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Sale 38 Lot 1671

BILL HALEY
Superb content L.S. "William J. C. Haley" together with steel guitarist BILL WILLIAMSON "William F. Williamson" and drummer JOHNNY GRANDE "John A. Grande" 3pp. 4to., [n.p., n.d. but ca. 1975?] to their attorney in New York during their messy breakup with their longtime booking agent, Jolly Joyce of Philadelphia. The three write, in part: "...As our contract was nearing its end, and it evidently became apparent to Mr. Joyce that we did not intend to sign a new contract with him at the time, Mr. Joyce began (in our opinion) to put every kind of pressure on us to force us to resign with him. We feel he attempted to hurt us economically by giving us very few acceptable jobs. He offered us jobs that paid far below the wage figure our act consistently commands. Other people offered to give us work but Mr. Joyce refused them. In our opinion he did everything possible to cause bad relations between our clients and ourselves, making future deals with them very unlikely". The three then put forth several specific examples including: "1. Worked for Mr. John B. Urban, Ballroom Operator at Custer, Michigan. Mr. Urban paid Jolly Joyce 50% of the money in advance for this booking but the copy of the contract Mr. Joyce gave us did not indicate the advance had been paid to him. At the conclusion of the engagements we argued with Mr. Urban that the full price was payable to us and showed him our contract. He then showed us proof that he had already paid 50% to Jolly Joyce in advance...". This was not the only instance of this behavior, and to make matters worse, Haley's agent would withhold the funds for "a week or more". Jolly Joyce also caused friction between Haley's band and American Federation of Musicians by not submitting contracts with the union locals, in part: "4. After travelling all the way to Halifax, Nova Scotia, to fulfill an engagement for promoter Al Morrison, we were informed by a Union Representative that no contract had been filed with the Union for this job by Jolly Joyce. The people were waiting for us to perform and the representative was kind enough to let us perform after much discussion between Mr. Morrison, the Union man and ourselves. These incidents were very embarrassing and humiliating and caused us, the promoters and the A F of M locals, a lot of unnecessary grief. Who can say how much damage our prestige suffered due to the failure of our agent, Jolly Joyce to comply with the regulations set down by The A F of M.". In a postscript, they add they were including a letter: "...from Mr. Bob Bundy of ABC showing that he had acceptable work for us but due to past experiences with Jolly Joyce he would not give us this work while we were with Joyce's agency". Offered with a vintage photocopy of a marked-up publicity photo of Bill Haley and his Comets, reading "NOW AL REX AND HIS METEORS" and "EXHIBIT 'L'" along right margin. Usual folds, else fine condition.
Estimate $ 400-600

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