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Carolyn Wilkins

Professor and jazz musician Carolyn Wilkins was born on April 23, 1952 in Chicago, Illinois to Elizabeth Sweeny and Julian Wilkins. She graduated from the University of Chicago Laboratory School in Chicago, Illinois in 1969, and received her B.M. degree from the Oberlin Conservatory in Oberlin, Ohio in 1973, and her M.M. degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York in 1978.

Wilkins taught as an assistant professor of music at Wilbur Wright College in Chicago, Illinois from 1979 to 1981. In 1987, she served as choir director at Mount St. Joseph Academy and in 1989, she developed a "concert-lecture" designed to introduce some of jazz's greatest composers. She has also given concert-lectures on "What Is This Thing Called Jazz - a History from New Orleans to Coltrane", "Black Women in Jazz" and "The Roots of Jazz - African Music, Spirituals and the Blues" for audiences in libraries, schools and colleges. Wilkins was professor of Ensembles at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

Wilkins released four albums of her original compositions entitled SpiritJazz I, SpiritJazz II, Healin' Time and Praise Song on Tiphareth Records. Wilkins also composed music for The Search Goes On, an original musical performed at First Night 2000, for the NPR adaptation of Langston Hughes' Tell Your Mama, poet Phil Bryant's Southside Suite, and for Return, a Meditational Journey of Self Discovery for Black Women. The Wright College Choir, the Mt. St. Joseph Chorale, the Emmanuel College Singers, and the Shiloh Gospel Choir have also performed Wilkins’ compositions. She performed her jazz-influenced spiritual music weekly in her role as music director for the Jazz Worship Service at the First Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her performance experience also included radio and television appearances with her group SpiritJazz, a concert tour of South America as a Jazz Ambassador for the U.S. State Department, performances as a percussionist with the Pittsburgh Symphony under Andre Previn and in shows featuring Melba Moore, Nancy Wilson and the Fifth Dimension. Wilkins performed at Boston's Regattabar, Scullers' Grille, the Globe Jazz Festival and the Many Colors of a Woman Jazz Festival. She has also appeared in concert at Harvard, Brandeis and Boston Universities, and was featured four times as a part of Boston's annual First Night Celebration.

Wilkins authored five books; Damn Near White: An African American Family’s Rise from Slavery to Bittersweet Success, They Raised Me Up: A Black Single Mother and the Women Who Inspired Her, both published by the University of Missouri Press, Melody for Murder and Mojo for Murder, both published by Pen-L Publishing, and Tips for Singers: Performing, Auditioning and Rehearsing.

Carolyn Wilkins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 19, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.157

Sex

Female

Interview Date

08/19/2017

Last Name

Wilkins

Maker Category
Organizations
First Name

Carolyn

Birth City, State, Country

Chicago

HM ID

WIL79

Favorite Season

Fall

State

Illinois

Favorite Vacation Destination

Maine

Favorite Quote

When the going gets tough the tough get going.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Massachusetts

Birth Date

4/23/1952

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Cambridge

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Rice

Short Description

Professor and jazz musician Carolyn Wilkins (1952 - ) served as professor of ensembles at Berklee College of Music and has released four albums of original work and authored five books.

Favorite Color

Blue

Terri Lyne Carrington

Jazz musician Terri Lyne Carrington was born on August 4, 1965 in Malden, Massachusetts, to Solomon Carrington and Judith Carrington. She graduated from Medford High School in 1981 and enrolled in the Berklee College of Music for three semesters.

In 1974, at age nine, her father put her into drum lessons with legendary jazz musicians Keith Copeland, Clark Terry and Dizzy Gillespie. When she was only eleven years old, then-president of Berklee College of Music Lawrence Berk awarded her a full scholarship to the school after seeing her performing with Oscar Peterson in Boston. Carrington was the youngest person to ever receive a full scholarship from Berklee College of Music at the time. She gained notoriety as a child prodigy, becoming the youngest ever endorser of the Avedis Zildjian Company cymbals and of Slingerland Drum Company. She recorded her first album, TLC and Friends, with Kenny Barron, George Coleman, Buster Williams, and her father, in 1981, at sixteen years old. At the suggestion of her mentor, Jack DeJohnette, Carrington moved to New York and played with various artists, eventually landing her first major touring job with Clark Terry in 1983. In 1986, Carrington won an audition to join Wayne Shorter’s band. Shorter became another mentor to Carrington, and they performed together for many years touring the world. Carrington moved to Los Angeles in 1989, joining the house band for The Arsenio Hall Show for four months before departing to promote her debut album, Real Life Story, for which she received a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Fusion Performance. In 1991, Carrington played drums for Herbie Hancock for a summer, and the two formed a relationship that led to Hancock inviting Carrington to perform with Joni Mitchell and Stevie Wonder on his George Gershwin tribute record Gershwin’s World in 1998. Carrington then toured with Hancock for the next decade. Carrington has released eight albums, with Grammy Award winning works including The Mosaic Project in 2011, and Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue.

Carrington serves as the Founder and Artistic Director of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice and is artistic director of the Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival in Boston. She has received numerous honors, including a Grammy for producing Dianne Reeve’s album Beautiful Life. Carrington also received an honorary doctorate degree from Berklee College of Music in 2003.

Carrington has one son.

Terri Lynne Carrington was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 26, 2017.

Accession Number

A2017.010

Sex

Female

Interview Date

01/26/2017

Last Name

Carrington

Maker Category
Middle Name

Lyne

Occupation
Organizations
First Name

Terri

Birth City, State, Country

Malden

HM ID

CAR37

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Massachusetts

Favorite Vacation Destination

Martha's Vineyard

Favorite Quote

I'm not what I do, I do what I am.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Birth Date

8/4/1965

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Chielean sea bass, bibb lettuce etc. depends on the type of food, can't name an overarching one.

Short Description

Jazz musician Terri Lyne Carrington (1965- ) a three-time, Grammy Award-winning instrumentalist, vocalist, composer, producer, bandleader, and musical director that played with Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie and Herbie Hancock.

Favorite Color

Green

T.S. Monk, III

Jazz musician Thelonious Sphere “T.S.” Monk, III was born on December 27, 1949 in New York City, New York. His father, Thelonious Monk, was a famous jazz pianist and composer. Monk played trumpet and piano before switching to drums at the age of fifteen, taking lessons from percussionist Max Roach.

Monk’s first public performance as a drummer was with his father on a television show in 1970. He toured with his father's band from 1970 to 1975, and then played with the fusion band Natural Essence. He later formed the R&B group "T.S. Monk" with his sister Barbara Monk and vocalist Yvonne Fletcher. The group recorded three albums for Mirage Records in the early 1980s and charted a top 20 hit with its single "Bon Bon Vie (Gimme the Good Life)," followed by "Too Much Too Soon."

In 1986, Monk co-founded and chaired the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in memory of his father, who passed away in 1982. Monk returned to performing jazz in 1992, after an absence of several years, forming the T.S. Monk Sextet. That same year, he released Take One on Blue Note Records, which was followed by Changing of the Guard in 1993 and the critically acclaimed The Charm in 1995. He celebrated his father's eightieth birthday with the album Monk on Monk in 1997. He then released three more records: Crosstalk in 1999, Higher Ground in 2003, and 2014’s Verbiest Meets Monk: Father and Son, a collaboration with Belgian jazz accordionist, Rony Verbiest. Monk’s sextet has performed at the White House, various festivals and concert halls, legendary jazz clubs and landmark institutions in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Monk received the New York Jazz Awards First Annual "Recording of the Year" award and Downbeat magazine’s prestigious 63rd annual Album of the Year Reader's Choice Award for Monk on Monk. In addition, his Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz sponsored ABC’s “A Celebration Of America's Music” in 1996 and 1998, held its International Jazz Competition since 1987, and offered its full scholarship Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance graduate-level college program since 1995. Monk also collaborated with Herbie Hancock and UNESCO in 2012 in creating “International Jazz Day,” a gathering of jazz musicians from 196 countries.

T.S. Monk was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 9, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.243

Sex

Male

Interview Date

09/09/2014 |and| 10/17/2014

Last Name

Monk

Maker Category
Middle Name

Sphere

Occupation
First Name

Thelonious

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

MON10

State

New York

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

12/27/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Short Description

Jazz musician T.S. Monk, III (1949 - ) co-founded the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in memory of his late father, Thelonious Monk.

Employment

Thelonious Monk's Band

Natural Essence

"T.S. Monk" - Mirage Records

Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz

"T.S. Monk Sextet"

Michael White

Music professor and jazz musician Michael White was born on November 29, 1954 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Descended from early jazz notables such as bassist Papa John Joseph and clarinetist Willie “Kaiser” Joseph, White did not know of his background, but saw his aunt, who played classical clarinet, as his influence. White too played clarinet in the noted St. Augustine’s High School Marching Band and took private lessons from the band’s esteemed director, Lionel Hampton, for three years.

White balanced school with his interest in the clarinet. He went on to obtain his B.A. degree from Xavier University in 1976 and his M.A. degree in Spanish from Tulane University in 1979. That same year, White joined the Young Tuxedo Brass Band, and two years later, White founded The Original Liberty Jazz Band with the aim of preserving the musical heritage of New Orleans. In 1984, White earned his Ph.D. degree in Spanish from Tulane University and began teaching Spanish and African American music at Xavier University. Around this time, White started collaborating with jazz great Wynton Marsalis; in 1989, White was featured on Wynton Marsalis’ seminal recording, Majesty of the Blues, and that same year, the two worked together on “A Tribute to Jelly Roll Morton,” performed at New York’s Lincoln Center, in which White served as musical director.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. White was living in a one-story home in the Gentilly district of New Orleans, near the London Avenue Canal, and his home was destroyed by the flooding. White was a collector of jazz artifacts and history, but lost all thirty years of jazz memorabilia in the flooding, including interviews of early jazzmen, a clarinet mouthpiece that once belonged to Sidney Bechet, approximately 9000 records and CDs, and a collection of over five dozen vintage clarinets. Still, White embraced jazz’s spirit of improvisation and released his most recent album, Blue Cresent, in 2008, which consists of mainly original compositions and was met with critical acclaim.

