Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

Lot 562

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A superb archive of material being a selection of booking files from the legendary Copacabana in New York, approx. 300pp. including booking contracts, riders, notes on necessary musicians, publicity photographs, flyers and related material, dating between 1951 and 1971. The collection includes sixteen files, all arranged by performer. Although many of the contracts in the files are signed on behalf of the performer by agents and attorneys, several bear personally signed material. Of interest is the large file on PEGGY LEE which includes 16 Ds.S. and two T.Ls.S, dating beteween1952 and 1968 together with publicity photos and promotional material for her appearances. Also included is Lee's 1968-69 laminated New York cabaret employee ID card bearing her portrait, right thumb print and signature. A smaller file related to ROSEMARY CLOONEY includes two Ds.S., 1962. Also included is afile PHYLLIS DILLER three Ds.S., 1962, and one for DOROTHY COLLINS D.S., 1955. The balance of the files appear to be mostly signed by artists' representatives but still prove to be interesting reading. There are files for STEVIE WONDER, THE SUPREMES, JOHNNY MATHIS, FRANK SINATRA, JR., FRED ROMAN, RIP TAYLOR, JERRY VALE, WAYNE NEWTON, DEMARCO SISTERS, LITTLE ANTHONY AND THE IMPERIALS, and others. The files include some very interesting information including after-show reports on selected performances. On a 1970 run at the club by Stevie Wonder, the club commented that he "AVERAGED 60 MINUTES IN HIS SHOWS. HE ALWAYS DID A GOOD INTERESTING SHOW. ALTHOUGH HE KEPT CHANGING HIS SONGS, HE ALWAYS, PACED HIS ACT TO THE AUDIENCE'S LIKING..." Comedian Fred Roman was another story: "...HE KEPT TRYING NEW MATERIAL AND THEN DROPPED THE JOKES WHICH DID NOT GET LAUGHS. FRED ROMAN IS NOT A FAST TALKING COMIC, HIS DELIVERY IS ON THE SLOW SIDE... AUDIENCE REACTION WAS ONLY FAIR..." The most scathing report concerned comedian JACK CARTER, who performed several times at the Copa in the 1950s and 60s: "REPORT JACK CARTERS PERFORMANCE FRIDAY DEC 22 1ST SHOW (DINNER) VERY CRITICAL OF COSTUMERS HAVING DINNER DURING HIS ACT, WITH REMARKS SUCH AS, 'WHAT'S THAT YOUR [sic] EATING? STEAK, IT LOOKS MORE LIKE A HOCKEY PUCK' AND, YOU'D BETTER EAT ALL YOUR CELERY OR THEY TAKE IT BACK AND SELL IT TO SOMEONE ELSE, THEY'RE TRYING TO GET OUT OF THE HOLE. HE USES OFF COLOR MATERIAL DURING THE DINNER SHOW, WHEN WE HAVE YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE AUDIENCE. WHEN HE GETS LITTLE REACTION WITH THIS TYPE OF MATERIAL, HE COMMENTS ON THE FACT THAT HE CAN'T SEE HAVING CHILDREN IN THE CLUB. THE CONSTANT MOCKING OF THE RELIGIOUS FAITHS IS ALSO OVERDONE. CONSTANTLY BELLIGERENT TOWARDS THE COPACABANA." The archive is a fascinating look into the workings of a nightclub booking agent in the 1950s and 60s. Overall condition very good with the expected folds and marginal tears.

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March 30, 2011 11:00 AM EDT

Stamford, CT, US

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