Document: dbr056 [view transcript]
Letter: Chattanooga, Tennessee to William M. Smith, Macon, Georgia, 1927 Sept. 6
author: Reevin, Sam E.
extent:  p.
date: September 6, 1927
summary: Letter from Sam E. Reevin, manager of Theatre Owners Booking Association (T.O.B.A.), a Tennessee-based booking agency from 1920 to the 1930s for African American vaudeville acts, to William M. Smith, manager of the Douglass Theatre, dated September 6, 1927, regarding logistics concerning the appearance of the Ma Rainey company at the Douglass Theatre. Reevin writes to confirm that Smith will play the Ma Rainey company on a fifty-fifty basis the following week. He complains that it is unusual for the show to play on a fifty-fifty basis. Reevin explains that Ma Rainey's company will not need tickets, as she travels in her own bus, but that because she is coming from Augusta, she will need thirty-five dollars to pay for the promotional cards that she ordered for the Douglass Theatre. He asks Smith to send her the amount, providing the show schedule so that Smith can forward the cash to her. Reevin remarks that he encloses a show-form (not included with this document) and says that he will advise Smith as soon as he can if he is able to secure the Eddie Lemons Dashing Dinah Company per Smith's terms (see [dbr057] and [dbr067] of the Douglass Theatre Web site). He adds that if he cannot get the show, he will advise Smith about alternatives as quickly as possible. Dashing Dinah, produced by Lemons, featured Lemons, Homer Hubbard, Rogers and Rogers, Leroy Phillips, Charles Barry, Isadore Price, Willie Taylor, Jack "Ginger" Wiggins, Christina Gray, and String Beans Price. There is evidence that Rainey played the Douglass Theatre at a later date, since a subsequent receipt dated February 14, 1928, from Theatre Owners Booking Association (T.O.B.A.) to Ben Stein, refers to the act "Ma Rainey and her Paramount Flappers" (see [dbr047] of the Douglass Theatre Web site).
repository: Middle Georgia Archives
collection: Charles Henry Douglass business records
Page:  [view image]
[Note: This document contains both typewritten and handwritten text.]
[written text: Copy]
[typewritten text: Sept. [September] 6th, 1927.
Mr. William Smith,
Macon, Ga. [Georgia]
This is to confirm my wire of yesterday, that you will play the "Ma" Rainey Company of 39 people next week on a 50-50 basis -- Of course, I need not tell you, you know that it is almost unbelieveable [unbelievable] that such a large show would play on a 50-50 basis -- I don't see how she can make it, however, I did my best, and got them for you --
For your information Ma Rainey's show will not need any tickets, as Ma Rainey travels in her own bus, and will come to you from the Lenox Theatre, Augusta, Ga. [Georgia], and as you will not have to advance any tickets, she will need $35.00 in cash to pay for the tack cards that she ordered for the Douglass Theatre next week, so please, as soon as you receive this letter send her this amount --
In order to make sure that this money is received by Ma Rainey in time, I am giving you Ma Rainey's route -- she will play the Royal Theatre, Columbia, S. C. [South Carolina] Thursday, September 8th -- and will play the Lenox Theatre, Augusta, Ga. [Georgia] Friday and Saturday, September 9th and 10th -- so ifthis [if this] letter reaches you in time, you wire the money to Columbia, otherwise, send it to Augusta --
I am enclosing herewith show-form for the week of September 19th -- and will advise you as soon as I can, if I can secure the Eddie Lemons "DASHING DINAH COMPANY" zfor [for] the week of September 26th, as per your terms, or, in case I cannot get this show will advise you what else I can give you, as soon as possible --
Yours very truly,
ser [Sam E. Reevin] -ls.