The recipient of a 2008 National Heritage Fellowship Award from the National Endowment of the Arts, White has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Newport Jazz Festival. In 1987, the French Government bestowed upon White the rank of Chevalier of Arts and Letters. As a resident artist at the Lincoln Center, White has served as musical director for several of their concerts, including 1992’s Blue Clarinet Stomp and 1994’s Cornet Kings Before Armstrong. White serves as Commissioner of the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Interior, and in 2002 he was appointed as the first incumbent of the Rosa and Charles Keller Endowed Chair in the Humanities at Xavier University. Most recently, in 2010, White was named Humanist of the Year by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.

Michael White was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 7, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.041

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/7/2010

Last Name

White

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Schools

St. Augustine High School

Xavier University of Louisiana

Tulane University

Holy Ghost School

St. Joan of Arc Catholic School

St. David School

First Name

Michael

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

WHI16

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

Southern France, Coastal Japan, Norwegian Fjords

Favorite Quote

A Friend In Need Is A Friend Indeed.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Louisiana

Birth Date

11/29/1954

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Orleans

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Hamburgers

Short Description

Jazz musician and music professor Michael White (1954 - ) was professor of Spanish and African American music at Xavier University of Louisiana, and bandleader of the Original Liberty Jazz Band in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Employment

Xavier University

Favorite Color

Blue

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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Michael White's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Michael White lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Michael White describes his mother's upbringing in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Michael White talks about his mother's education and career

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Michael White recalls his relationship with his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Michael White talks about Papa John Joseph

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Michael White talks about the early recordings of New Orleans jazz music

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Michael White talks about his maternal family's musical background

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Michael White describes his maternal grandparents

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Michael White recalls his maternal grandmother's candy making business, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Michael White recalls his maternal grandmother's candy making business, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Michael White describes his maternal aunt's musicianship

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Michael White recalls his early musical experiences in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Michael White talks about his father's background

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Michael White remembers his father's organizational activities

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Michael White recalls his parents' involvement in the Knights of Peter Claver

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Michael White talks about how his parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Michael White describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Michael White describes his community in the 9th Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Michael White describes his community in the 9th Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Michael White describes the sights and smells of his childhood

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Michael White remembers Morgus the Magnificent

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Michael White desvribes his early education

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Michael White describes his early personality

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Michael White remembers his early awareness of race, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Michael White remembers his early awareness of race, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Michael White talks about the Creole identity, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Michael White describes the placage system

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Michael White talks about the Creole identity, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Michael White describes his experiences of discrimination in the majority-white Carrollton neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Michael White describes his experiences of discrimination in the majority-white Carrollton neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Michael White talks about his sister

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Michael White remembers his paternal grandfather

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Michael White describes his Catholic schooling in New Orleans, Louisiana, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Michael White describes his Catholic schooling in New Orleans, Louisiana, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Michael White remembers Hurricane Betsy

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Michael White remembers learning to play the clarinet

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Michael White describes St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Michael White describes his early musical instruction

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Michael White recalls playing with the St. Augustine High School Marching 100, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Michael White recalls playing with the St. Augustine High School Marching 100, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Michael White remembers his early interest in jazz

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Michael White remembers his high school instruction in Spanish

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Michael White recalls his decision to study Spanish

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Michael White recalls his start at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Michael White remembers Xavier University of Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Michael White recalls his professors at Xavier University of Louisiana

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Michael White talks about his exposure to New Orleans jazz

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Michael White remembers joining Ernest "Doc" Paulin's brass band

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Michael White remembers meeting Danny Barker

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Michael White talks about the social aid and pleasure clubs of New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Michael White describes the jazz funeral tradition

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Michael White demonstrates the clarinet's role in a jazz funeral

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Michael White describes the conclusion of a jazz funeral

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Michael White remembers his early gigs with Ernest "Doc" Paulin's band

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Michael White recalls the musicians in Ernest "Doc" Paulin's band

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Michael White reflects upon the evolution of the New Orleans jazz community

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Michael White talks about the significance of social aid and pleasure club parades

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Michael White describes the structure of a social aid and pleasure club parade, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Michael White describes the structure of a social aid and pleasure club parade, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Michael White talks about the origin of jazz in New Orleans, Louisiana, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Michael White talks about the history of jazz, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Michael White characterizes the jazz style of New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Michael White talks about the history of jazz, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Michael White differentiates New Orleans jazz from Dixieland music

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Michael White recalls his decision to leave Ernest "Doc" Paulin's band

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Michael White remembers playing with smaller jazz bands

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Michael White talks about jazz musicians of New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Michael White remembers his rendition of 'Burgundy Street Blues'

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Michael White remembers his introduction to New Orleans' jazz scene

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Michael White describes his membership in the American Federation of Musicians Local 174-496

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Michael White describes the generations of New Orleans jazz musicians, pt. 1

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Michael White describes the generations of New Orleans jazz musicians, pt. 2

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Michael White talks about jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis' early popularity

Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Michael White recalls Wynton Marsalis' resistance to playing New Orleans jazz

Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Michael White talks about the influence of New Orleans jazz on Duke Ellington

Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Michael White remembers recording 'The Majesty of the Blues'

Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Michael White talks about playing at jazz festivals with Wynton Marsalis

Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Michael White recalls his work as a musical director

Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Michael White talks about his careers in academia and music

Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Michael White remembers his first record, 'Shake It and Break It'

Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Michael White talks about forming the Original Liberty Jazz Band

DASession

1$1

DATape

6$6

DAStory

2$6

DATitle
Michael White remembers joining Ernest "Doc" Paulin's brass band
Michael White demonstrates the clarinet's role in a jazz funeral
Transcript
One day at Xavier [Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, Louisiana] I, I was hanging around the jazz band at Xavier, but the jazz band at Xavier was like a, like a big band. And the director, like most band directors, didn't really know much about New Orleans jazz and really didn't like, didn't like it, and you know, kind of basically ignored me, for the most part. But I would hang around the jazz band, trying to learn some things about music. And one day there was this guy who played tuba in, in the jazz--in the--at Xavier in the music department. And I'm trying to remember exactly what he played in the jazz band. I don't think he played tuba in the jazz band. I don't remember exactly what he played. But anyway, his name is Big Al Carson [Alton "Big Al" Carson]. He turned out to be a great rhythm and blues singer, which he is today. But I remember talking to him. There used to be this old oak tree outside of the music building, and I remember we used to gather outside of there before band rehearsal and sometimes after. And we'd sit down on the bench and talk about what was going on in life. And I remember him saying, "Oh, I've been--." "How's it going, Al?" "Oh, I've been playing in these parades out here with this brass band." I said, "Brass band?" I said, "You play in one of those bands?" He said, "Yeah, I play with this guy named Doc Paulin," I said--he said, "but it's, it's, it's a non-union band," he said, "that's the only non-union band; everybody else had to be in the musicians union." So, I never thought, you know, I could play enough to even think about anything like a musicians union. And, but I said maybe I'll give this non-union thing a try. I said, "Well, look, if y'all ever need a clarinet, let me know, tell him about--." He said, "Yeah, I'll tell him about you." So, a few weeks later, I went to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. This was my junior year at Xavier, 1975. And there was this band that Big Al Carson was in, Doc Paulin's brass band, Doc Paulin. So I met Doc Paulin. Doc Paulin was a Creole trumpet player. He had a very thick French accent. He was very, very dark skinned. He had a strange, I thought at the time strange something about him. I didn't find out until just a couple of years ago after his death that he was actually of Haitian descent. I thought he was--I knew he was from Wallace, in the country in Louisiana, and I thought that's what, the way people sounded in Wallace, 'cause he sounded the way Creoles sound from other parts of Louisiana. But at any rate, Ernest "Doc" Paulin was his name. He was a trumpet player that was born in the early first decade of, of 19--1900. He led a brass band for many years. He played with a lot of legendary jazz musicians. He made a few, a couple of recordings. And I met him at Jazz Fest. He looked at me, and you know, I'm say, I say, "Oh, hey, Doc. You know, I'm the guy that Big A told you about, the clarinet." And Big Al told him about me. And he looked at me and he frowned, and he said, "All y'all young people ain't no good." And it's like, I was kind of insulted. So he said, "And if I call you for a job, you gonna show up on time?" I said, "Yeah." "You gonna wear the right uniform? You know we wear black pants, your shoes gotta be shined and clean, you wear white shirt, clean black tie--solid black tie, not no stripes and not them polka dots." He had a thick French accent. "You know what I mean?" "Yeah." "We wear a white band cap." "Okay." So I gave him my phone number and figured I'd never hear from him. Couple of weeks later I got a call. "White [HistoryMaker Michael White], this is Doc Paulin. I got a job for you. Be at my house at such and such a time, and don't forget we wear black pants, white shirt, short sleeve white shirt, solid black tie, band cap. You got a band cap?" "No, but I'll get one." And that was the beginning of, of my career playing with Doc Paulin.$We were talking about the jazz parades, and you were going to show us what you meant, so.$$Yeah, in a jazz funeral, we mentioned the slow music, which represents and highlights the sadness of the event: the passing of a person, the fact that they are no longer going to be with us. The good times that we shared with them were going, finished. So that's very sad, and the slow sad music reflects that. You know, we would play dirges. And as I mentioned, the, the, the, the s- the somber mood of the band was highlighted by the fact that all of the instruments had a kind of different sound, but they all sounded like people moaning, different voices, male, female voices. The clarinet would, would moan with a lot of vibrato, sort of like a weeping widow, up high. And you know, if, if the clarinet would play like, for example, a melody of the song, clarinet normally doesn't play medo- melody, but if, if a clarinet played the melody of a song like 'Just a Closer Walk with Thee,' it would sound sort of like this: (playing clarinet). But in reality, the clarinet would actually play around the melody, and so, around that sort of preaching like voice. And would play things like this: (playing clarinet). So, that's kind of what the clarinet would do in a jazz funeral. And you could hear that blocks away, just kind of wailing and screeching and crying but very effective in the ceremony. And that part of the jazz funeral, was, was usually very solemn.

