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William "Bob" Bailey

Dr. William H. “Bob” Bailey was born on February 14, 1927, in Detroit, Michigan, to a family with a strong musical tradition; vocal star Pearl Bailey was Bailey’s second cousin, and Pearl's brother, Bill, was a professional dancer and singer before her. When Bailey’s father lost his job during the Great Depression, the family moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where Bailey grew up and learned to sing in church choirs. Bailey finished high school at age sixteen with the intention to become an international lawyer; his grades and vocal talent had won him a scholarship to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.

Bailey worked his way through college by performing in a local night club. During one of these performances, he was approached by bandleader Benny Goodman, and John Hammond, a sponsor of Count Basie. After auditioning while on Christmas break, Bailey was hired by Basie himself. Bailey left Morehouse College while studying business law to be a featured singer in Count Basie’s band.

In 1950, Bailey enrolled in the School of Radio and Television in New York and attended specialized studies at the Columbia Theater Wing. Bailey was later offered a position at the Moulin Rouge Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas as a co-producer and Master of Ceremonies, eventually landing him a job as the host of a variety show called Talk of the Town on CBS affiliate, KLAS Channel 8. Talk of the Town was the first show in the nation to be entirely produced, starred in, and directed by black talent; he was the producer and director of the show. From 1965 to 1971, Bailey was a newscaster and variety show host for ABC affiliate, Channel 13 in Las Vegas.

Bailey became known as a civil rights pioneer in Las Vegas entertainment and broadcasting due to his role in the desegregation of the State of Nevada his night club, Sugar Hill, and other businesses employed over 100 African Americans. Bailey later began Manpower Services, which trained 1,000 African Americans to work in gaming and related businesses.

In 1989, Bailey became national deputy director of the Minority Business Development Agency, U.S. Department of Commerce. Bailey was a member of the first graduating class of the Institute of Minority Business Education at Howard University School of Business; he was an outspoken advocate for minority small business and self-sufficiency for nearly a half century. In 2006, a middle school in Las Vegas was named after Bailey for his contributions to community building and education both in the state of Nevada, and nationwide.

Bailey was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 5, 2007 and November 2, 2007.

Bailey passed away on May 24, 2014 at age 87.

Accession Number

A2007.124

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

4/5/2007

11/2/2007

Last Name

Bailey

Maker Category
Middle Name

"Bob"

Schools

Central High School

Bolton Elementary School

Kinnard Junior High School

Morehouse College

School of Radio and Television

Archival Photo 2
First Name

William

Birth City, State, Country

Detroit

HM ID

BAI05

Favorite Season

February

State

Michigan

Favorite Vacation Destination

San Diego, California

Favorite Quote

Education Is The Light That Blinds Ignorance.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Nevada

Interview Description
Birth Date

2/14/1927

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Las Vegas

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Seafood

Death Date

5/24/2014

Short Description

Civil rights activist and entertainer William "Bob" Bailey (1927 - 2014 ) hosted Talk of the Town, the first television program in Nevada entirely produced, directed and featuring African American talent. He also advocated for the desegregation of Nevada's gaming industry.

Employment

B and C railway

Count Basie's band

'Sugar Hill'

Small's Paradise

Club 845

Moulin Rouge Hotel

'Talk of the Town'

