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Lot #5122
Charlie Parker Document Signed - Swedish Arrival Card (1950)

Scarce 1950 'arrival card' from Charlie Parker's quick tour through Sweden

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Estimate: $2000+
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Scarce 1950 'arrival card' from Charlie Parker's quick tour through Sweden

Partly-printed DS, signed in pencil, “Charlie Parker,” one page, 5.75 x 4, November 19, 1950. Swedish arrival card filled out in another hand and signed by Parker, indicating his last name, first name, birth date ("29/8/20"), and nationality ("US"). In fine condition, with a central vertical crease (likely resulting from the "To be kept in passport" instruction at the top of the card). Encapsulated by Beckett Authentication Services.

An excerpt from Yardbird Suite: A Compendium of the Music and Life of Charlie Parker by Lawrence O. Koch: 'In late November 1950, Billy Shaw set up a week's tour of Sweden for Parker. Bird was to go as single and would use some of the modern Swedish musicians as accompanists. Shaw also contacted Roy Eldridge, who was in Paris, and persuaded him to share the bill with Bird. As an advertising venture, a Swedish jazz publication called Estrad, published by Nils Hellstrom, sponsored the tour. The booking arrangements between Shaw and Hellstrom, however, were done quickly and haphazardly and there was little time for advance publicity. Moreover, some of the bookings were done even after Parker and Eldridge arrived in Sweden. The concert tour began in the Swedish capital on Monday, November 20, and then crossed to Gothenburg on the west coast. From Wednesday through Friday, however, the itinerary was completely in southern-most Sweden with one jaunt across the Sound to Denmark's capital. After an appearance at the Admiralen Dance Hall in Malmo, Parker did some jamming at the University of Lund and then was on a bill in Copenhagen that featured Eldridge, Rowland Greenberg (a Norwegian trumpeter), and special guest Benny Goodman. The next day the entourage returned to Sweden for a concert at a dance hall in 'Folkets Park' in Helsingborg. After the concert, a group of jazz buffs, critics, and musicians gathered in the Park's restaurant for 'rapping and jamming.''

In Charlie Parker: His Music and Life, biographer Carl Woideck reports: 'In November 1950 Parker was booked as a single to give a series of concerts in Sweden and Denmark, and he tried to kick heroin long enough to make the tour. Sadly, he tried to stave off craving for the drug by increasing
his intake of alcohol. Despite his alcohol intake, and perhaps because of his temporary abstinence from heroin, the live recordings from Sweden document him in a highly creative frame of mind.'

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Marvels of Modern Music
  • Dates: #693 - Ended May 23, 2024