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Del Wood Huge Letter Collection 1963-1988

$2,999.00
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Estimated to arrive by Thu, May 3rd. Details
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Top-Rated Seller
Member

Shipping options

Estimated to arrive by Thu, May 3rd. Details
Calculated by USPS in US.

Return policy

Full refund available within 30 days

Purchase protection

Payment options

Item traits

Category:

Records

Quantity Available:

Only one in stock, order soon

Condition:

Used

Record Size:

12"

Duration:

Album

Speed:

33 RPM

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Shipping weights of all items added together for savings.

Posted for sale:

More than a week ago

Item number:

287798851

Item description

LARGE COLLECTION OF LETTERS AND POSTCARDS WRITTEN AND SIGNED BY DEL WOOD, PLUS OTHER DEL WOOD COLLECTIBLES. The entire collection includes 12 letters, two postcards, one Christmas card, two 8x10 photographs, a telegram, a newspaper clipping, two signed LP records, and 6 unsigned LP records. For a quarter of a century, from 1963 to 1988, RCA recording artist Del Wood maintained an intimate friendship and correspondence with an east coast music writer and historian. She poured her heart out to her friend on everything from her personal life to her professional career. Because we believe this collection is historically significant and should remain intact in order to maintain continuity, we have chosen not to sell it in separate lots. Here are the complete contents of this collection: June 14, 1963 Letter: In this 3-page hand written, hand signed letter on “The Hazelwoods” stationery, Del discusses her various record labels, recording history, and replies to a request for photos and records. She talks about why she shortened her professional name to Del, her style of playing, and which recordings she believes are her best. She ends it with an amusing comment, “Since I have a husband of 22 years, if I hope to keep him, and I do, I’d better go fix some lunch for him.” July 8 1963 Letter: In this 1-page typewritten, hand signed letter on “The Hazelwoods” stationery, Del reveals her deep appreciation for her professional relationship with promoter Don Pearce. She writes, “When I fell out with the “great-one” my boss at RCA in Nashville (who she reveals in a later letter was Chet Atkins) “ won’t abuse paper I’m writing on to write out his name “ Don helped me re-locate and got the best possible deal for me with Mercury. No problem has ever been too great for Don to come to my rescue.” She discusses her new album “Piano Roll Blues” and her happiness in its popularity and that it continues to rise in the charts. She ends with, “Have another bout with my dentist at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow. Am having to have all my jaw teeth crowned or lose them, and eventually will have to have all the rest capped. Another problem with thyroid deficiency is bad teeth, among a thousand other problems “ darn it! Heap big bear-hug from me, a hand-shake from Carson, a big lick from Snoozer, and a “meow” from Fluffy the cat.” January 6, 1964 Letter, envelope, and newspaper clipping: In this 2-page handwritten, hand signed letter on “The Hazelwoods” stationery (which is one of only two letters that also includes the original mailing envelope), Del reveals she and her husband have adopted a son who was only four days old when they received him. She had a few copies of the newspaper article related to the adoption and so she included one in the letter, which is included with this collection. February 25, 1964 Letter: In this 2-page hand written, hand signed letter on “The Hazelwoods” stationery, Del thanks her friend for a card he made and sent to her. She announces some concert dates coming up in California and Texas. Del also discusses meetings with welfare department officials regarding the adoption of her son, and adds “We are so proud of our little bundle of joy.” She expresses her delight at being named “Instrumentalist of the Year” for 1963. October 21, 1964 W.U. Telegram and companion photograph: In this telegram Del sends her thanks for a hook rug that her friend sent to her with the name and birthdate of her son Wesley woven into the textile. Afterwards she also sent him an 8 x 10 black and white photograph (also included with this collection) of her holding the rug, along with her husband and son. January 24, 1967 Letter: In this 4-page hand written, hand signed letter on “The Hazelwoods” stationery, Del explains, “1966 was such an unhappy year for all of our family” and goes on to recount her car wreck, operation, plastic surgery, migraine headaches and vision problems, another near fatal accident, her father’s