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Benjamin Tucker

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Information about Benjamin Tucker

Profile image of Benjamin Tucker

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Radio Entrepreneur
Jazz Bassist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Lavender, Purple
Favorite Food:
Ox Tails, Filet Mignon
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Barbados, Grenada, Antigua
Favorite Quote:
I Love You.

Birthplace

Born:
12/13/1930
Birth Location:
Brentwood, Tennessee

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Radio Entrepreneur
Jazz Bassist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Lavender, Purple
Favorite Food:
Ox Tails, Filet Mignon
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Barbados, Grenada, Antigua
Favorite Quote:
I Love You.

Birthplace

Born:
12/13/1930
Birth Location:
Brentwood
See how Benjamin Tucker is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Noted jazz musician Benjamin Mayor Tucker was born on December 13, 1930 in Brentwood, Tennessee. Tucker and his twin brother grew up in Nashville with their parents Carrie Clayborne and Joseph Tucker. He graduated from Pearl High School in 1946 and matriculated at Tennessee State University in 1949 as a music major. In 1950, he joined the United States Air Force, serving for four years.

Tucker’s love for music began at an early age. He taught himself to play the tuba at the age of thirteen and later the bass violin and piano. Some of his favorite jazz musicians included Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Fletcher Henderson. In 1956, Tucker moved to Hollywood, California, where he met Warren Marsh. His first recording was a collaboration with Marsh entitled Jazz of Two Cities in 1959. That same year, Metronome magazine named him one of the world’s top ten bass players. In 1961, he recorded Coming Home Baby, a hit for Herbie Mann and Mel Torme. This song was featured in the film Get Shorty.

Tucker became Savannah, Georgia’s first African American radio station owner in 1972 when he purchased WSOK Radio. WSOK was the top AM station for thirteen years. His station had over 400,000 listeners and a reputation of integrity in advertising. In 1989, Tucker opened Hard Hearted Hannah’s, a jazz club. He was not only the owner of the club, but he also led the band six nights a week.

Tucker served on the boards of several organizations. President Jimmy Carter appointed him to serve on the Selective Service Board, and President Ronald Reagan reappointed him. Tucker for the 1996 Olympic Committee in Atlanta, Georgia. He was also the creator of the Telfair Jazz Society in Savannah.

Tucker and his wife, Gloria, resided in Savannah, Georgia. They had two adult children, Sabra and Wayne.

Tucker was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 23, 2007.

Benjamin Tucker passed away on June 4, 2013.

See how Benjamin Tucker is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Benjamin Tucker's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Benjamin Tucker lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Benjamin Tucker remembers his paternal grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Benjamin Tucker remembers his paternal grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Benjamin Tucker remembers his maternal grandparents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Benjamin Tucker recalls lessons from his maternal grandfather
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Benjamin Tucker recalls his father's gardening skills
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Benjamin Tucker remembers his relationship with his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Benjamin Tucker describes his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Benjamin Tucker remembers his home in Brentwood, Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Benjamin Tucker remembers his mother's resourcefulness
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Benjamin Tucker describes his brothers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Benjamin Tucker remembers his neighbors in Brentwood, Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Benjamin Tucker remembers Brentwood Elementary School in Brentwood, Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Benjamin Tucker describes his earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Benjamin Tucker recalls his childhood activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Benjamin Tucker describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Benjamin Tucker remembers Pearl High School in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Benjamin Tucker recalls serving in the U.S. Air Force
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Benjamin Tucker recalls his experience of racial discrimination on a bus ride
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Benjamin Tucker recalls discovering the jazz community in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Benjamin Tucker remembers his bass violin training
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Benjamin Tucker recalls purchasing his Tyrolean bass violin
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Benjamin Tucker recalls his introduction to New York City's jazz community
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Benjamin Tucker recalls playing with Marian McPartland at the Hickory House in New York City
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Benjamin Tucker recalls his early recordings on the West Coast
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Benjamin Tucker remembers recording 'Comin' Home Baby'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Benjamin Tucker recalls the impact of the record, 'Comin' Home Baby'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Benjamin Tucker remembers helping Bobby Hebb record 'Sunny'
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Benjamin Tucker recalls selling his publishing rights to 'Sunny'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Benjamin Tucker remembers founding Tuckrow Productions, Inc.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Benjamin Tucker remembers creating educational songs
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Benjamin Tucker recalls his venture into the radio broadcast industry
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Benjamin Tucker recalls purchasing WSOK Radio in Savannah, Georgia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Benjamin Tucker recalls his initial challenges at WSOK Radio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Benjamin Tucker describes his programming at WSOK Radio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Benjamin Tucker remembers his community engagement at WSOK Radio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Benjamin Tucker recalls buying WLVH Radio in Hardeeville, South Carolina
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Benjamin Tucker recalls building a new broadcast tower for WLVH Radio
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Benjamin Tucker recalls his return to musicianship
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Benjamin Tucker talks about his committee and board service
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Benjamin Tucker recalls musicians with whom he played in Savannah, Georgia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Benjamin Tucker recalls Hard Hearted Hannah's jazz club in Savannah, Georgia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Benjamin Tucker talks about the challenges of owning a restaurant
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Benjamin Tucker describes his commitment to Savannah's African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Benjamin Tucker recalls his social activism in Savannah, Georgia, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Benjamin Tucker recalls his social activism in Savannah, Georgia, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Benjamin Tucker recalls playing music at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Benjamin Tucker talks about his albums, 'Savannah Presents Jazz' and 'Christmas in Savannah'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Benjamin Tucker talks about his diabetes advocacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Benjamin Tucker recalls playing with renowned jazz musicians
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Benjamin Tucker remembers touring with Peggy Lee
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Benjamin Tucker remembers repairing his antique bass violin
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Benjamin Tucker talks about musicians with whom he would like to play
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Benjamin Tucker describes the changes in Brentwood, Tennessee
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Benjamin Tucker talks about his family members
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Benjamin Tucker reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Benjamin Tucker describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Benjamin Tucker narrates his photographs