at the Great American Music Hall, San Francisco. Ticket price, $6, paid $3,000 against the rights to 70% of the gross. July 30, 1979.
-- Standard AFTRA Exclusive Agency Contract (1 year) with CNA & Associates, signed by Richard Roundtree (Shaft). June 6, 1989.
-- Contract signed by Sarah Vaughn for performing 100% Sole Star Billing at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Cebter, Sarasota, FL. Paid $20,000. Includes stage plot. May 1, 1987.
-- Standard AFTRA exclusive agency contract (3 years) with The Artists Agency signed by Ossie Davis. May 4, 1987.
-- American Federation of Musicians contract by blues great B.B. King for his appearance at Shea's Buffalo Theater, Buffalo, NY. Paid a flat $7500, with 100% top billing. Signed July 30, 1976. Show was March 19, 1977. Rider, with letter and check receipt included.
-- Standard AFTRA Network TV contract for the Harlem Globetrotters TV Special shot at The Forum in LA, signed by Pearl Bailey. Paid $1000. Jan. 28, 1972.
-- Agency For The Performing Arts agreement signed by Isaac Hayes for his appearance on the "Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour." July 16, 1973.
-- William Morris Agency contract (10%) signed by Pearl Bailey to represent her in relation to the motion picture industry and the Screen Actor's Guild (SAG). March 30, 1945.
-- 1971-Standard Aftra Engagement Contract, signed and agreed to by Pearl Bailey and Roncom Productions. Perry Como was producer of the Pearl Bailey Show. Pearl Bailey was paid $7,500 plus $2,500 in expenses for this show. The contract is dated Jan 28, 1971. Signed in blue ink by Pearl Bailey, (Pres). Exc. cond. This contract was part of the archives from the office of Perry Como.
- William Morris contract signed by Earl "Fatha" Hines vintage and dated January 15, 1941. Earl Hines was known as one of the most famous jazz pianist's of the 20th Century and created many standards of today. This vintage signed contract is in excellent condition with a bold autograph of Earl Hines in vintage fountain pen. The contract is also signed by Charles Carpenter sometimes known as Charlie Carpenter who wrote and worked closely with Earl Hines on many songs including the famous song "You Can Count On Me". He has signed under Earl Hines as Witness. The contract is actually signed by two famous Jazz musicians which makes this contract very rare and unique.
-- William Morris Agency contract, signed by Earl "Fatha" Hines (10% -- representing him from 10/1943 - 1/1948). Signed 10/12/1943. Signed contracts by Earl Hines are very rare.
-- AGVA Standard Form for Artists Engagements Contract, signed by Eartha Kitt (Catwoman) for an appearance in San Bernardino, CA on March 20, 1964. Paid $1500. This contract would've been cancelled if Las Vegas event opened up for her on the same day.
-- WPIX "Clay Cole's Diskotek Program" NY appearance signed by the Shirelles, Addie Harris (3/27/1967)
-- An historical 33 page recording contract (1983) between Jennifer Holliday and David Geffen. This was at the height of her career...for a six year period. The contract stated seven years, but Jennifer changed it to six years and initialed it in three different places. The contract discusses the number of masters Jennifer must complete and the payment from the Geffen Group. In 1979 Jennifer joined the Broadway show, Dreamgirls on its successful four year run...winning a Tony Award. Dreamgirls was followed by the Broadway show, Mahalia, and a Number One charted hit, And I Am Telling You. Jennifer won multiple Grammys as well as Tony Awards. She had many hits in the 1980s, including five Number One Billboard hits. Jennifer boldly signs on the last page of the contract.
-- Signed contracts for the Detroit music scene from 1956-1971 (R&B, Soul, Jazz and Blues): Ron Butler and the Ramblers (1971), James Holland and The Holidays (1971), Lloyd Sims & The Untouchables Promo Kit/Contracts (1961), Sammy Bryant Group Press Kit/Photo/Contract (1966)...Roulette recording artists, Lonnie Woods (1965), Jon Bartel & Soul Masters (1968), Jesse Ullmer (1966), Dwight (Jon D) Pettiford (1971), Billy Allyn "Laff of the Party" on Dooto Records, with appearances on Sanford & Son (1961), Bill Murry, Comic (1966), Tommy Hunt and The Flamingos (1956-1960), Albert King Promotional Lot -- Stax Records (1970).
T E S T P R E S S I N G S -- 78 rpm R E C O R D S (vintage, one-of-a-kind)
The following 78s came from the private collection of Mr. Rudy May who was an employee of Decca Records for about
40 years. During that time Rudy was involved in nearly every aspect of recording and record manufacturing at Decca.
A test pressing was generally heard by the artist and key decision-makers to determine if
the song was viable as the final take -- to be mass-produced for the general public.
The Freeman Institute Black History Collection owns well over 100 original test pressings:
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