Radio Show

Town Tavern

Sugar Hill

Minority Business Development Agency

Favorite Color

Beige

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/596992">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of William "Bob" Bailey's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/596993">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - William "Bob" Bailey lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/596994">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - William "Bob" Bailey describes his parents' family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/596995">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - William "Bob" Bailey talks about his mother's childhood and profession</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/596996">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - William "Bob" Bailey describes how his parents met</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/596997">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - William "Bob" Bailey talks about his family's migration to the North</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/596998">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - William "Bob" Bailey remembers his mother's personality</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/596999">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - William "Bob" Bailey describes his relationship with his father</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597000">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - William "Bob" Bailey remembers the Outhwaite Homes in Cleveland, Ohio</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597001">Tape: 1 Story: 10 - William "Bob" Bailey recalls his experiences during the Great Depression</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597002">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - William "Bob" Bailey recalls the Portland Outhwaite Recreation Center in Cleveland, Ohio</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597003">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - William "Bob" Bailey talks about the black-owned businesses in Cleveland, Ohio</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597004">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - William "Bob" Bailey remembers his early education</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597005">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - William "Bob" Bailey describes his experiences at Kennard Junior High School in Cleveland, Ohio</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597006">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - William "Bob" Bailey describes his experiences at Central High School in Cleveland, Ohio</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597007">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - William "Bob" Bailey describes his family's interest in music</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597008">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - William "Bob" Bailey recalls his decision to attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597009">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - William "Bob" Bailey talks about his aspiration to become a lawyer</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597010">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - William "Bob" Bailey recalls his first year at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597011">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - William "Bob" Bailey remembers meeting Benny Goodman and John Hammond</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597012">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - William "Bob" Bailey recalls his audition for Count Basie's band</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597013">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - William "Bob" Bailey remembers his influences at Morehouse College</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597014">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - William "Bob" Bailey remembers travelling on segregated train cars</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597015">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - William "Bob" Bailey recalls his arrival in New York City</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597016">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - William "Bob" Bailey recalls touring the Chitlin' Circuit with Count Basie</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597017">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - William "Bob" Bailey remembers the mentorship of Count Basie</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597018">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - William "Bob" Bailey remembers Duke Ellington and his band</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597019">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - William "Bob" Bailey describes his experiences with Count Basie's band</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597020">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - William "Bob" Bailey remembers Dizzy Gillespie</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597021">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - William "Bob" Bailey describes Count Basie's perspective on bebop music</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597022">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - William "Bob" Bailey describes the dissolution of Count Basie's band</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597023">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - William "Bob" Bailey recalls singing at Small's Paradise in New York City</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597024">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - William "Bob" Bailey describes his role in 'Sugar Hill' at the Las Palmas Theatre in Los Angeles, California</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597025">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - William "Bob" Bailey remembers meeting his wife, Anna Bailey</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597026">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - William "Bob" Bailey talks about