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    Woody Guthrie Signed Typed Essay about Leadbelly on seven sides of four sheets of 8" x 10.5" off-white lined sheets of loose leaf. Signed at the top in black ink, "Leadbelly by Woody Guthrie" and also signed at the conclusion in pencil, "not finished W. G." In part, the essay reads: "Leadbelly is a hard name and the hard name of a harder man, the name that his mama spoke over him down in the swamps of Louisiana when he was born was Huddie Ledbettor, for her husband, Ledbettor, and because she liked the sound and the roll of Huddie I came to his and Martha's apartment over on East Tenth Street and I carried my own guitar, and they begged me to stay, to eat, sleep, sing and dance there in their apartment of Three little rooms painted a sooty sky blue and then smoked over with the stains from cigarets, cigars, of the rich and of the poor It was not possible for me to count the numbers of folks that came in through Lead's door there / He never did bother to count you, and Martha tried several times, but always got lost early in the morning. The people waking up in the building dropped around earliest. The lady poisoned for twelve years, raving and yelling up and down the stairs and halls, poisoned for Twelve years off bad King Corn Lye Hurry Up Home Made Whiskey. They had found a dead man down in the basement with a stirring stick and Twenty Five barrels of sugar, water, bread, potatoes, cornmeal, cans of lye to pour in to make the batch warm off quicker at Twenty Five Cents a half pint." To accompany the essay, York Cunningham created an 11" x 13" pen, ink, and watercolor portrait of Leadbelly that accompanied this essay. Cunningham provided illustrations for Guthrie's American Folksong, published by Asch in 1947. In very good condition, with scattered pencil mark and notations, light overall toning and a few minor edge tears.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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