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Lessly "Count" Fisher

Band leader, nightclub owner, and police chief Lessly “Count” Fisher was born on August 19, 1923 in Canton, Mississippi to Ruby Mosby Fisher and future steelworker Seaser Fisher. Fisher was given the nickname of “Count” by Count Basie. He grew up in the New Edition section of East Chicago, Indiana and attended Calumet Elementary School, Garfield Elementary School, and Columbus School, Fisher graduated from Washington High School in 1941. An accident in the steel mill inspired him to join his cousin, Wallace Hayes playing drums for the Nightsteppers. Fisher, along with childhood friend Jack McDuff, learned to read music from Jesse Evans while working as driver and bodyguard for entertainment businessman, Jake Brennan.

Touring the Midwest, Fisher’s band also included Schoolboy Porter, Johnny Mott, Bill Lane and Aretta Lamar. In 1951, he met and toured several cities with singer Eve Rene. Later reunited with Rene, they played Indianapolis’ Joy Lounge and the Hubbub. Fisher married Eve Rene and established the Carousel Club in the late 1950s. Over the years, they featured The Hampton Family, Rodney Dangerfield, June Christie, Leroy Vinegar, Freddie Hubbard, George Kirby, Redd Foxx, Moms Mabley, Jimmy McGriff, Jack McDuff, John Coltrane and James Brown. The Fishers also participated in muscular dystrophy telethons with Lorne Greene. From 1963 to 1965, the couple operated the Chateau de Count et Eve near the Indiana State Capitol. There, they showcased Roy Hamilton, Lula Reed and Motown acts along with many other names.

In 1966, Fisher and Eve Rene moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan and performed at the London House as the house band. Eventually, Fisher moved away from show business and took a job as Sheriff’s Deputy for Kent County, Michigan. He was also Idlewild, Michigan’s first chief of police. Fisher and wife, Eve, a retired civil servant, lived in Grand Rapids. Their son, Rodney, is a musician who once portrayed Sir Nose D’Voidoffunk with George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic.

Lessly "Count" Fisher was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 10, 2007.

Fisher passed away on November 22, 2015.

Accession Number

A2007.082

Sex

Male

Interview Date

3/10/2007

Last Name

Fisher

Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Count

Schools

Washington High School

Calumet Elementary School

Garfield Elementary School

Columbus School

First Name

Lessley

Birth City, State, Country

Canton

HM ID

FIS01

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Mississippi

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hammond, Indiana, Austin, Texas

Favorite Quote

Let There Be Light, And There Was Light.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

8/19/1923

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Grand Rapids

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Death Date

11/22/2015

Short Description

Nightclub owner, police chief, and bandleader Lessly "Count" Fisher (1923 - 2015 ) owned The Carousel Club nightclub where such acts as Redd Foxx, Rodney Dangerfield, and John Coltrane performed.

Employment

Carousel Club

Chateau de Conte et Eve

Kent County (Mich.)

Idlewild Police Department

Favorite Color

None

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Lessly "Count" Fisher's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Lessly "Count" Fisher lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Lessly "Count" Fisher describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Lessly "Count" Fisher describes the racial discrimination in Canton, Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Lessly "Count" Fisher describes his father's escape from Mississippi

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Lessly "Count" Fisher describes his father's move to Calumet, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Lessly "Count" Fisher describes his parents' education

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Lessly "Count" Fisher describes his early personality

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Lessly "Count" Fisher describes his neighborhood in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Lessly "Count" Fisher describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Lessly "Count" Fisher remembers working at the Inland Steel Company

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Lessly "Count" Fisher recalls his childhood pastimes

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Lessly "Count" Fisher describes the New Addition gang in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Lessly "Count" Fisher recalls the radio programs of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Lessly "Count" Fisher describes his early education

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Lessly "Count" Fisher remembers Joe Louis and Jack Johnson

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Lessly "Count" Fisher describes the influence of his teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Lessly "Count" Fisher remembers graduating from Washington High School in East Chicago, Indiana

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Lessly "Count" Fisher recalls his experiences in fights

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Lessly "Count" Fisher remembers wrestling at Washington High School

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Lessly "Count" Fisher recalls his early aspirations

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Lessly "Count" Fisher remembers his early musical career

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Lessly "Count" Fisher remembers working for Jake Brenneman

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Lessly "Count" Fisher remembers performing in nightclubs in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Lessly "Count" Fisher recalls being hired by Jake Brenneman

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Lessly "Count" Fisher describes his early career

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Lessly "Count" Fisher remembers his fellow musicians

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Lessly "Count" Fisher talks about touring as a musician

