Albert "Eddie" Condon joined Hollis Peavey's Jazz Bandits, a Chicago-area group, as a banjo player at 17. He played and recorded with various Chicago groups throughout the 1920s before switching to tenor guitar and moving to New York in 1929. He recorded with Red Nichols' Five Pennies and Louis Armstrong, among others. His 1938 recording sessions made him a popular star and resulted in a nightly gig at Nick's from 1937-44. It was here that he met John Steinbeck, discussing with him, in Condon's words, "the real American jazz" and beginning an enduring friendship. Condon eventually recorded "Tortilla B-Flat" for his friend and Steinbeck recommended Condon for television work in the early 1950s. The 3-page letter to Condon (lot 210) became the introduction for Condon's 1973 book of reminiscences on the jazz world, Eddie Condon's Jazz Scrapbook.