William "Buddy" Collette

Jazz musician William “Buddy” Collette was born on August 6, 1921 in Los Angeles, California to Willie Hugh and Goldie Marie Collette. Collette cultivated his love for music at a young age, taking up the alto-saxophone and forming his first group at age twelve. This group included Britt Woodman on the trombone and Charles Mingus on the bass. By age seventeen, Collette was performing professionally and soon thereafter, he served in the U.S. Navy as a bandleader during World War II.

After returning from the war, Collette began playing with the Stars of Swing, a jazz quartet featuring saxophonist Dexter Gordon, bassist Charles Mingus, and drummer Chico Hamilton. The group helped to keep bebop music alive in Los Angeles during the mid-1940s in the historic Center Avenue neighborhood. In 1949, Collette performed around Los Angeles with a variety of jazz musicians including Edgar Hayes, Louis Jordan, Benny Carter, and Gerald Wilson. By 1950, Collette was working as a studio musician, and became the first African American musician to perform on television on the Groucho Marx show You Bet Your Life. In 1954, Collette worked as a disc jockey under the pseudonym of Sleepy Stein and released an album entitled Tanganyika, with a group consisting of Collette, drummer Chico Hamilton, trumpeter John Anderson, pianist Gerald Wiggins, guitarist Jimmy Hall, and bassist Curtis Counce. In 1955, Collette gained national recognition after he became a founding member of Chico Hamilton’s legendary quintet. In 1956, Collette recorded his first album, Man of Many Parts, as a bandleader. Later that year, Collette followed his debut album with Nice Day with Buddy Collette, which led to a string of albums throughout 1958 and 1959 including Calm Cool and Collette, Porgy and Bess, and Jazz Loves Paris.

By 1966, Collette had become a noteworthy educator in Los Angeles. He also freelanced, worked in the studios, played in clubs and taught aspiring jazz musicians. Collette’s students included such renowned woodwind players as Eric Dolphy, Charles Lloyd, Frank Morgan, Sonny Criss and James Newton.

In 1988, Collette recorded Flute Talk, his first album as a bandleader since 1964. Collette also produced a spoken word record on his experiences with jazz in 1994, Jazz for Thousand Oaks in 1996, and Live from the Nation’s Capital in 2000.

Collette passed away on September 19, 2010 at the age of 89.

Accession Number

A2007.153

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/20/2007

Last Name

Collette

Maker Category
Middle Name

Marcell

Occupation
Schools

David Starr Jordan Senior High School

Los Angeles City College

96th St. Elementary School

First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Los Angeles

HM ID

COL15

Favorite Season

Spring

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Australia, Italy, France

Favorite Quote

It Is Better To Be A Part Of Something Than Be All Of Nothing.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

8/6/1921

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Fish

Death Date

9/19/2010

Short Description

Jazz musician William "Buddy" Collette (1921 - 2010 ) became the first African American musician to perform on television on the Groucho Marx show, "You Bet Your Life."

Employment

California State University, Los Angeles

Flip Wilson show (Television program)

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Loyola Marymount University

California State University, Long Beach

California State University, Dominguez Hills

'You Bet Your Life'

Favorite Color

Brown, Green

Timing Pairs
0,0:2926,56:3992,160:22606,498:26528,513:34232,720:34592,726:39704,857:39992,862:54338,1087:62654,1283:63182,1292:66680,1371:81290,1678:88310,1837:88635,1844:88960,1850:91560,1912:102628,2114:109597,2388:113737,2448:135772,2812:145075,2952:148675,3010:155510,3117$0,0:216,3:6840,200:7560,209:10728,277:12888,326:14616,366:26509,563:27290,580:27645,586:33538,738:33964,749:34319,755:36875,828:40638,968:45750,989:46236,1042:64828,1284:67798,1377:68194,1452:80946,1666:81330,1674:95945,1956:96285,1961:100826,2035:108129,2223:111814,2389:119110,2466:119770,2478:120034,2483:128020,2728:147893,3019:148390,3057:172478,3568:175052,3619:175514,3631:175910,3639:199078,4023:199458,4029:200066,4038:202346,4085:203334,4100:213428,4193:218830,4335:219122,4340:240840,4719:244860,4792
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William "Buddy" Collette's interview, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William "Buddy" Collette lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William "Buddy" Collette describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William "Buddy" Collette describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William "Buddy" Collette describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William "Buddy" Collette talks about his extended family

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William "Buddy" Collette describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William "Buddy" Collette remembers a lesson from his father

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Slating of William "Buddy" Collette's interview, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William "Buddy" Collette remembers his home life

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William "Buddy" Collette describes his neighborhood in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William "Buddy" Collette describes the smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William "Buddy" Collette recalls his early interest in music

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William "Buddy" Collette remembers 96th Street Elementary School in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William "Buddy" Collette remembers meeting Art Tatum

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - William "Buddy" Collette remembers busking with Charles Mingus

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - William "Buddy" Collette describes his religious upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - William "Buddy" Collette describes his peers at David Starr Jordan High School in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - William "Buddy" Collette remembers the Woodman brothers' band

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William "Buddy" Collette remembers the Great Depression

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William "Buddy" Collette recalls his early musical influences

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William "Buddy" Collette remembers his friendship with Charles Mingus

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William "Buddy" Collette recalls playing with his first band

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William "Buddy" Collette remembers playing in a U.S. Navy Reserve band, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William "Buddy" Collette remembers playing in a U.S. Navy Reserve band, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William "Buddy" Collette describes his early music lessons

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William "Buddy" Collette describes the racial discrimination in the U.S. Navy Reserve

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - William "Buddy" Collette remembers the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music and Arts

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William "Buddy" Collette recalls forming a band with Charles Mingus

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William "Buddy" Collette talks about playing jazz flute

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William "Buddy" Collette recalls playing at the Downbeat in Los Angeles, California, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William "Buddy" Collette recalls playing at the Downbeat in Los Angeles, California, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William "Buddy" Collette describes Charles Mingus

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William "Buddy" Collette recalls his workshops at the Crystal Tea Room in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William "Buddy" Collette remembers Central Avenue in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William "Buddy" Collette describes the Community Symphony Orchestra

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William "Buddy" Collette recalls joining the orchestra on 'You Bet Your Life,' pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William "Buddy" Collette recalls joining the orchestra on 'You Bet Your Life,' pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William "Buddy" Collette remembers playing flute on 'You Bet Your Life'

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William "Buddy" Collette talks about African Americans on television

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William "Buddy" Collette recalls filming 'You Bet Your Life'

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William "Buddy" Collette remembers Buddy Collette and His Swinging Shepherds

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William "Buddy" Collette recalls protesting discrimination at the Academy Awards

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - William "Buddy" Collette remembers playing at the Academy Awards

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William "Buddy" Collette remembers the Watts uprisings

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - William "Buddy" Collette describes his musical career

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - William "Buddy" Collette remembers Groucho Marx

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - William "Buddy" Collette recalls his election to the American Federation of Musicians Local 47 board

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - William "Buddy" Collette describes his work with Fred Katz and Chico Hamilton

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - William "Buddy" Collette talks about his teaching career

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - William "Buddy" Collette reflects upon his success

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - William "Buddy" Collette describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - William "Buddy" Collette reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - William "Buddy" Collette reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - William "Buddy" Collette narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