death, followed by the death of her aunt, her sister’s breast tumor, and the fire that destroyed her mother’s home and so many irreplaceable family possessions. She discusses the family’s pain and suffering in great depth and detail, and their battles with insurance. May 18, 1967 Postcard: In this hand written, hand signed postcard, Del says she has been performing through the month of May at the “Golden Nugget” in Ontario, Canada. The front of the postcard shows the hotel. Then she says she will be flying to a performance date in Massachusetts afterwards. January 20, 1972 Letter: This is an incredibly exhaustive 4 page mostly single-spaced typewritten letter with some hand written additions and notations. Although Del had photocopied her personal stationery with the keyboard logo for this letter, this is in fact the original which she personally typed on the front and back of each sheet. I estimate this letter contains over 4,000 words and must have taken her many hours to complete. It is the most revealing of all her correspondence. Some of the highlights include: Her search for a new record label, performances in Canada for “physical/mental therapy” from her injuries, many of the details and anguish regarding her termination from Columbia Records, re-signing with RCA Victor, a Far East concert tour, difficulties working with Chet Atkins, some extremely serious physical and mental abuse issues at home involving her husband, her separation, divorce, re-marriage and second divorce from her husband, a brutal attack in her home, the news media hounding her after the altercations and court battle, and so very much more! In one very revealing portion of the letter Del writes, “My initial reason for leaving RCA in the 1st place stemmed from the fact I NEVER got along with the great” Chet Atkins, so was reverted back into the same position I was in 1961 when I asked to be relieved of my contract, for could no longer stand Chet’s playing favorites and his persecution of me, an established artist, and his continued promotion of (Floyd) Cramer, a good artist, but an up-and-comer compared to my having been with the label nearly 9 years at that time. Note: There are many more comments and revelations about her working relationship with Chet Atkins in this letter. In addition, there is a huge amount of detail about the abuse she suffered at home, and how it affected not only her, but her son as well. One of the most interesting aspects of this letter, and this collection, is how it demonstrates the evolving attitudes Del had regarding her marriage over the course of these many years the correspondence took place. December, 1980 Christmas Card: In this hand written, hand signed Christmas card, Del says her adopted son is now 16 years old and they still enjoy the hook rug that hangs on his bedroom wall. She mentions her trip to Bethlehem and Tel Aviv where she will be performing, as well as the Grand Ole Opry show she will play at in March. May 15, 1982 Letter: In this 4-page hand written, hand signed letter, Del sympathizes with her friend who was recently divorced, and revisits the “horrendous” relationship and divorce she suffered. “I remember nothing but misery and hurt, both physically and mentally, also financially.” She goes into great depth about the events and consequences following her divorce. Her son is now preparing to graduate from high school and is college-bound, and has been employed for 3 years at the Grand Ole Opry in the food and beverage department. She also mentions the death and burial of her mother which occurred a month earlier, and how she feels the hospital staff killed her mother through neglect. She lists the “only older acts” at the Opry including herself, Marty Robbins, Bill Monroe, Charlie Louvin and Jim Jessie. She complains about Rounder Records which she felt was offering a bad deal to their artists because it only entailed a flat fee and no royalties. She says she is only the third recording artist to become a “charter member” of the Country Music Association, but explains why she has mixed feelings about it, particularly because she felt some artists were able to “buy their way” into the CMA. She adds, “It hasn’t meant one cotton-pickin’ thing as far as CMA”s treatment of me is concerned. CMA is a very political organization. They have done some good, but also they have hurt the true, basic, real country artist.” May 22, 1982 Letter: In this 2-page hand written, hand signed letter, Del discusses a backstage recording she made for her friend at the Opry. She also expresses gratitude for her friend’s music show and the historical work he has accomplished. February 14, 1983 Letter: In this 2-page hand written, hand signed letter on Del Wood’s personal stationery with the piano logo, she