his performances in New York City</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597027">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - William "Bob" Bailey describes his decision to attend the School of Radio and Television in New York City</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597028">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - William "Bob" Bailey recalls the television industry's discriminatory practices</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597029">Tape: 5 Story: 5 - William "Bob" Bailey describes how he came to live in Las Vegas, Nevada</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597030">Tape: 5 Story: 6 - William "Bob" Bailey remembers his move to Las Vegas, Nevada</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597031">Tape: 5 Story: 7 - William "Bob" Bailey remembers segregation in Las Vegas, Nevada</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597032">Tape: 5 Story: 8 - William "Bob" Bailey remembers Las Vegas' African American performers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597033">Tape: 6 Story: 1 - William "Bob" Bailey remembers the cast of the 'Tropi Can Can' revue</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597034">Tape: 6 Story: 2 - William "Bob" Bailey talks about the creation of 'Talk of the Town'</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597035">Tape: 6 Story: 3 - William "Bob" Bailey describes Alice Key's role on 'Talk of the Town'</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597036">Tape: 6 Story: 4 - William "Bob" Bailey recalls being offered a program on KENO Radio</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597037">Tape: 6 Story: 5 - William "Bob" Bailey talks about the closure of the Moulin Rouge Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597038">Tape: 6 Story: 6 - William "Bob" Bailey describes the sponsors of 'Talk of the Town'</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597039">Tape: 6 Story: 7 - William "Bob" Bailey describes his career in the entertainment industry of Las Vegas, Nevada</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597040">Tape: 6 Story: 8 - William "Bob" Bailey recalls his decision to remain in Las Vegas, Nevada</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597041">Tape: 6 Story: 9 - William "Bob" Bailey remembers Charles West and James B. McMillan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597042">Tape: 7 Story: 1 - William "Bob" Bailey describes the Urban Renewal Advisory Commission</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597043">Tape: 7 Story: 2 - William "Bob" Bailey recalls his transition to KTNV-TV in Las Vegas, Nevada</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597044">Tape: 7 Story: 3 - William "Bob" Bailey talks about his political party affiliation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597045">Tape: 7 Story: 4 - William "Bob" Bailey remembers managing Pearl Bailey's road show</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597046">Tape: 7 Story: 5 - William "Bob" Bailey describes the proposed march against segregation in Las Vegas, Illinois, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597047">Tape: 7 Story: 6 - William "Bob" Bailey describes the proposed march against segregation in Las Vegas, Illinois, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597048">Tape: 7 Story: 7 - William "Bob" Bailey recalls opening the Sugar Hill nightclub in Las Vegas, Nevada</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597049">Tape: 7 Story: 8 - William "Bob" Bailey talks about the Pan-Afro Auditorium in Las Vegas, Nevada</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597050">Tape: 8 Story: 1 - William "Bob" Bailey talks about the closure of the Pan-Afro Auditorium in Las Vegas, Nevada, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597051">Tape: 8 Story: 2 - William "Bob" Bailey talks about the closure of the Pan-Afro Auditorium in Las Vegas, Nevada, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597052">Tape: 8 Story: 3 - William "Bob" Bailey talks about his interest in real estate</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597053">Tape: 8 Story: 4 - William "Bob" Bailey recalls founding the Nevada Economic Development Company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597054">Tape: 8 Story: 5 - William "Bob" Bailey talks about his minority business initiatives</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597055">Tape: 8 Story: 6 - William "Bob" Bailey remembers receiving an honorary doctorate from National University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597056">Tape: 8 Story: 7 - William "Bob" Bailey reflects upon the decline of the jazz community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597057">Tape: 8 Story: 8 - William "Bob" Bailey recalls his appointment to the Minority Business Development Agency</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597058">Tape: 9 Story: 1 - William "Bob" Bailey describes his experiences as director of the Minority Business Development Agency</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597059">Tape: 9 Story: 2 - William "Bob" Bailey talks about his trade mission to the Middle East</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597060">Tape: 9 Story: 3 - William "Bob" Bailey recalls his presidency of the National Association of Minority Businesses</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597061">Tape: 9 Story: 4 - William "Bob" Bailey talks about William H. Bailey Middle School in Las Vegas, Nevada</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597062">Tape: 9 Story: 5 - William "Bob" Bailey reflects upon his life, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597063">Tape: 9 Story: 6 - William "Bob" Bailey describes his hopes for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597064">Tape: 9 Story: 7 - William "Bob" Bailey reflects upon his life, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597065">Tape: 9 Story: 8 - William "Bob" Bailey reflects upon his legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597066">Tape: 9 Story: 9 - William "Bob" Bailey shares a message to future generations</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/597067">Tape: 9 Story: 10 - William "Bob" Bailey narrates his photographs</a>