3$2

DATitle
William "Buddy" Collette remembers his friendship with Charles Mingus
William "Buddy" Collette recalls joining the orchestra on 'You Bet Your Life,' pt. 2
Transcript
Now during that time period, you know, you are going to school, you're twelve or thirteen, how else did you spend your time, what else did you do, or was music your primary focus at that time, trying to better yourself?$$Well, music was a lot of it. You know with my musical friends like Charlie Mingus after he started playing with the band, he had a feeling for music that probably as strong as anybody you ever heard. He just loved it. He would put his bass on his shoulders and walk from 108th Street to 96th Street [Los Angeles, California], you know, a kid with a full size bass, it might have been a little smaller, carrying it on his shoulders like he was a strong guy, always big and strong. Walked in my house every morning before I'd get up in the summer, knock on the door at nine o'clock and I wasn't even up yet. He would say, "We're going to play today?" "Yeah, we'll play." So I'm saying as long as I'm around him what am I going to say, no. I love music too but you can't chase anybody down. If you love it and nobody else love it, so you're playing alone, but that was every day he had to play. Once you play, the next day was a dream too, cause you going to play some more good tunes.$$So you spent a lot of time playing music--$$Yeah.$$--and Charles Mingus was a personal friend. How old was Charles Mingus around this time when he was coming over to your house?$$How old was he?$$Yes, Mingus?$$Well, he was about six months under me, so we were pretty close.$$Okay. And you all met at Jordan High School [David Starr Jordan High School, Los Angeles, California], at the school?$$We met between Jordan High School and my home. One day, I see this guy with a shine box, but the shine box is real high like this and looking like a chicken coop or something with long legs. I used to shine shoes so I saw him but I knew that I would recognize him when I saw him. The reason why I am saying this because they say, "Mingus' family plays cello and sister Grace [Grace Mingus Washington] and Vivian [Vivian Mingus Myles] they played piano and violin." They said, "Mingus is strange guy," and you know there are times in the '60s [1960s]. He might've created that period. He cut his head with a cross through the middle (laughter). He'd come to school and he'd be doing something completely different than anybody else. But the kids thought it was funny and then he would get into a fight later on, always different kind of guy. He get into a fight he'd lose and he'd say, "You're gonna fight me tomorrow, you know," (laughter) and he say, "'Cause I gonna finally beat you." He would keep fighting the guy and the kids would all be behind him like an event and they would say, "Mingus is going to fight the guy again today, he gone get whipped again," and maybe get whipped two or three days and the third day, then he beats the guy. I mean he had stuff going so this is the wild side of him and the other side, he plays music so beautiful that no one could help but smile and he loved me you know because he thought I did so much for him 'cause I said, "Get a bass," and that bass changed his whole life.$So this is the night they played the, 'Carmen' by Bizet [Georges Bizet]. So he [Percy McDavid] was there and I said the premise of the orchestra [Community Symphony Orchestra] was, was if I wanted to play the first flute on one of the pieces while, you know, the conductor was there, I could do it. But sometimes if he hadn't been there, I wouldn't have gotten this opportunity; it could have been somebody else. They would have said, "Oh you play it," you know, I couldn't just take the part. So he's conducting and now he gets to the part that says first flute only and there's other three flutes players some have played with the symphony and they would love to play it too. Kind of show off, but they'd probably played it hundreds of times. I'd never played, but, you know, I probably knew it when I start playing it. So he said, "Mr. Collette [HistoryMaker William "Buddy" Collette], would you like to play the flute solo?" The orchestra stopped here because now this next section is really just flute and harp but I didn't know that, I just figured well I'll play the solo because you got sixty people around you. So he starts conducting and I got three notes by myself (scats), you know I do the melody. But anyway I'm playing, the harpist about twenty feet across the room so lonely you know, I'm trying to, my heart is (gesture), and I say, "Where are the rest of the people?" I wanted more around me you know, I don't want to be exposed like that for the first time anyway especially playing a piece I didn't know. At this point, I'd only been playing for two years. But I hung in there and I was such a good musician on the other instruments that I could make it work so I played for about a minute all alone with the harp while everybody else listening, saying, "Not too bad, you know, it wasn't great but, you know, he didn't fall, he didn't stumble," and I didn't have to stop and give me another chance. So they tap their bows, like I said, that means you made it (claps hands). And I said, "Oh, thank you," a little, a little weird. The night it was over he was like, "Wow, that was a tough one." 'Cause everybody was listening to me and I didn't want an audition like that. But anyway after the concert is over, about 9:30 or 10:00, they got some big steps down there [Joseph LeConte Junior High School; Joseph LeConte Middle School, Los Angeles, California], 'cause went back there and taught the young after school class, help the youngsters come through the same place. When I walked down those stairs I could see myself talking to Fielding. I'm walking down and Fielding is already out. He said, "Hey, pretty nice flute playing." He said, "You remember me? I'm Jerry Fielding the guy that missed you at the church?" I said, "I know you." I said, "What's going on?" He said, "Well, I need a guy for the Groucho Marx's show ['You Bet Your Life']. You know Marshal Royal?" That's my friend that was in the Navy [U.S. Navy Reserve] with me, and also the eagle player. I said, "Yeah, I know Marshal, he just left town with Count Basie," and that was true 'cause and he said, "Well, you'd have to play flute, saxophone and clarinet." So he knew I play flute and I said, "I play saxophone and clarinet." He said, "Well, I didn't know you played that." I said, "But, yeah, I just played flute for two years." I said, "Marshal doesn't play flute," and he's gone so this was pointing toward me and he kind of wanted to see me anyway, that if I could play. So, he heard a little flute that I guess he liked it okay. But anyway he said, "Well, I want you to work on the Groucho show. I'll have the contractor call you in about a week, his name is Ben Barrett," and I got the call and they said, "Well, bring your horns, alto, clarinet and the flute to Groucho Marx show," CBS on, at that time it was at Sunset [Boulevard] and, Sunset and, and Vine [Street].$$How big was that for you at that point getting that job? Did you feel like, what happen to you at that moment because now you're getting ready to be on a major national television show?$$Well, I'll tell you, well, I just felt good that I was accepted knowing that I would not let them down 'cause I had worked hard to be as good as the players I had heard out there. And, you know, most of them were pretty good, so, you know, all the training, all the studying for four years, you know. Clarinet teacher one day, flute the next day, next the writing class. I was in it, you know. I was like a guy in best shape for a heavy weight champion fight, you know. I said, "Well, I'll do all right guys I know" and the guy next to me, Hynie Gunkler, a German guy played very good and he hit me on the leg says, "Man, you're much better than the guy that was here." Well, I didn't expect that, I just knew I'd worked hard, you know.

Ernie Mae Miller

Ernest Mae Miller was born on February 7, 1927 to Lizzie Anderson Crafton and Otto Henry Crafton in Austin, Texas. Miller is the granddaughter of L.C. Anderson who was born into slavery, attended Fisk University, and became the third President of Prairie View Normal and Industrial College, the forerunner of Prairie View A & M University, succeeding his brother E.H. Anderson. Her grandfather would later become the principal of his namesake school, L.C. Anderson High School in Austin, Texas from 1886 to 1920. Miller graduated from this high school in 1944 at age fourteen.

Miller began playing the piano by ear after listening to her grandmother’s records on the family victrola. She was discovered to be musically gifted by the time she was five years old. After graduating from high school, Miller attended Prairie View A & M University where she was invited to play the baritone saxophone with the Prairie View Co-Ed Jazz Band.

The Prairie View Co-Eds were one of several African American all-girl bands that were popular with African American audiences in the mid-1940s. Miller traveled with the sixteen-piece band that performed for servicemen at army camps and forts all over the United States. The Prairie View Co-Eds performed in Tuskegee, Alabama on the same show with Bob Hope, Vaughn Monroe, and Anita O’Day in New York City and at the Plantation Club in St. Louis with Billie Holliday. Miller began her solo career as a jazz pianist and vocalist. She has played for most of the prominent hotels, events and exclusive parties in the Austin community. Miller was the featured performer for fifteen years at the Old New Orleans Club in Austin.

Though the Prairie View Co-Eds were never recorded and omitted from jazz and swing history, Miller has recorded two albums both titled Ernie Mae at the Old New Orleans Club and her career spanned over forty years. Ernest Mae Miller died on December 9, 2010 after battling a long illness. She was 83 years old.

Ernie Mae Miller was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on February 7, 2007.

Accession Number

A2007.051

Sex

Female

Interview Date

2/7/2007

Last Name

Miller

Maker Category
Middle Name

Mae

Organizations
Schools

Olive Street School

L.C. Anderson High School

Prairie View A&M University

Theodore Kealing Middle School

First Name

Ernest

Birth City, State, Country

Austin

HM ID

MIL04

Favorite Season

Winter

State

Texas

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

If You Want To Hear Me Play, Call Ernie Mae.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Texas

Birth Date

2/7/1927

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Austin

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Meatloaf

Death Date

12/9/2010

Short Description

Jazz singer and jazz musician Ernie Mae Miller (1927 - 2010 ) began her solo career as a jazz pianist and vocalist after performing with an all girl band during World War II. She played for most of the prominent hotels, events and exclusive parties in the Austin, Texas community. Miller was the featured performer for fifteen years at the Old New Orleans Club in Austin.

Employment

New Orleans Club

Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:309,4:1236,12:2884,32:3914,43:5459,65:7519,99:16588,351:19108,397:24988,496:51800,908:65818,1119:67376,1153:67786,1159:76232,1352:79512,1406:89864,1514:104460,1796:104816,1801:108020,1841:108376,1846:119524,1943:120016,1952:125018,2033:130154,2076:130564,2082:149752,2722:215019,3329:216108,3438:218484,3482:226602,3698:256610,3909$0,0:3089,42:4484,68:5135,76:20015,403:22340,435:23828,451:32420,510:41468,644:48852,720:59498,800:63986,917:70000,980:74896,1038:83260,1348:102602,1520:114470,1710:183980,2423:195656,2640:197084,2667:221342,2971:240430,3131:244550,3244:246710,3262:253750,3418:261620,3501
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ernie Mae Miller's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ernie Mae Miller lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her mother's family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her mother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ernie Mae Miller talks about her sisters

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her early interest in music

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her neighborhood in Austin, Texas, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her maternal great-great-grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ernie Mae Miller describes the Olive Street School in Austin, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her neighborhood in Austin, Texas, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ernie Mae Miller recalls her teachers at Olive Street School in Austin, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ernie Mae Miller remembers her childhood piano teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ernie Mae Miller remembers Olive Street Elementary School in Austin, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ernie Mae Miller remembers playing in the L.C. Anderson High School band

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ernie Mae Miller describes Ebenezer Baptist Church in Austin, Texas

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her experiences in the Prairie View Co-eds band

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her childhood during the Great Depression

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ernie Mae Miller remembers travelling with the Prairie View Co-eds band

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her grandfather and the Prairie View Co-eds

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ernie Mae Miller remembers performing at the Apollo Theater in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ernie Mae Miller recalls the members of the Prairie View Co-eds band

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her husbands and sons

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ernie Mae Miller remembers her nightclub career in Austin, Texas, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ernie Mae Miller remembers her nightclub career in Austin, Texas, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ernie Mae Miller recalls recording two albums at The Old New Orleans Club in Austin, Texas

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ernie Mae Miller talks about her signature songs

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ernie Mae Miller recalls performing with bands in Austin, Texas

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ernie Mae Miller describes her performances in Austin's senior centers

