COUNT BASIE SIGNED,10 x 8, JAMES J. KRIEGSMANN PUBLICITY PHOTOGRAPH, "Best Wishes, Count Basie", B/W, portrait of him playing the piano, printed "Exclusive Management, WILLARD ALEXANDER, INC., 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York City", by the American band leader, composer and jazz Pianist. Identified in the lower left corner as being a photograph by James J. Kriegsmann. This stunning photograph is in fine condition, with a small crease in the lower margin and some bottom edge chips.
Photographer James J. Kriegsmann (1909-94) was famous for his portraits and publicity shots of celebrities and theatrical personalities and worked from 1929 to the early 1960s. Kriegsmann photographed many Motown notables, as well as Bill "Mr. Bojangles" Robinson, Cab Calloway, Frank Sinatra, Bill Haley, Benny Goodman, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, Smokey Robinson, "Little" Stevie Wonder, Simon and Garfunkel, and hundreds more. Kriegsmann became the official in-house photographer for Harlem’s Cotton Club, and he was considered among the best photographers in America. "What he did for black entertainers was very noble. After all these years, the fact that some black stars are still working with his son as a way of paying homage to his father is just as noble.” In addition to his work as a photographer to the stars, Kriegsmann wrote hundreds of songs for top recording artists of the day, including the hit “The Happy Organ” for Dave "Baby" Cortez, which was the first instrumental song to reach number one on the Top 100 Billboard charts, in 1959, and has been featured in many films.