September 10, 2005
Woody Guthrie’s Contract with RCA
In April 1940, RCA Victor Record Company contracted Woody Guthrie to record an album containing his Dust Bowl Ballads. This was Woody Guthrie's first "commercial" recording. Under the “Artists Letter Agreement,” Woody Guthrie promised to produce a record with at least 12 “Dust Bowl Songs of [his] own composition and arrangement.” [Page 1 of the contract; Page 2 of the contract]. In return, RCA gave Woody Guthrie 5% of the retail list price in royalties and a meager $25 advance against those royalties.
[Meredith R. Miller]
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