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ernie Mae Miller remembers meeting Billie Holiday and other jazz singers

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ernie Mae Miller remembers performing for President Lyndon Baines Johnson

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ernie Mae Miller remembers playing for politician J.J. Pickle

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ernie Mae Miller reflects upon her life

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ernie Mae Miller shares her advice for aspiring musicians

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ernie Mae Miller talks about her musical arrangements

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ernie Mae Miller describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Ernie Mae Miller narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

8$5

DATitle
Ernie Mae Miller describes her early interest in music
Ernie Mae Miller remembers her nightclub career in Austin, Texas, pt. 1
Transcript
Now tell me about when you were elementary school age and you're living now in Austin [Texas] with your [maternal] grandparents (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Grandparents, yes.$$Tell me about that?$$Well, my grandfather [L.C. Anderson] was principal of the Anderson High School [E.H. Anderson High School; L.C. Anderson High School, Austin, Texas] here and I remember, I remember, and I have a picture where I was standing under a little kid umbrella and he had, had me come over there, I was always playing the piano, I don't know, I guess I was just, my grandmother [Fannie Pollard Anderson] used to play the piano and all and so he had me come over there and play one day in the, in chapel and they had, and I think the song I played was, "Peter Peter pumpkin eater (laughter), had a wife and couldn't keep her, put her in a pumpkin shell, and there he kept her very well," and I think, there were two things and I got a big applause and that was also but, I think I was about five years old and they took a picture of me doing that. I have the picture here but, and they thought it was real nice that I would do that but I never was, I never had stage fright in my life, you know. So I was just a little girl and I ran on over to, they had such a grand and played this song for them, and that's--$$How did you learn to play the piano?$$I really started playing the piano, I used to listen to my, my grandmother had an old Victrola that you'd wind up and she had a lot of records and I would just play those records over and over and over and wind the Victrola and sometimes fall asleep on the Victrola and, but I had a good ear and I would go in the living room, we had a piano and I'm going, in a little bit and I started picking that out, I guess by ear, I'm sure it was by ear and then they decided to give me music lessons and so from then on I just kept on improving and a lot of times, a lot of times now, if I can have the sheet music, I read it but it sounds so mechanical, it's not me to just have to play everything that was written on that sheet music. I, I would change it in a way and put some of Ernie Mae [HistoryMaker Ernie Mae Miller] in it and it seemed like it passed melody (laughter) and I played it like it was from the way and I'd say, "Well, Mom [Lizzie Anderson Crafton], everybody plays it the way it's supposed to be, so, but I play it the way I liked it," and really it paid off 'cause all my life I had played piano. I used to play at Sunday school and then there were a, there was a pastor, Reverend C.E. Whitaker [ph.], that was at the Methodist church at Wesley Chapel Methodist Church [Austin, Texas] and he used to take me when I was a little girl to their little conferences that they would have around and towns and small towns here in Texas and he'd have me play and I think at one I sang 'Jesus Loves Me' and they, all the people at church just started, I was just a little girl, but I just really did love playing piano and still do and whenever I get, oh, whenever I get kind of upset or something, I go sit on the piano and it seems like the words just float right out the window and, you know, I was good about word about things, I'd go over and play and it tranquilizes me, okay.$$Now, you said your grandfather was the principal at the high school?$$Right.$$Do you remember the name of the high school?$$It was L.C., it was Anderson High School then--$$Okay.$$--but it was named for his brother [E.H. Anderson] first and after his brother had died and my grandfather took over the principal of the school, well Mr. McCallum [Arthur Newell McCallum, Sr.] who was superintendent of schools here in Austin, changed it to L.C. Anderson and so the new Anderson on Mesa Drive now, is really integrated and one of the best schools here in Austin, best high school and it was named for him, Laurine Cecil Anderson, and they have his picture in the library out there.$So after you marry--$$Hammitt.$$--Hammitt Miller, and you're out of Prairie View [Prairie View University; Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View, Texas], do you, are you at home with your children or--$$Yeah, my (simultaneous)--$$--(Simultaneous) do you begin to--$$My husband worked in the daytime and I worked at night.$$Okay.$$I was playing, I'd start playing the piano, you know, in clubs and I mean I kept very busy. I'd work sometimes seven nights a week and then other times I did maybe six nights, five nights or something like that but that's when I really worked in nearly every, well in every hotel here in Austin [Texas] at the time and, and different clubs and they were all, you know, integrated about that time, you know, so I had, and--$$Do you remember the first integrated club that you played?$$The first, the first club I played was called Dinty Moore's [Austin, Texas] and it was on West 6th Street here in Austin and they had a, the piano was way in the back of the room, it was a long room there and one, I was playing and I looked up on top of the piano, it was a straight old upright piano and there was a rat sitting up there (laughter). Oh, it frightened me a little, the dead rat sat there and crossed his leg, listening to me play (laughter). It wasn't really a rat though, you know, but I was a little frightened. They got him out of there (laughter). I guess the music charmed him or something, I don't know. So, if I can charm a rat, I guess I can do pretty good.$$What did you--$$So that was really a funny thing.$$When, what year did you start playing in the clubs?$$In the clubs, '49 [1949].$$Okay, so that was right after you had your, gotten married?$$Yeah.$$Okay, all right.$$And so I played at the Driskill Hotel [Austin, Texas], the Sheraton Hotel, the Hilton Hotel, the Hyatt Regency hotel (laughter) and all the main hotels and they had me playing solo piano, you know, and singing and I had a lot of fans and one day I was playing, well, I didn't do this at most of the big hotels and thing but there was a little song called, 'Ice Man,' it was a marvelous song like and so one lady in there, she jumped and said, "Why you shock my modesty," you know, it was just a kind a little funny song with, you know, little, had a little life to it, you know, "You shock my modesty," she said that in front of, and one man in the audience said, "Oh you shut up, you have slept with the president," I don't know if I can say. She stormed on out the door and everybody almost fell out of their seats laughing. Then the, because it was right funny but she just said I had shocked her modesty but it wasn't that bad of a song, it was just funny, you know. And I did, and so I started singing a lot of little songs like that, one called, 'I'm A Woman,' that Peggy Lee did, and I don't know who wrote the song but I got ahold of it and, and it, right now, people say, play 'I'm A Woman,' you know, W-O-M-A-N, and so I used to, I still play that song and the crowd enjoys it but it wasn't nothing like what they do now like they get on the stage and do all that shaking and doing all, well, you know, that, those little songs weren't vulgar, they were just a little bit suggestive, you know, but, that's, but when this lady told me that and then she stormed on out the door 'cause the man had told her, "I know where you slept last," you know, something like that and she stormed out and that was kind of, I didn't laugh, I was (laughter), it was just, it was real funny.

Isaac "Redd" Holt

World-class musician Isaac Redd Holt was born on May 16, 1932, in Rosedale, Mississippi. He attended public schools in Chicago and received advanced musical instruction at the Chicago School of Music in the early 1950s. Holt's interest in drums and percussion began as a child, and Holt bought his first drum set when he was a sophomore at Crane Technical High School. He graduated from high school in 1951 and attended the Cosmopolitan School of Music in Chicago. In the 1980s, Holt attended Kennedy-King College to study radio and television.

Between 1954 and 1966, Holt was part of the original Ramsey Lewis Trio, with which he created the hit singles "Hang on Sloopy" and "In Crowd." He was co-founder and leader of Young-Holt Unlimited from 1966 to 1974, with which he created another hit, "Soulful Strut," and the successful single, "Wack Wack," which was used in the movie Harriet the Spy and various other movies and commercials. Since 1974, he has been the leader and owner of Redd Holt Unlimited. He continues to wow audiences with his percussion and vocal skills, performing at jazz clubs, festivals, theaters and concerts around the world.

As a jazz educator, Holt has been active for many years in Urban Gateways, a nonprofit organization that provides multicultural performing, visual and literary arts programs for children, teachers and parents in the Chicago area. Holt acts as an arts ambassador to school children to help improve the quality of their education by exposing them to his music and engaging them in creating, appreciating, and reflecting on his art form.

From 1980 to 1985, Holt directed the Gumption Performing Artists Workshop for artists to enhance their talents. Holt has received various awards and honors including the Jazz Master Award from the Midwest Arts, a Lifetime Achievement Award from Indianapolis Radio Sounds of Jazz, and Grand Master of Time Award in 1997 from the Jazz Institute of Chicago and the DuSable Museum of African American History.

He married his childhood sweetheart, Marylean, in 1954. They have three children, Isaac Lamont, Ivan Damoune and Reginald Lamar.

Accession Number

A2003.011

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/17/2003

Last Name

Holt

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

"Redd"

Occupation
Organizations
Schools

Richard T. Crane Medical Preparatory High School

Speakers Bureau

No

First Name

Isaac

Birth City, State, Country

Rosedale

HM ID

HOL01

Favorite Season

Fall

Sponsor

Tim Schwertfeger and Gail Waller

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

When You Don't Know And Don't Know That You Don't Know, You Don't Know.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

5/16/1932

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Soul Food

Short Description

Jazz musician Isaac "Redd" Holt (1932 - ) was a part of the original Ramsey Lewis Trio, co-founder and leader of Young-Holt Unlimited, and was the founder and director of the Gumption Performing Artists Workshop.