DASession

2$2

DATape

4$6

DAStory

3$2

DATitle
William "Bob" Bailey describes his experiences with Count Basie's band
William "Bob" Bailey talks about the creation of 'Talk of the Town'
Transcript
What was life like on the road at that point for, for the band [Count Basie's band]--for you and the band? What was a daily, daily life, rehearsals and travelling what was it like?$$Well, we travelled pretty good. We travelled both by train and by bus depending on the distance that we had to travel and the amount of time between engagements. It was fun on the road. All the guys were very entertaining and I think we looked out for each other. It was a brotherly relationship as well as a professional relationship in the band. The bus was the primary transport vehicle at that particular time and it was difficult because it was very discriminatory nationally at that time. So sometimes we would have to go quite a distance between locations and we'd have to stop and have our road manager, who was white, get the food for us and bring it on the bus, sandwiches and short orders so to speak. So there were inconveniences as far as housing was concerned in some towns where there were not accommodations that were set up for African Americans or sufficient homes who offered rooms to the travelling musicians at the time. But all in all we made out, and I think the love we had for each other made up for the inequities that we were subject to. But it was a tiring thing. Sometimes you'd go out on a thirty day month, you might play twenty-three, twenty-four engagements so you play a town and leave that night and head to the next town, perform leave that night and it might be four or five nights before you had a day off to sort of relax and get your game together. But that was the life and that was a part of what you had to deal with to be in the business. You made the best of it and we had a lot of fun together and in most towns where we played people were very nice, very good to you because they were glad to have you in their town and that made it a lot easier to absorb the negatives that you were exposed to.$$I was going to ask you, were audiences more receptive to musicians--was there a climate where the musician was more respected back in those days you think, being a musician?$$Well musicians--(cough) pardon me, musicians of different bands were treated with different levels of respect. Fortunately Basie [Count Basie] was considered high strata in the music business and he attracted personally a different clientele than say Dizzy did. No disrespect to Dizzy Gillespie, but they drew different type crowds both personally and from an audience point of view. I think that the music of the day was something that simulated a community when you came into it. You don't have that same thing going on today. Everything now is concerts, then we played theaters and we played nightclubs. Well there are no nightclubs and there are no theaters, so the whole industry shifted when the theaters started closing and the nightclubs started closing and it started graduating into the concert philosophy and it changed the whole tenor of the industry. You find yourself doing a different type of musical presentation than what we knew working the theaters--the RKO [RKO Pictures, Inc.] and the Loews Theatres [Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corporation] across the country. That was a big market for the band. I know that out of a year's time we may play two months of one nighters, the other times we were playing in theaters and nightclubs across the country. So it was a different situation then than what it is today.$So now this show ['Tropi Can Can'] is running and you're doing things at the hotel, you're being the producer of the show, but at the same time you're developing your other profession, tell us about that.$$Well, a young lady by the name of [HistoryMaker] Alice Key that was here at the hotel, we got together one evening talking about what we could do to stimulate more local business to come to the hotel. Most of the business the hotel was getting was the same as the Strip hotels [Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas, Nevada] were getting as tourists were coming into town, especially on the weekends. So we wanted to build midweek days up, and we got to talking about various marketing ideas and Alice mentioned a television show. She had talked to Hank Greenspun, who was the owner of the, Channel 8 [KLAS-TV, Las Vegas, Nevada] at the time, and discussed the possibility in the future of a black television show and what he thought about it. Anyway it was kind of, according to Alice, it was kind of a throw away conversation she wanted to try him out, and he responded so they both forgot it until we started talking then she remembered the conversation and indicated maybe we should go to Hank and talk about the television show. I said, "I just happen to have a television show all prepared, written, shot list and the whole bit," and she said, "You do?" And then I started telling her about my background in television and radio and my inability to be able to get it on in any of the towns that I had approached television stations. She said, "You've gotten it written up?" So I had a professional package that was first class and I showed it to her. Anyway long story short, made an appointment with Hank Greenspun to talk about the show. The hotel was going to sponsor the show for so many weeks and--if we could get in on. Hank read the first part of the narrative of the show bought it hook, line and sinker. He said, "I like it let's do it." So finally and at last I'm getting a television show ['Talk of the Town'].$$And it's sponsored by the Moulin Rouge [Moulin Rouge Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada].$$Initially sponsored by the Moulin Rouge.$$Who was behind the Moulin Rouge, who were some of the benefactors or the owners of this hotel, 'cause they had to be pretty forward thinking people also?$$Rubin [Louis Rubin] and Bisno [Alexander Bisno], one was a restaurateur, Rubin, construction man was Bisno. They were the owners--the initial owners of the property. The PR [public relations] man at that time was Martin Black, and he sold the advertising sponsorship to Bisno, who was running the business area of the hotel and thought it was a great marketing idea to encourage a midweek attendance. So that's how the sponsorship came about. The entourage that went to talk with Hank was Martin Black representing the hotel, Alice and myself. Alice took the lead as far as explaining the narrative of the show and I took the technical end, explaining what we do and how we would do it. We looked up and we were on television.

