Not the usual rock news story, but one of equally good importance. For those of you looking to own a piece of American musical history you are in luck, if you can afford to pay the price. On February 20 hundreds of jazz artifacts (from Benny Goodman’s clarinet to writings by John Coltrane) will be auctioned off at New York’s Guernsey’s Action House.
The collection of items on the action block includes missives sent between business associates and musicians. For example, a handwritten letter from Louis Armstrong, and a notebook from Thelonious Monk dated to 1933 from Monk’s high school days. The notebook contains handwritten essays that range in topic from a book review of A Tale of Two Cities, to an essay about his favorite magazine at the time, Boy’s Life.
According to the folks at Guernsey’s, the real gem is a one-page, three-paragraph essay titled "Everyone Should Read Good Newspapers" from February 17, 1933, when Monk was 15. Editor and Publisher reports that the essay begins, "Everyone should read good newspapers because it is educational, not with scandals and crimes but good educational facts." Monk then referenced The New York Times, which, he remarked, "has many kinds of news." Of the Times, Monk concludes, "I'm sure you will find something to interest yourself with. Due to the facts mentioned above, I think it's good to make it a habit of reading good newspapers.”
If Monk is not your cup of tea, then you might be interested in Coltrane’s fifth-grade notebook from school, or a host of other items. For more information be sure and check this out.