Employment

The Ramsey Lewis Trio

Young-Holt Unlimited

Redd-Holt

Main Sponsor
Favorite Color

Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:390,8:8550,103:13756,153:27700,331:28095,340:48250,643:51850,728:68285,1032:71135,1110:84748,1280:85052,1288:86040,1303:87180,1339:87788,1348:88092,1353:88396,1358:99890,1455:108600,1540$0,0:10350,113:17472,260:27922,423:35020,461:64590,763:72000,848:72420,855:73190,869:74100,889:77737,949:85306,1190:119750,1559:120530,1615:121544,1662:132538,1876:136536,1927:137515,1963:140897,2018:142143,2041:142855,2052:143300,2058:154044,2127:158303,2197:169115,2322:169423,2452:171390,2489
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Isaac "Redd" Holt's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Isaac "Redd" Holt lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes his maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes his paternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Isaac "Redd" Holt talks about his grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Isaac "Redd" Holt talks about his maternal family

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes his family's move to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Isaac "Redd" Holt talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes how his parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Isaac "Redd" Holt shares memories of his hometown of Rosedale, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood in Rosedale, Mississippi

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes his dislike of Chicago upon moving there

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes growing up in West Side Chicago

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes why he enrolled at Crane Technical High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes what inspired him to become a drummer

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Isaac "Redd" Holt remembers purchasing his first drum set

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes being on the Crane Technical High School basketball team and working through high school

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes his first drum set

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Isaac "Redd" Holt talks about the only time he played a Rogers drum set

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Isaac "Redd" Holt talks about the cyclical nature of life

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes forming his first band, the West Side Clefts, and meeting HistoryMakers Eldee Young and Ramsey Lewis

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes why the West Side Clefts broke up

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes his experiences serving in the U.S. Army

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes the early days of the Ramsey Lewis Trio

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes how he and HistoryMakers Eldee Young and Ramsey Lewis were introduced to Leonard and Phil Chess

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes being managed by HistoryMaker Daddy-O Daylie

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes how the name "Ramsey Lewis Trio" came to be

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Isaac "Redd" Holt talks about the publishing companies he and HistoryMaker Eldee Young manage

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes how the Ramsey Lewis Trio built an audience

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Isaac "Redd" Holt talks about the Ramsey Lewis Trio's major hit, "The 'In' Crowd"

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes his entertainment philosophy

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Isaac "Redd" Holt talks about the versatility of jazz music

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes the pressures and challenges commercially popular jazz musicians face

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes liking to perform in Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes the benefit of collaboration and teamwork in the entertainment industry

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes the break-up of the "Ramsey Lewis Trio", pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes the break-up of the "Ramsey Lewis Trio", pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes how Young-Holt Unlimited was signed to Associate Booking Corporation by Joe Glaser

Tape: 3 Story: 15 - Isaac "Redd" Holt talks about his favorite places to perform in Washington, D.C. in the 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Isaac "Redd" Holt talks about Abe Saperstein, Joe Glaser, and their networking with club owners across the country

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes why he and HistoryMaker Eldee Young sued HistoryMaker Ramsey Lewis

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Isaac "Redd" Holt talks about his passion for ministry

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes his talking tambourines solo

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes his drumming technique

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Isaac "Redd" Holt talks about his music being sampled without permission

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Isaac "Redd" Holt talks about the Gumption Performing Artists Workshop and the Urban Gateways Program

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes the Gumption Performing Artists Workshop

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Isaac "Redd" Holt talks about his sons, and musical innovation on Chicago's South Side

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes playing at Birdland in New York City, New York

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes playing the "Free Sounds of '63" package with HistoryMaker Oscar Brown, Jr., Floyd Morris, Cannonball Adderley, and others

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes playing a 1964 package with HistoryMakers Oscar Brown, Jr. and Nancy Wilson, Cannonball Adderley, and others in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Isaac "Redd" Holt gives advice to young musicians, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Isaac "Redd" Holt gives advice to young musicians, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Isaac "Redd" Holt talks about the power of recording live music

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Isaac "Redd" Holt talks about electronic music

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes how promotion shapes peoples' perceptions of music

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Isaac "Redd" Holt shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Isaac "Redd" Holt reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes how his mother supported him

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Isaac "Redd" Holt reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes his musical influences

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes the sound of the early Ramsey Lewis Trio

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Isaac "Redd" Holt talks about funk music

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes how he got the nickname "Redd"

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes his experiences as an artist for Chess Records

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Isaac "Redd" Holt talks about Leonard Chess

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes how the Ramsey Lewis Trio was able to record their album, "Down to Earth," for Mercury Records

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Isaac "Redd" Holt remembers eating at Bats Restaurant on Leonard Chess' tab

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Isaac "Redd" Holt talks about his sons' band, The Young-Holts, and their future projects

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes forming his bands Young-Holt Unlimited and Redd-Holt

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Isaac "Redd" Holt talks about his current projects and collaborations

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes the challenges of being a drummer in a band

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes performing with the Ramsey Lewis Trio

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Isaac "Redd" Holt describes his musical legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 11 - Isaac "Redd" Holt narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Isaac "Redd" Holt narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

3$9

DATitle
Isaac "Redd" Holt describes how the name "Ramsey Lewis Trio" came to be
Isaac "Redd" Holt describes the pressures and challenges commercially popular jazz musicians face
Transcript
When we first started it was to say Gentlemen Jazz or either Gentlemen of Swing. We decided upon that second album, which had pictures of us on it, all three. And Daddy-O [Daylie, HM] had formed a partnership for us and had had papers drawn up, and we had all signed, so we had a partnership. So it came to being that they felt like the marquee, the, the piano player was the front man. That's the way it started off, saying well, the piano is the front man. You got Ahmad Jamal, you got John Young, you got all these, you know, you got Oscar Peterson, Billy Taylor. And we were saying, but no, Gentleman of Jazz is what we were talking about in the beginning, you know. As old the words say, from jump street, from jump street. That's what we were talking about. Now it began to change. And we used to have meetings. We had meetings like, my wife, Ramsey's [Lewis, HM] wife, Eldee's wife, and the children sitting right there; they were little, little bitty ones there, you know. And so we got through it. So, for the benefit of the whole group and what Daddy-O was talking about, shortening the name, and the piano being this, Eldee [Young, HM] and I agreed. We agreed because in order to say hey, we all gon' make some money. And so we agreed to that, and that's what it originally was supposed to be. So tho--those were mistakes that were made. And sometimes you say maybe it was inevitable, because look what happened with Young-Holt Trio, Young-Holt Unlimited, Redd-Holt Unlimited, Eldee Young Quartet, Trio--you know.$And tho--those, that was like--people say later on you, well, you guys sold out. You sold out. Wait a minute. What do you mean, sold out? Well, you sold out. You stopped playing all of that stuff and all of this here. So, wait a minute, man. Well, it's commercial. You say oh, you mean it's sellable, huh? Oh, it's a sellable item. You say yeah, okay. You, you understand? But, and see, that's the problem, has always been with a lot of jazz cats. Right now today you got guys are down on Kenny G. But to me Kenny G now is turning a lot of people around to listen to the jazz and listen to things that we have already done and created, already--he's, in other words, he's opened their ears up. And that's what the Ramsey Lewis Trio, the Young-Holt Unlimited, the Redd-Holt Unlimited, the Three Sounds, the Les McCanns, these are the things that we felt, because we had that feeling on it.$$I, I understand what you're saying. My, my first introduction to John Coltrane, who people would argue is as pure as they come, you know, was when he played "Favorite Things."$$There it is, my favorite--$$My mother had a copy of "Favorite Things," that's right.$$[Singing] Snowflakes that fall on your eyelash they say now ooh, de, de, de, and Trane knew it.$$From "The Sound of Music." That's from "The Sound of Music."$$Right.$$Right.$$And, and Trane knew, Trane knew. Didn't he, didn't he do Chim Chimney, Chim Chimney, Chu, be, de, da, la, de, de, de, de, de, de doo. Hey, man, that's catchable, hey, wow, and you can communicate with people, is what you wanna do. And you gon' say no, man, un, baby, that ain't hip enough. What is hip? Let's go back then, go--what is hip? You hippin' people to something, aren't you? I, I, you know, I, get out there, man. Hey, man, (laughter).$$Well, you got to talk about it. That's what you should, you should do, you should be talking about this.$$Ooh, man, you know, like, hey, man, and, and life is so short. It's 'cause life is so short, man, and we have such a small length of time to do these things. And you gon' sit around and, and--well, naw, I don't, that, that ain't cool to do, or this ain't that. Do you feel it? Is it in your heart? Let yourself feel it.$$Roland Kirk was another--$$Ooh, I loved him, I loved him.$$--who, who nobody would argue that he wasn't cool enough, or he wasn't hip enough, but Roland Kirk would play anything. He played--$$Man--$$--my, "My Favorite Things," at--you know (simultaneous).

Harold Battiste

Musician, composer, arranger, performer and teacher, Harold Raymond Battiste, Jr. was born October 28, 1931, in New Orleans. Young Battiste loved the rich music of his New Orleans neighborhood. Graduating from Gilbert Academy in 1948, Battiste attended New Orleans' Dillard University, earning a B.S. in music in 1953.

Battiste's professional achievements as a producer and arranger for studio, film, stage and television included Sam Cooke's You Send Me, Sonny and Cher's I Got You Babe, Joe Jones'sYou Talk Too Much, Barbara George's I Know and Lee Dorsey's Ya Ya. Battiste introduced audiences to New Orleans artist Mac Rebbenack as "Dr. John" and produced his earliest albums. Earning six gold records, Battiste spent thirty years in Los Angeles, including fifteen years with Sonny and Cher. In 1961, Battiste initiated the first African American musician-owned record label, All For One, better known as AFO Records. AFO featured contemporary New Orleans jazz musicians Melvin Lastie, Ellis Marsalis, James Black, Alvin Batiste, Ed Blackwell, Nat Perilliat and Alvin "Red" Tyler. In addition to mentoring and tutoring other music professionals and his musical scoring and conducting for film and television, Battiste lectured at several colleges including the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Southern California; Southern University; Mozartium Music School in Innsbruck, Austria; and Le Torri Montanare in Lancano, Italy.

