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Lot 132

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Description: Woody Guthrie TLS to Asch Studios Regarding the Hoot Folk Festival

Typed letter Signed ”Woody Guthrie” 8.5”x10” 1p., June 7th, 1946, Brooklyn, NY, to Asch Studios regarding a folk festival called the Hoot. His daughter Cathy must have found it laying around the house and scrawled all over it in crayon. Edges are dog eared. Signed in pencil. Cellophane tape was placed over signature, now yellowed.

Reads in part, "Dear Folks: The Daily Worker is using artists from peoples Songs in a Hoot to raise money on the 29th of June, this month. Six artists will preeform [sic. Cisco Houston, Charlotte Anthony, Sis Cunningham, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, plus a speaker.

This Hoot will be held at 3200 Coney Island Avenue (corner of Brighton Beach Avenue), and if it is a hit (as I expect), then it is to be repeated over and over again, all over Brooklyn, after the same general pattern and fashion. (The only change is that I am the one who made the deal with the representatives of the Worker on this, and am running said Hoot to suit my own ideas).

You Ought to get your table of display set up there with lots of catalogs, lists, calendars, almanacs, handbills, pamphlets, time tables, bulletins, books, manuscripts, and plenty of material to sell as well as to give away for free. This is a strongly progressive district out in here with a strong majority always voting for Caccione and you can expect to be nicely received . . ."

Several of these performers were Guthrie's longtime friends. In his book, "Bound For Glory" Guthrie describes how he and Cisco Houston first met, "I run into a guitar-playing partner standing on a bad corner, and he called his self the Cisco Kid. Lie was a long-legged guy that walked like he was on a rolling ship, a good singer and yodeler, and had sailed the seas a lot of times, busted labels in a lot of ports, and had really been around in his twenty-six years." Houston and Guthrie traveled and sang together in the years before World War II, parting ways when Houston joined the merchant marine. Upon his return, he rejoined forces with Guthrie and often teamed up with Leadbelly. The Hoot is still around in various cities.

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.

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August 19, 2020 10:30 AM EDT

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