Fred Jones

Fred Jones, Jr., has devoted his life to entertaining others. Born January 2, 1948, in Memphis, Tennessee, to Lula and Freddie, Jones was the fourth of five children. He attended public schools in Memphis and then went on to earn his B.A. in 1971 from the University of Memphis.

While at the University of Memphis, Jones worked for Union Planters Bank as an internal auditor and assistant branch manager. Following graduation, however, Jones moved into the entertainment industry, working as a tour manager for Isaac Hayes until 1975. Jones then went on to do independent promotions, managing and producing events, for many in the entertainment industry. In 1984, Jones founded Summitt Management Corporation, where he currently serves as president.

During his career, Jones has created numerous entertainment promotions, including the Southern Heritage Classic Music and Football Weekend and the Southern Heritage Classic 2 Basketball Weekend, featuring ever-popular competitions among historically black colleges and universities. He also created the world-renowned Memphis Blues Festival. Jones has also brought Memphis some of its largest concerts and has taken concerts to African American audiences across the country.

Jones has been the recipient of numerous awards over the years, including the 2002 Award of Excellence from the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund; the 2002 African American Male Image Award for Business from Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity; the 2000 Outstanding Community Sales Award from the Sales and Marketing Executives of Memphis; and the 1996 Black Business of the Year Award from the Memphis Black Business Association. He is active in a number of civic organizations, including as a lifetime member with the NAACP, a member of Leadership Memphis, and as President of the Southern Heritage Foundation.

Jones and his wife, Carolyn, live in Memphis. They have six children.

Accession Number

A2003.144

Sex

Male

Interview Date

6/26/2003

Last Name

Jones

Marital Status

Married

Organizations
Schools

Booker T. Washington High School

University of Memphis

Speakers Bureau

No

First Name

Fred

Birth City, State, Country

Memphis

HM ID

JON06

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Favorite Quote

You Can't Use Yesterday's Ball Scores In Today's Ball Game.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Tennessee

Interview Description
Birth Date

1/2/1948

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Memphis

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Spaghetti

Short Description

Event management chief executive, entertainment promoter, and music manager Fred Jones (1948 - ) founded Summitt Entertainment. Prior to that, he was the tour manager for Isaac Hayes and the Isley Brothers.