In 1989, he joined Ellis Marsalis on the Jazz Studies faculty of the University of New Orleans. While back in New Orleans Battiste founded the AFO Foundation to document and make available the musical history of the city. Battiste remained active in the community and served as a board member of the Congo Square Cultural Collective, the Louisiana State Music Commission, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, Louisiana Jazz Federation, the African Cultural Endowment and numerous other cultural organizations. He received the Beaux Arts Award, the Mayor's Arts Award, the Governor's Arts Lifetime Achievement Award and many others. In 1998, the City of New Orleans proclaimed his birthday, October 28 as Harold Battiste Day with a proclamation from Mayor Marc Morial.

Battiste passed away on June 19, 2015 at age 83.

Accession Number

A2002.197

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/15/2002

Last Name

Battiste

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Gilbert Academy

Dillard University

First Name

Harold

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

BAT02

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Louisiana

Birth Date

10/28/1931

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New Orleans

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Red Beans, Gumbo

Death Date

6/19/2015

Short Description

Nonprofit chief executive, jazz musician, and music producer Harold Battiste (1931 - 2015 ) produced work by notable musicians Sonny and Cher and Dr. John. Battiste also founded All For One (AFO) Records, and later the AFO Foundation, to document the musical history of New Orleans.

Employment

AFO Records

Carver High School

Carter G. Woodson High School

McDonogh 35 High School

Specialty Records

Favorite Color

Black, Red

Timing Pairs
0,0:8217,101:10292,125:11371,143:16185,220:23987,343:24319,348:75330,919:96495,1293:97320,1357:97620,1405:112023,1584:129784,1807:136840,1885:140070,1956:151478,2150:156806,2281:157238,2288:171724,2444:176306,2552:176780,2559:179782,2617:180809,2632:182705,2665:184364,2703:202958,2916:203426,2923:210233,2987:213190,3046$0,0:18332,269:20304,312:25894,361:27794,431:53383,748:72546,1014:73466,1031:76962,1096:79630,1141:97415,1298:108616,1459:116695,1625:129387,1792:153190,2094
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Harold Battiste's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Harold Battiste lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Harold Battiste describes his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Harold Battiste describes his maternal grandparents' occupations

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Harold Battiste describes his father

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Harold Battiste talks about his mother

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Harold Battiste talks about growing up with his adopted cousin

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Harold Battiste describes his childhood neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Harold Battiste describes his childhood interests and activities

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Harold Battiste describes music's role in his childhood community's life

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Harold Battiste talks about his childhood interest in music

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Harold Battiste describes the black community's negative perceptions of a music career

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Harold Battiste describes the negative reputation of jazz music in the 1940s

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Harold Battiste talks about playing clarinet in the band at F.P. Ricard School

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Harold Battiste describes his experiences attending F.P. Ricard School

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Harold Battiste talks about his teacher at F.P. Ricard School

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Harold Battiste describes why he enrolled at Gilbert Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 1 Story: 18 - Harold Battiste describes his experiences attending Gilbert Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Harold Battiste talks about Gilbert Academy in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Harold Battiste describes how Gilbert Academy's marching and concert bands shaped his interest in arranging music

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Harold Battiste describes what influenced him to attend Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Harold Battiste describes his experiences attending Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Harold Battiste describes how his instrumental music course helped to integrate jazz music into Dillard University

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Harold Battiste talks about efforts to elevate the perception of jazz music

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Harold Battiste talks about his favorite jazz musicians while a student at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Harold Battiste describes how New Orleans, Louisiana develops jazz artists, then exports them outside of New Orleans

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Harold Battiste talks about his favorite European musicians and composers during his time at Dillard University

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Harold Battiste talks about his first band

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Harold Battiste describes his first job as a music teacher at Carver High School in DeRidder, Louisiana

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Harold Battiste describes quitting his job as a music teacher at Carver High School in DeRidder, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Harold Battiste talks about being an itinerant teacher at Carter G. Woodson High School and McDonogh 35 High School in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Harold Battiste describes why he ended his teaching career

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Harold Battiste describes moving to Los Angeles, California in 1956, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Harold Battiste describes moving to Los Angeles, California in 1956, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Harold Battiste talks about experimenting with Ornette Coleman's music during his first few months in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Harold Battiste describes arranging Sam Cooke's first pop hit, "You Send Me", pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Harold Battiste describes arranging Sam Cooke's first pop hit, "You Send Me", pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Harold Battiste talks about working with Sam Cooke to develop "Soul Stations"

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Harold Battiste talks about working with Sam Cooke's record label, SAR Records

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Harold Battiste describes founding All For One Records

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Harold Battiste talks about All For One Records' first hit, Barbara George's 1961 song "I Know (You Don't Love Me No More)"

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Harold Battiste describes how All For One Records lost Barbara George as an artist

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Harold Battiste describes how All For One Records lost their distribution deal

Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Harold Battiste talks about Sam Cooke, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Harold Battiste talks about Sam Cooke, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Harold Battiste describes the circumstances surrounding Sam Cooke's death

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Harold Battiste describes arranging the 1961 Lee Dorsey hit "Ya Ya"

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Harold Battiste describes how he met Sonny Bono

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Harold Battiste describes the sale of Specialty Records in 1961

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Harold Battiste describes connecting with Sonny Bono with his move back to Los Angeles, California in 1963

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Harold Battiste describes the first project he worked on with Sonny Bono

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Harold Battiste talks about working on Sonny and Cher's earliest songs

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Harold Battiste talks about arranging 'I Got You Babe' for Sonny and Cher

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Harold Battiste talks about working with Sonny and Cher on their television shows

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Harold Battiste talks about helping Mac Rebennack tour with Sonny and Cher and develop his persona, "Dr. John"

Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Harold Battiste describes producing Dr. John's debut album, "Gris-Gris"

Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Harold Battiste talks about not being acknowledged in developing Dr. John

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Harold Battiste talks about Congo Square in New Orleans, Louisiana

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Harold Battiste talks about New Orleans music icons

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Harold Battiste comments on peoples' failure to acknowledge New Orleans' musical pioneers

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Harold Battiste talks about Zydeco music

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Harold Battiste describes his current projects

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Harold Battiste shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Harold Battiste reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Harold Battiste talks about the death of his parents

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Harold Battiste talks about his divorce and children

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Harold Battiste talks about his children

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Harold Battiste talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Harold Battiste shares a message for his children and young people

Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Harold Battiste narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Harold Battiste narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

2$9

DATitle
Harold Battiste describes why he ended his teaching career
Harold Battiste talks about arranging "I Got You Babe" for Sonny and Cher
Transcript
And at one of, one of the, the--I guess the most significant thing that sort of ended my career as a teacher was that during that period I had become interested in the Black Muslims. A guy named Emory Thompson began to talk to me. I had been hearing about him. It was during that period that I got really, you know, to understand what they were talking about (unclear)--the principles. And we had a music supervisor here. The music supervisor would go over to all the schools and inspect to see what you teaching and see how you teaching and doing it like that. And our supervisor came to my school one day, and he observed my class. Then he brought me on the side and said, you know, you're spending too much time teaching them about reading music and stuff like that. Their parents just wanna hear 'em play some songs. And I'm saying hey, what do you mean--and, and at that time, I had been having my little talks, you know, with, with the cat from, from the, from the, from the mosque. Well we didn't have a mosque at that time. The cat just had a place where they would get together. And he had, one of the things he had said, says you know, if you ever look at this devil, just look 'em dead in the eye, and he'll back down. So I did that (unclear)--but he--but when he said that to me, I just looked him dead in the eye. And I had never done that before, and he probably had never had that done to him, 'cause he did back off. 'Cause I told him, you know, and I told him, I said look, I know what they're teaching in them white schools. And you don't want me to teach my kids how to read. And then when they get to the next level, you'll say they're not equipped to, to participate. So [clearing throat] I know what I'm, I'm--these are my kids. I'mma teach 'em how to read. So the school board took that as a--what do they call it? What's that when you--the school board just thought that--they sent me a letter to come down and meet at the--$$They thought it was like insubordination?$$Yeah, insubordination, you know. So I had to go down--$$All you did was look him in the eye.$$Yeah, (laughter) that's (unclear), but I also told him that I wasn't gon' do what he said (laughter).$$Oh (unclear).$$So that's what they got me on. So I went down to the school board and we met. And see, the cat was just--I mean all of us knew; all the music teachers knew that this supervisor didn't--I mean he was a, he--it was a political job he had appointed. He didn't know what he was doing. So I told him down there at the, at the school board the same thing I told the cat up there. And so the conclusion was that well, I had the option, you know, that I could either comply or I could offer my resignation. And so I said that, that settled that. I just said well, I'm, I'm gone. That was in '56' [1956], so I left. That's when I decided that yeah, I'm, I'm not meant to get in, be in the school system, not, not, not the way it is now. And that summer, that summer is when I left and went to Los Angeles [California].$But the next record we did was "I Got You Babe," which we followed the same thing, and I, you know, I just wrote the music. And I was--by that time, I was going in the studio and conduct the studio or the session. And they, you know, they was very enthusiastic about that, you know, being record (unclear). I still wasn't considering myself, you know, doing that. I was just--that was just helping him do something. But after that, when it got such a hit, you know, he said well, man, you know you gotta--you know, I mean this is gon' be it, so this is the thing I was talking about it. So by that time, that's when Sam [Cooke] had already died. So I just said well, this is whatever I agreed on with that. I went on with him, and so that, that, you know, set the stage for me being with Sonny and Cher for him, you know, the rest of this time.$$Yeah, "I Got You Babe" came out was it '65' [1965] I guess?$$Yeah, I think it was '65' [1965]; it was '65' [1965], yeah. And it was really, you know, it was a whole na, nother direction for me, you know. I had never thought I'd be--wind up that far away from jazz (laughter), you know that, that--but it--funny enough, I mean I learned something about myself. In retrospect, that--how most things that, that came to me in my life offered an interesting challenge to me, and that's what hooked me, was see, can I do that? Yeah, I can do this. Can I do this? Let me see, can I--so that made me forget that this is not what I really came out here to do. Let me see, you know, 'cause I get hooked right on that. And once I got hooked into doing that stuff and it was that successful, you know, it, it made me feel na, na, oh yeah, that's okay, I can do this. And so every record, you know, we, we--and you know, just kept having hit records. You know, every five or six months we have another main seller. And then and I was doing the albums in between that, so I was making a lot of money, you know, more than I ever thought I'd make, you know, doing something like this is, you know. So that became my life for the next few years.

