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1947 Hank Williams and Fred Rose Signed Songwriter's Contract
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $1,659
Four-page "Revised Uniform Popular Songwriter's Contract," dated November 3, 1947, between Hank Williams (1923-1953) and Fred Rose (1898-1954), and Milene Music, signed in blue ink by Hank Williams (grading "10"), in black ink by Fred Rose ("10"), and in blue ink by Wesley H. Rose, as president of Milene Music. This contract is for the publishing rights to the song If I Didn't Love You, written by Williams and Rose. As stipulated in the contract, the songwriters are to receive a royalty of three cents for each copy of the song sold. This is an early Hank Williams contract, signed approximately a year and a half before he made his debut at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. Considered one of the most influential singer/songwriters of his time, Williams career was brilliant, but brief. An alcoholic, he later turned to drugs, and died prematurely in 1953 at the age of twenty-nine. The co-writer of this song, Fred Rose, is also one of the legendary figures in country music. Rose was a prolific songwriter and also wielded considerable influence in the music industry as the cofounder of Acuff-Rose Music, the first Nashville-based music publishing company. Rose also owned Milene Music, which was presided over by his son, Wesley Rose. In 1961, Hank Williams and Fred Rose were two of the first three inaugural inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Because of his early demise, Hank Williams signed items are rare. The fact that this contract is signed by both Williams and Rose makes it all the more desirable and one of the finest examples we have seen. The contract (8.5 x 16.25 inches) displays light fold lines, as well as minor surface wrinkles, and is in apparent Excellent to Mint condition. Matted and framed together with a recent print of Williams to total dimensions of 15.5 x 28 inches. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve: $300. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $1,659
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