Woody Guthrie & Pete Seeger – 1941 Signed Almanac Singers Album Cover / Seeger Signs With His Very Short-Lived Alias ‘Pete Bowers’
An impossibly rare Almanac Singers Talking Union album, with three 78 RPM discs, autographed and inscribed by group members Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. Seeger signs using his very short-lived alias ‘Peter Bowers,’ dating the signatures to near the release of the 1941 album.
Woody Guthrie writes in black fountain pen ‘Here’s to the Frontier Book Shop, and one big Union… take it easy – but take it. Almanac Singers / Woody Guthrie’ with Seeger simply signing under Guthrie’s name, ‘Peter Bowers.’
An online hearing transcript from the 1955/1956 House Committee on Un-American Activities includes Seattle’s Frontier Book Shop on a list of businesses with possible communist associations.
From Wikipedia: The Almanac Singers, which Seeger co-founded in 1941 with Millard Lampell and Arkansas singer and activist Lee Hayes… was a topical group, designed to function as a singing newspaper promoting the industrial unionization movement, racial and religious inclusion, and other progressive causes…[the group] began playing together informally in 1940 or 1941. Pete Seeger and Guthrie had met… in March 1940. That year, Seeger joined Guthrie on a trip to Texas and California to visit Guthrie’s relatives.
In 1941 Guthrie joined the Almanac Singers, and Wikipedia notes: the 21-year-old Seeger performed under the stage name “Pete Bowers” to avoid compromising his father’s government career.’
In an accompanying letter of authenticity, Barry Ollman, the world’s foremost Woody Guthrie collector, notes ‘This is a great, early example of Woody inscribing a very uncommon record to a local record shop. The Union reference and his classic sign off of ‘Take it easy – but take it’ makes it even better. Fellow Almanac Singer Pete Seeger signed it as well, using his short-lived alias, Pete Bowers, making this quite unusual. Pete didn’t want to embarrass his father politically, as the elder Seeger was then working for the federal government, and for a short time adopted the last name Bowers. I don’t believe I’ve actually seen him sign his name as Pete Bowers… Pete and Woody spent a lot of time together at that point and the Seeger name change is a little-known story to begin with.’
The cover is in very good condition, with an archivally repaired tear to the first 78 sleeve, and some general light wear. The three 78RPM discs are in Very Good to Good condition.
A unique opportunity to obtain a rare album signed early in the careers of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, with possibly the only surviving example of a Pete Bowers signature.
With Barry Ollman’s signed letter of authenticity, and Recordmecca’s written lifetime guarantee of authenticity.
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