Carl Hines

Carl Hines was born in Wilson, North Carolina, the son of educators. His mother was an elementary school teacher and his father, was a math teacher and a self-taught musician. Hines would also become a math teacher and musician.

Music played an instrumental role in this young boy's life. In fact, he started out playing the bugle and was active in his high school band until he discovered jazz and a totally new world opened up to him. When Hines’s interest focused on jazz music he began to play the piano. He immersed himself in jazz, reading and listening to everything he could get his hands on especially Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Thelonious Monk.

Hines played music throughout his life but chose a career as a math teacher. He taught for thirty-five years in the Indianapolis area. For him, the world of teaching math was synonymous with the world of music and the interplay between the two fascinated him. Hines retired from teaching but continues to play music. He works as a pianist/keyboardist, either solo or with his own trio, The Carl Hines Band. The band plays swing, blues, country, latin and R & B music.

Accession Number

A2000.021

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

7/11/2000

Last Name

Hines

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Tennessee State University

University of Tennesee

Charles H. Darden High School

Speakers Bureau

Yes

Archival Photo 2
Speakers Bureau Availability

Depends on Schedule

First Name

Carl

Birth City, State, Country

Wilson

HM ID

HIN01

Speakers Bureau Honorarium

No - Negotiable

Favorite Season

Spring

Speaker Bureau Notes

Honorarium not required, but would accept it.

State

North Carolina

Favorite Vacation Destination

Wilson, North Carolina

Favorite Quote

To Each His Own.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Indiana

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Indianapolis

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Collard Greens

Short Description

Math teacher and jazz musician Carl Hines ( - ) taught for thirty-five years in the Indianapolis area. Coming from a very musical family, Hines played music from an early age, but began to focus on playing jazz piano while in high school. Later he formed the Carl Hines Band and performed around Indianapolis.

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Carl Hines' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Carl Hines lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Carl Hines describes his family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Carl Hines talks about his parents' educational backgrounds and his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Carl Hines talks about growing up in Wilson, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Carl Hines describes his favorite childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Carl Hines talks about attending Catholic school

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Carl Hines talks about his parents' expectations

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Carl Hines talks about his childhood musical influences

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Carl Hines describes his home town of Wilson, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Carl Hines describes how Wilson, North Carolina has changed over time

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Carl Hines describes his parents' personalities, and his likeness to them

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Carl Hines talks about his love of Rhythm & Blues and jazz music as a youth

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Carl Hines talks about how the music of trumpeter Clifford Brown influenced him pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Carl Hines talks about how the music of trumpeter Clifford Brown influenced him pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 16 - Carl Hines talks about the influence of his father's favorite jazz musicians

Tape: 1 Story: 17 - Carl Hines talks about learning to play the piano

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Carl Hines describes spending the summers of his youth working in New York City, New York pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Carl Hines describes spending the summers of his youth working in New York City, New York pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Carl Hines describes his motivation for attending Tennessee State University

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Carl Hines talks about his college major and being a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Carl Hines talks about learning to play music at Tennessee State University

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Carl Hines describes the gigs he played as a college student

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Carl Hines talks about some of the well-known musicians he played with as a college student

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Carl Hines talks about what he learned about being a musician

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Carl Hines talks about his musical influences during college

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Carl Hines talks about John Coltrane and Charles Mingus

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Carl Hines talks about developing an appreciation for mathematics at Tennessee State University

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Carl Hines describes the relationship between music and mathematics pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Carl Hines describes the relationship between music and mathematics pt.2

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Carl Hines compares music theory and math theory

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Carl Hines talks about the creativity in mathematics and music

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Carl Hines talks about his first teaching job and attending graduate school at the University of Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Carl Hines talks about the challenges of going to graduate school at Tennessee State University

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Carl Hines talks about the Civil Rights Movement in Nashville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Carl Hines describes his experiences with Civil Rights unrest in Knoxville, Tennessee

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Carl Hines talks about his teaching career

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Carl Hines talks about what working with white teachers, and from his students

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Carl Hines describes what he likes about Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Carl Hines talks about developing as a musician in Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Carl Hines describes how his musical repertoire has evolved, and some of the musicians he has played with

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Carl Hines talks about the historical significance of Indiana Avenue

Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Carl Hines talks about well-known musicians from Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Carl Hines describes how Americans' perception of jazz has evolved since the 1920s pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Carl Hines talks about the intellectual tradition, and impact of, of jazz music

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Carl Hines comments on music's significance to American society

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Carl Hines describes how he developed an interest in poetry

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Carl Hines talks about Arna Bontemps publishing one of his poems

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Carl Hines recites "Two Jazz Poems"

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Carl Hines talks about writing "Two Jazz Poems", and the relationship between poetry and mathematics

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Carl Hines talks about the evolution of his writing, and Mari Evans and Etheridge Knight

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Carl Hines talks about his future plans

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Carl Hines recites his poem "Now That He is Safely Dead", and talks about his modesty

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Carl Hines talks about his parents

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Carl Hines talks about his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Carl Hines narrates his photographs, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Carl Hines narrates his photographs, pt. 2

DASession

1$1

DATape

1$3

DAStory

9$8

DATitle
Carl Hines talks about his childhood musical influences
Carl Hines talks about what working with white teachers, and from his students
Transcript
Let's talk about music, because I know education was very, you know, predominant, were your parents--your father [Carl Hines, Sr.] taught at the local (inaudible).$$My father was a math teacher for many years, then he became principal of an elementary school in our home town [Wilson, North Carolina], he was a self-taught musician, although I don't ever recall, I don't ever recall hearing him play, I mean, in the band he would teach the kids how to play, he would say, well, you hold the horn here and you do this. I never heard him play an entire song, or anything like that. Around the house we listened to the classical music, mostly, Nat King Cole. In those days I listened to rhythm and blues was the thing, there wasn't--we would listen to Nashville, Tennessee late at night, this is before the era of rock and roll, of course, we would listen to people like, I would, although my parents would like, my father liked classical music, and march music and that kind of stuff. My mother liked Nat King Cole and the popular singers, Billy Eckstine and people like that, and I discovered rhythm and blues early in my youth and in my hometown, there was one station that played Black music for an hour or two during the day. CPS Serenade was the name of the program, and us teenagers would listen to CPS Serenade during that time, and then we would listen to Nashville, Tennessee, Randy's Record Mart, I don't know if you know about that, but, this was the days before rock and roll, so, we would listen to Randy's Record Mart late at night, and we would hear rhythm and blues, the Black music of the day.$$(Inaudible). Okay.$$And I played a little bit of trumpet, after I played the bugle, in the German Bugle core in the Catholic school, when I got to high school, actually sixth grade through 12th, was considered the high school, I mean, the classes were all in the same building, Darden High School [Wilson, North Carolina] and I played the trumpet, I never really got to be very good on the trumpet, I enjoyed being in the band, although it was a little bit embarrassing, my father was the band director, but, we did have a very good band and I enjoyed playing in the band, and we would do marches, and play at the football games and that kind of stuff.$And do you have any--I'm surprised that--I didn't know they bussed teachers into places, I thought that was (inaudible).$$That was just a figure of speech. But, at the time I went to Marshall High School, there were five Black teachers and four Black students, so, they had just gone through and said, you're going to go, and you're going to go, and you're going to go. So, we went to Marshall, not knowing what to expect and at that time it was very conservative, Barry Goldwater, was the hero for a lot of people, so, we felt a little out of place, one teacher quit and became a lawyer. But, I stuck it out, and I enjoyed it, overall, it was a learning experience for me, it was my first time, actually, although I had gone to the University of Tennessee I would go to class and then go back home, and I developed a few friendships that were primarily musicians, but, this was my first experience being around members of the other group, so, I would just, at the cafeteria, I would just sit at a different table each day, and talk to kids at the table, trying to learn, you know, what they were about, cause I didn't really know, I didn't have a clue, so, I would just talk to the kids, and the kids remember that, and they I see them on the streets today, and they talk to me about how we did that, but, that was not liked, by the administration, they frowned on that. Everyday, I took my tray, sit in the cafeteria at a different table full of kids and just talked to the kids about the music they liked. This was the era of psychedelic, you know, psychedelic era, so, I would just talk to the kids, you know, that's how I learned and I enjoyed it, I learned a lot and it benefitted me in a lot of ways.$$In what ways?$$$$Well, I learned about the dominant culture in the ways that I had not--whereas before I had the theory, here I was actually meeting people, talking to people, learning about attitudes, learning about the things we had in common and some of the differences that we had about things.$$Can you talk about some of the similarities and some of the differences?$$There were, I mean, the type of music listened to was all together different, it was different from this was the era in which the kids were saying, hey, don't trust anybody over 30, remember that? So, there was a lot of things going on in society at the time, so, I don't know if they were just racial, or mere cultural differences, but, there were also differences between these kids and their parents, so. The similarities were that we were all basically human, and they're teenagers and I went through my teenage period, and you know, a lot of things you worry about, like acne, and you know, just, you worry about these things. So, it was a learning experience for me in many, many ways.