Sorry, this item sold!!
To return to our Sold Autograph Archive, click here.
To view autographs that are still currently available, click here.
Offered here is a one-of-a-kind piece of blues history.
From the estate of Dr. Ross A/K/A Isaiah Ross himself comes this original Military ID Card issued to Ross by the Army of the United States of America in 1950.
The card was issued on Halloween Day, October 31, 1950 by personnel officer Walter L. Billingsley, who also signed the front. Ross' rank has been hand corrected from PFC to PVT. Dr. Ross' name is misspelled "Isaich" instead of "Isaiah", but this has not been corrected. The card states that he was stationed in Fort Hood, Texas. The back includes some personal information including height, weight, blood type, date of birth, etc. His race is stated as "Negro."
Isaiah Ross has signed the back beneath the words "Signature of Soldier" in black felt tip pen.
The card measures approximately 2.5 x 3.75". It shows general wear, and the right hand margin has deteriorated somewhat (see scan)
At the time that Dr. Ross was issued this card, he was only 25 years old and had not yet signed his first recording contract. In 1952, shortly after returning from military service, he would release his first single with Sam Phillips' legendary Sun Records label.
Doctor Ross famously quit Sun Records in 1958 because of his stated belief that Sam Philips was using proceeds from his recordings to promote Elvis Presley. After leaving Sun, Ross began his own record label and moved from Memphis to Flint, Michigan where he worked many years for General Motors (please check our other auctions as we will be selling some paycheck receipts from Dr. Ross' time at GM).
From the All Music Guide:
A triple-threat guitarist, harp blower, and vocalist, Dr. Ross decided to fire his sidemen and carry on as a one-man band, a tradition that also includes Joe Hill Louis, Daddy Stovepipe, and Jesse Fuller. Ross' music did not depend on novelty effect, yet it had a distinctly recognizable sound, in part because he learned to play his own way and essentially played everything backwards. His guitar was tuned to open G (like John Lee Hooker and other Delta artists), but Ross played it left-handed and upside-down. He also played harmonica in a rack, but it was turned around with the low notes to the right. As an instrumentalist, Ross perfected the interplay between guitar and harmonica. Unlike other Delta artists who tune in G, Ross didn't use slide, preferring a series of banjo-like strummed riffs, a percussive approach reminiscent of Atlanta 12-string guitarist Barbecue Bob. A strong vocalist and excellent songwriter, Ross gained early experience playing Delta jukes and eventually landed radio shows in Clarksdale and Memphis, where he also recorded for Sam Phillips's Sun label.
At the peak of Ross's career, he quit Sun, concerned that his royalties were being used to promote Elvis Presley's recordings. Relocating in Michigan, he recorded for his own label and for several Detroit labels, while working for General Motors. Returning to music as a recording artist, he worked the festival circuit. Ross' music retained the spirit of his live radio and juke-joint work. The sides he recorded with a band for Sun produced his best material, including classics like "Chicago Breakdown" and "Boogie Disease." As Dr. Ross put it in an interview, "I'm kind of like the little boy from the West; I'm different from the rest." Different, yes, but very good. Ross died May 28, 1993, and was buried in Flint, MI.