Aside from the rigors of life on the road, artists
often have to put up with promoters who don't pay them, pay only
part of what's owed, or try to press them to do more than what
their contract specifies. Jim was no exception. In the telegram
above to Midwest promoter Hal Peebles, Jimmy Key (Jim's booker)
makes it clear that Jim will not go along with the proposed idea
that he also perform at a second venue without being paid extra
for it. (Can you imagine the audacity?) Some would call this "ungracious"
of Jim, of course. Just like they criticize his insistence that
a piano be furnished and in tune. Or that his Blue Boys band not
be expected to back any other artists. Yet all of those matters
were written in his contracts in advance. So if a promoter violated
the contract, it was not Jim's fault.
(Telegram from the collection of James Newberry)
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