This collection contains nine letters dating from 1922-1971 that document Roland Hayes’s friendship and business relationship with Kate Seaman and several other correspondents. Hayes was one of the first African-American singers to gain national and international fame, specializing in classical songs as well African-American spirituals. Topics include his public performances and plans for production and distribution of recordings. Also included are two photographs.
Five letters are addressed to Kate Seaman, singer and president of Record Hunter retail chain. These letters discuss performances given by both Seaman and Hayes, as well as an offer from Record Hunter to produce and distribute recordings of Hayes’ music. Other recipients include Mr. Bull, Mr. Marshall, Arthur Knight, and Jerome Maggid, Record Hunter’s General Manager. These letters discuss programs for his concerts, mentioning songs such as Douglas Stewart’s “West Wind,” and “O Sleep Why Dost Thou Leave Me” from Handel’s Semele, in addition to the dates and locations of these performances. Also included are further discussions of his recordings for Record Hunter.