Document: dbr060  [view transcript]

Letter: to Charles Henry Douglass, Macon, Georgia, possibly 1925

author: Tolliver & Harris
extent: [1] p.
date: 1925
summary: Letter from stage act Tolliver & Harris to Charles Henry Douglass, African American entrepreneur and owner of the Douglass Theatre, probably dated 1925, regarding a scheduling problem attributed to legendary blues singer Bessie Smith. Tolliver & Harris explain that they have decided not to play at the Douglass Theatre with the Bessie Smith unit because they cannot afford to pay the rail fare from their small salary. They complain that Smith had previously agreed to pay their fare and later refused to do so. Tolliver & Harris worry about what Smith will tell Douglass and assure him that they mean to be honest with him. They assert that they will play at the Douglass Theatre next week because Mr. "Revene," probably 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, is picking them up. Tolliver & Harris suggest that Douglass ask Radcliff or Allen & Stokes for reports of the act. They claim to have two number-one acts.
repository: Middle Georgia Archives
collection: Charles Henry Douglass business records
box: 21
folder: 208
item: 1

Macon (Ga.)
Bibb County (Ga.)
Douglass Theatre (Macon, Ga.)
Smith, Bessie, 1894-1937
Theatre Owners Booking Agency
Douglass, Charles Henry, 1870-1940
Reevin, Sam E.
Contracts for work and labor--Georgia--Macon
Women blues musicians--United States
Blues musicians--United States
Blues (Music)--Georgia
Blues (Music)--To 1931
African Americans--Music
Entertainment events--Georgia--Macon
Commercial agents
Letters (correspondence)

Page: [1]   [view image] thumbnail


Mr Douglas
Mgr [Manager] Douglas Theatre
Macon Ga. [Georgia]
Dear Sir.

We want to inform you why we are not playing your house this week with the Bessie Smith unit. Last tuesday she aggreed [agreed] to pay our Railroad fare there but at the last minute she refused to do so rather than pay it from the [deleted text: sallm] small salary we were geting [getting] we closed. Now we dont know what she may tell you so we want to be square and that is why we are writeing [writing] you. We will no dout [doubt] pick up your house next week as Mr Revene picks us up at once. As for the reports on the act you may ask Radcliff or Allen & Stokes we have two a no. [number] 1. acts. Hopeing [Hoping] to play you in the near future

We beg to remain
Yours truly
[Signed] Tolliver & Harris