discusses her appreciation for any help she can get in finding a new recording contract. “I”ve been ripped off before, therefore much concerned with being with a reputable company. Thanks for any help you can give me.” She discusses the upcoming country music fan fair in which she is planning to participate, as well as her likes and dislikes of the event. July 9, 1986 Letter: In this 4-page hand written, hand signed letter, Del discusses being elected as a delegate to the Musician’s Union, and her pride in being the only women ever elected from the local chapter to attend the convention “ which is why she missed the most recent country music fan fair. Her son is now 22 and she recently had a frame made to preserve the hook rug her friend made. She says he was recently married and loves his wife dearly. He got his degree in accounting and is preparing to buy a home. She claims her health is not good, and discusses a newly planned retirement home for entertainers that appeals to her. There is much discussion of her health, happiness, and future plans. February 24, 1987 Postcard: In this hand written and hand signed postcard Del Wood responds to an inquiry about a Coca-Cola Bottling Co. promotion. February 24, 1987 Letter: In this 2-page hand written and hand signed small note “From the desk of Del Wood”, she mentions her recent eye surgery and diabetes, as well as issues with medical costs and income tax. Note: Both the postcard above and this letter have the same handwritten date, although they were mailed separately. March 9, 1988 Letter: In this 2-page handwritten letter by Del Wood on American Federation of Musicians stationery (which also includes the original mailing envelope), she discusses her upcoming appearance on "The Dolly Show" and reads in part, "Just wanted to let you know I'm on the Dolly Show 8:00-9:00 p.m. your time EST. The last show of the season. ABC on Sat. night. Didn't want you to miss it. She used several Opry people and glad I'm one of them." Undated photocopied letter regarding the death of Jim Reeves: Perhaps the most shocking letter of all in this collection is a photocopied letter sent to our contact through indirect means. On the reverse side of this photocopy is a typewritten letter from a mutual friend identified only as Irving who writes, "This is a letter sent by Del Wood to a mutual friend up in Coral, Michigan. Since you've been so kind enough to let me know what people are saying about the space accorded Jim Reeves in the papers, I thought you'd like an EXCLUSIVE eye-witness account from someone right in Nashville." The Del Wood letter (which as we said before is a photocopy of the original) was written to someone identified only as "Gen." It is a full page typewritten letter by Del Wood that pertains entirely to the death of singer Jim Reeves and others in the airplane crash. The letter is too graphic to include excerpts, but contains vivid details of the accident, death scene, his wife Mary's original disbelief and reaction, recollections of a very odd funeral, and private information pertaining to the brass at RCA. ALSO INCLUDED: Authentic Mercury Records 8 x 10 black and white promotional photograph of Del Wood. (2) Two personally signed, autographed Del Wood LP records. They include the very rare record “Del Wood’s Greatest Hits” on the GMC label with a photograph of Del and her adopted son Wesley on the front cover. The reverse side is signed by both Del and her son. The other autographed record is “Rags to Riches” on the RCA Victor LPM-1733 label. This has been signed and dated by Del Wood on the front cover. (6) Six unsigned LP records that were personally presented to her friend over the course of their 25 year friendship. These records include: Mississippi Showboat (RCA LPM-2091), Ragtime Goes International (Mercury MG-20713), Roll Out the Piano (Mercury MG-20978), Flivvers, Flappers Fox Trots (RCA LPM-2203), Ragtime Goes South of the Border (Mercury MG-20678), and Piano Roll Blues (MG-20804). Biography: Del Wood was one of the best female musicians in the history of country music and one of the few to make it big playing the piano. Her best-known song is her novelty version of "Down Yonder," which hit both the country and pop charts in 1951. It also earned her a gold record and a guest-starring appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. In 1952, she became a member of the Opry and remained so until her death in 1989. Wood was born Polly Adelaide Hendricks in Nashville, Tennessee and began playing the piano at age five. Her stage name was created by combining part of her middle name with part of her married name (Hazelwood). Although she only had one hit, Wood recorded many albums during her long career.
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