Astaire, Fred. (1899–1987) [Berk, Sammy. (1894–1983)] [Jones, Jonah. (1919–2004)]
"My! My! Didn't that show kill 'em!!!!?!" - Two Signed Letters
Pair of letters from the American dancer and actor to Sammy Berk, a former vaudeville entertainer who managed Cab Calloway, Jonah Jones, and Duke Ellington. The first letter (autograph letter signed; "Saturday," otherwise undated; 1 p. on personal stationary) reads in full "Dear Sam, / Thanks for your letter. I was very glad to hear from you. / Give my best to the great Jonah and to the boys – please. I miss him a lot. / It was sure a great time we all had. My! My! Didn't that show kill 'em!!!!?! Don't know when I'll be able to get at another one but when I do – I sure hope to get Jonah! / All best Sam / -Fred." The letter almost certainly refers to An Evening with Fred Astaire, the 1958 NBC television special that featured the Jonah Jones Quartet, revived Astaire's career, and won a staggering nine Emmy awards. Vertical and horizontal mailing crease, overall in very good condition. 5.5 x 7 inches (14 x 17.8 cm.).
The second letter (typed letter signed; July 27, 1960; 1 p. on personal stationary) thanks Berk for sending on a copy of Jones's recent album, A Touch of Blue. In full, "Dear Sam: / Thank you so much for sending me the Jonah Jones album, 'A Touch of Blue.' I think it is a knockout. / I hope Jonah and I will get together again sometime but for the moment my coming show is routined. / With all best. / As ever yours, / [Signature] / FRED ASTAIRE." The coming show he references is evidently Astaire Time, the second follow-up to An Evening with Fred Astaire. Vertical and horizontal mailing crease, vertical tear to upper margin, separation along right edge of horizontal crease, overall in very good condition. 5.75 x 9 inches (14.6 x 22.9 cm.).