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1947 Babe Ruth Signed Release for the Song "Babe" (with "George Herman Ruth" Signature!)
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $6,517.50
One-page legal document, dated June 18, 1947, flawlessly signed in black fountain pen (grading "10") by "George Herman Ruth." This is an extraordinary full-name Ruth signature and as fine an example as one could ever hope to obtain: bold, bright, and uniform in strength from beginning to end. The document, typewritten on Ruth's personal letterhead, is a legal release that allows songwriters Peter DeRose and Charles Tobias to use the name "Babe" for the title of their new song commemorating Ruth's career. The release includes the chorus to the song, as well as "Extra Catch Lines" used in the composition. The handwritten notation, "Publisher's Copy" appears in black fountain pen in the upper left corner. Ruth's love of music is legendary and he was probably only too happy to sign this release, especially since De Rose, who was elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1973, was one of his closest friends. De Rose played at many events for Ruth, including his second wedding in 1929. In fact, Ruth even requested that De Rose personally play his most popular song "Deep Purple" at each of Ruth's birthday parties over the last ten years of his life. Given their close association, this song was obviously a labor of love for De Rose and one can't help but think that Ruth's deteriorating health was the main impetus for his writing it at the time (Ruth passed away just one year later). Tobias was also a songwriter of great renown, composer of such hits as "Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days Of Summer," "Comes Love," and "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree (With Anyone Else but Me)." He was elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970. The document (7.25 x 10.5 inches) displays two horizontal folds and a number of light creases. The reverse features numerous pencil notations regarding a real-estate purchase (meaning unknown). Accompanying the document are a number of related items that would be perfect for display with it. 1-2) Two different period photos (3.75 x 3.75 inches and 5 x 3.5 inches, respectively) most likely used in promotion of the song. Each pictures De Rose at the piano as four young boys, dressed in baseball uniforms, sing the song. (Both Ex.) 3-4) Two original copies of the published 1947 sheet music (9 x 11.75 inches) titled "Babe." (Both Ex.) 5-11) Seven smaller, plain-paper 1947 sheet-music examples (8 x 11 inches) of "Babe" (the kind that would be distributed to a chorus). (One Vg, the others Ex or better.) 12-13) Two modern reprint photos picturing Ruth and his wife posing at the beach with Peter De Rose and two other unidentified women. Total: 13 items. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,500++. SOLD FOR $6,517.50
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