Employment

Summitt Management Corporation

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180278">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Fred Jones' interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180279">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Fred Jones lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180280">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Fred Jones describes his family history</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180281">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Fred Jones talks about his family's history of sharecropping and migration</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180282">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Fred Jones talks about his father</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180283">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Fred Jones talks about his respect for his father and his father's generation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180284">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Fred Jones talks about his mother</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180285">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Fred Jones talks about his parents' relationship</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180286">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Fred Jones describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180287">Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Fred Jones talks about how his childhood neighborhood has changed</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180288">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Fred Jones talks about his childhood and teachers from his grade school years</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180289">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Fred Jones talks about his childhood dream of becoming an accountant</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180290">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Fred Jones talks about playing sports in high school and meeting Olympians Wilma Rudolph and Bob Hayes</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180291">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Fred Jones talks about joining his junior high honors society and learning to play music</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180292">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Fred Jones talks about the plane crash that killed four members of the Bar-Kays and Otis Redding</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180293">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Fred Jones talks about his decision to attend Memphis State College in Memphis, Tennessee</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180294">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Fred Jones talks about the Vietnam War draft and his first job</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180295">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Fred Jones talks about how he got a job at Union Planters Bank in Nashville, Tennessee</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180296">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Fred Jones talks about his reaction to the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180297">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Fred Jones talks about the racial climate in Memphis, Tennessee after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180298">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Fred Jones talks about graduating from the Memphis State College in 1971 and working for HistoryMaker Isaac Hayes</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180299">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Fred Jones talks about changes in the recording industry</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180300">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Fred Jones describes his responsibilities working for HistoryMaker Isaac Hayes</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180301">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Fred Jones talks about becoming an entertainment promoter</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180302">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Fred Jones talks about the first Southern Heritage Classic in 1990</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180303">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Fred Jones tells stories about working with artists like Count Basie, Bill Cosby, and John Davidson.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180304">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Fred Jones talks about demands from artists he worked with as an entertainment producer</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180305">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Fred Jones talks about his personal and professional relationship with the Isley Brothers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180306">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Fred Jones talks about filing for bankruptcy and rebuilding his business</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180307">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Fred Jones talks about creating the Southern Heritage Classic</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180308">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Fred Jones talks about events during the Southern Heritage Classic and a rewarding experience</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180309">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Fred Jones talks about the black community in Memphis, Tennessee</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180310">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Fred Jones talks about the Memphis Grizzlies and explains why Memphis, Tennessee did not get an NFL franchise</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180311">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Fred Jones talks about his role in securing the Memphis Grizzlies</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180312">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Fred Jones talks about the Memphis Grizzlies and what he hopes the team does for the City of Memphis, Tennessee</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180313">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Fred Jones talks about his hopes for the black community and for his future</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180314">Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Fred Jones reflects upon his legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/180315">Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Fred Jones talks about how he would like to be remembered</a>

