Don Randall, Fender Sales via Syd Heller to Jimmy Raney (1953)
This a chain of correspondence between Don Randall, the late President of Fender Sales and the marketing brains behind the famous Leo Fender guitars, Syd Heller, the owner of Columbia Music (no connection to Columbia Records) and Jimmy in 1953. At the time, Jimmy was touring with Red Norvo on the west coast and probably staying with Red in Santa Monica (see c/o). This probably came about because Jimmy visited Syd’s store in San Francisco. The store was sort of an all-in-one music establishment, carrying records, tapes, musical instruments, instruction books and had a small record production company on the side (perhaps a small recording studio as well though not sure). Syd was obviously a fan of jazz and Jimmy’s music and probably wanted to promote him with the help of Don.
Of note is the somewhat humorous section of Don’s letter, where he expresses his befuddlement about how anyone could not be using Fender guitars (Jimmy obviously was a devoted Gibson user) in particular the Telecaster which Oscar Moore was quoted as saying was “the best guitar he ever played”. Needless to say, to get Jimmy on the publicity bandwagon required a conversion to Fenderism from Gibsonism.
Obviously this never happened.