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Fred Jones talks about graduating from the Memphis State College in 1971 and working for HistoryMaker Isaac Hayes
Fred Jones talks about his personal and professional relationship with the Isley Brothers
Transcript
Now, now, so, so you worked at Planters Bank [Union Planters Bank, Nashville Tennessee] and you, you went to school [Memphis State College, later University of Memphis, Memphis Tennessee] at the same time?$$Yeah, I was going to school at night. And I did that all the way until the, the summer of '71 [1971]. Along the way I met, you know, [HM] Isaac Hayes, David Porter, the group The Soul Children, Jim Stewart, Al Bell, Otis Redding would come in there, Mack Rice who wrote 'Respect Yourself' and 'Cheaper to Keep Her.' You know it got to be [unclear] all these people.$$I didn't realize the same person wrote 'Respect Yourself' and 'Cheaper to Keep Her.'$$Yeah, yeah, Mike Rice, Cadillac assembly line. He's a character, yeah. Bonnie Mack Rice from Clarksdale, Mississippi, lives in Detroit [Michigan]. And he--but I was, I was still going to school, you know and I went nonstop from the time that you know that I, that I started back in, in the--in May of '68 [1968] until I, you know, I got to the summer of '71 [1971] and I didn't--I couldn't take the--the couple of classes that I needed to finish at night. And I didn't want to wait until the summer, so I took off during the summer from the job to go--to finish. And when I came back to talk to the bank, you know about what was gonna happen. You know, I graduated from college now and what was gonna happen at the bank. I remember the guy made a call to somebody and said well you know Fred Jones is here and you know, what we gone do with him? I'm, you know I'm sitting there listening to him and got off the phone and he said well, we don't know what we gone do with you. In the meantime, Isaac Hayes offered me a job working for him. Say he needed, you know, his 'Shaft' was just breaking, breaking big and they finna go on the road and they needed somebody who, who could handle money.$$'Shaft' was breaking real big.$$Yeah.$$It was the biggest thing in the--$$Yeah, so actually the biggest thing in the world. And said, you know we want you to--you know, we gone go out on a tour and we want you to, you know, somebody who can count money. Obviously with my experiencing in banking and--so my first day on the job, I was on a plane going to LA [Los Angeles]. And they say the rest is history, you know. And, and I left the bank and went with Isaac and that was my real--although I had done some things for the Soul Children on the weekends. But that was the real, the real big thing for me, going with Isaac and learning how to do manifests and count tickets and all those kinds of things, how they worked.$$Okay so your, your responsibilities were primarily counting responsibilities.$$Well here again, I've always liked numbers. So you, you'll probably hear this kind of a, a central theme through my whole career. You know, you know my job was to pick up the money and account for it. You know if it was, was spent somewhere, then you just make sure that you get the, the receipts and you account for--I, if I picked up 15,000 dollars then the money might go wherever it was, you know it was to go, but at the end of the day I needed to have you know, if it was less than 15,000, I have that, you know and an accounting of it, you know. Which was a thing that you, you know that you kind of learn going on that you got to, you got to make this money, but you also have to account for it, especially the expenses. So you know for income tax purposes and all that.$Tell us about the Southern Heritage Classic. How did you get the idea for that and when did you start?$$Well let, let me make--let me say one thing here. I don't wanna let that go. One of the other groups that I've gotten really close to over the years was the Isley Brothers. And it's, it's strangely how that happened. They were gonna go out on a tour in the late '70s [1970s], can't think of the exact year. And think it was '77 [1977], '78 [1978], I can't--one of the years. And a guy named James O. Thomas [ph.] who I knew from working with [HM] Isaac [Hayes], was working with them. And they had tried some promoters and things didn't work out. He said well I know this guy who can--I know he can get it done. So he called me up and said you know, we want, you know they want you, to consider you to do this tour. Really? I don't have no money. I ain't have money to take the trip to New York. They gon' take care of that. They just want somebody to take care of it. So that started a relationship that I still have with the, with the family from, from, you know from that point. And it kind of showed me a side of what, what can be done in this business 'cause they were one of the first groups that--they were doing their own shows, writing their own music, playing their own music, had their own business. And I remember we doing the, the tours--the times that I--when I first started it, they were financing it. I did everything else. Only thing they did was sing. Where, where the arena they played, how much the ticket prices were, where they stayed, all of those kind of things were taken care of. All they had, had--what time do we go on stage? And, and we took care of that. And that was a tremendous relationship that I still have with the, with them right now, with Ronald [Isley] and Ernie [Isley] and they're the two ones that are still in the band now. But Kelly [O'Kelly Isley, Jr.] who's the older brother, who kind of--everything kind of flowed through Kelly in terms of the business and what have you. And he was telling me one time, he say you know people don't realize about the entertainment business, how emotional it is. You're on a tremendous high, and tremendous low. And you know that's kind of tough to take. You got a record that you put a lot of things in and goes to number one, then you have one that, that could flop. Fortunate for them, once they start, you know, started churning out hit records with, with the younger brothers, you know and, and Chris [Jasper], you know, the brother-in-law, man it was--they had a tremendous run. And I was right, right there for the, right there for that.$$Yeah, one of the few groups that they had a hit almost every year for the last thirty years.$$It's tremendous. You know then you hear the stories about the time when they went to Motown, or hear the story about the (unclear), you know, how they--nobody would that take that record and they took they last money and, and, and produced it themselves, one of the biggest records in their history. You know just, you know they were--at the time I was, when I was with them, it was like when I was with [HM] Isaac [Hayes], I was right in the forefront of what was going on with, with music. And you know not people--not that many people get that opportunity to, to be where the action is. When I was with Isaac, Isaac had the number one record in the world. I mean all the Vegas [Las Vegas, Nevada] shows was doing the theme from 'Shaft.' We went to Europe, worked with Burt Bacharach. We--one of the first artist that sold you know, a million records--equivalent of a million records in Canada, you know. It was tremendous. The Isley Brothers came along with 'Fight the Power' and all that stuff. Man, you right there in the middle of it and doing their own shows and doing you know, national tours and that kind of thing. It was tremendous. So, you know that was, you know I--being close to that, you know that family and that group for a long time.