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Lessly "Count" Fisher talks about contemporary music

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Lessly "Count" Fisher describes his income as a musician

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Lessly "Count" Fisher recalls how he met his wife

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Lessly "Count" Fisher recalls purchasing a nightclub in Indianapolis, Indiana

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Lessly "Count" Fisher remembers the entertainment at his nightclub

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Lessly "Count" Fisher remembers his nightclub's patrons

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Lessly "Count" Fisher remembers the rules at his nightclub

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Lessly "Count" Fisher remembers hiring John Coltrane and Elvin Jones

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Lessly "Count" Fisher recalls being cheated by a bartender

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Lessly "Count" Fisher remembers selling the Chateau de Count et Eve nightclub

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Lessly "Count" Fisher remembers joining the police department

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Lessly "Count" Fisher recalls his business ventures in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Lessly "Count" Fisher recalls becoming the chief of police in Lake County, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Lessly "Count" Fisher recalls his career as the chief of police in Idlewild, Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Lessly "Count" Fisher describes his retirement

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Lessly "Count" Fisher reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Lessly "Count" Fisher reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Lessly "Count" Fisher remembers raising his children

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Lessly "Count" Fisher describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Lessly "Count" Fisher describes his hopes for the world

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Lessly "Count" Fisher narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

6$5

DATitle
Lessly "Count" Fisher talks about contemporary music
Lessly "Count" Fisher remembers joining the police department
Transcript
Now did you have a chance to cut any records or anything?$$No. I had a chance but I didn't cut 'em.$$Okay. Why not?$$I don't--crazy. Just like my wife [HistoryMaker Lois Fisher] should've been cut. If she had've been cut, she'd been on top right now. You ought to hear her, she's tough. She's one of the finest singers in the country right now. Well, right now she is the finest, 'cause all these little funky singers that thinking they singers, and I hope you print this, all them people that think they are musicians ain't nothing today. They can't read, they can't sang, they talk, they rap, they talk bull, they make--they talk the wrong sentences, they say the nastiest things on records today. They ain't got no voice, they holler. And how they make that much money I don't know. And you can quote Count Fisher [HistoryMaker Lessly "Count" Fisher] for saying that.$$Well, now, okay. Well--$$And if they don't like it, come see me.$I know you did some, did some music gigs around here [Grand Rapids, Michigan] as well, but you ended up joining the police department. How did that happen?$$Was working--$$Was it a sheriff's department (unclear) (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Sheriff's department.$$Sherriff's department.$$I was working in--I don't know--downtown, was working one of the clubs and the boss of the friend of the court frequented the place I worked. He was a singer and he liked what we was playing, and he asked me one night to let him sing. I said, "Come on, you know." I let anybody, you know, if you can do it. He sang, and he sang pretty good. So he started coming in and started to singing and he liked to sing. He started coming one night and then he coming two nights, then he started to coming in three nights a week. So one night, walked up to me and was talking, and he said, "How'd you like to be policeman?" And I laughed at-"What the hell you talking 'bout?" What's his name--Bill Rowe [ph.]. I said, "What you talking 'bout, Bill?" He said, "How you--I think you'd make a good cop." I said, "Man, you got to be silly." He said, "Well, you think about it." He started to singing, you know. So, a couple more nights he come back, he said, "Count Fisher [HistoryMaker Lessly "Count" Fisher]," he said, "I'd like for you to be one of my deputies." I said, "What you mean one of your deputies?" (Laughter) And he told me who he was. "Oh, man, you kidding?" I said, "Well, let me talk to my wife [HistoryMaker Lois Fisher]," I'm kidding. So I went and talked to her. She say, "Well, baby, you working three or four nights a week, and it wouldn't hurt if he let you, you know, play music. See, we need the money." I said, "Hey, I never thought about it but all right." She said, "You like to fight." She said, "You know." I say, "Yeah, okay." So I talked to him. He said, "Well, you be in my office tomorrow morning." No, no, take that back. He said, "When you get off I'll wait for you. I wanna show you something." I said okay. So me and my wife we went--he took us downtown, took us upstairs to his office and he said, "This is my office." He said, "You'll be working right there." I said, "What will I be doing?" He said, "Well, it's according if you pass my test--pass the test."$$Exam, yeah.$$I said, okay. So, well, you know, I love challenges I told you that. So, I said, "Okay, I'll be down here tomorrow." I went down there and took the test. The man called and told him so he called me. No, he come by the club. He said, "Damn," he said, "look at your score." He said, "You got a scholastical average that kind of score?" "I don't know." He said, "You can be a detective out there." "I don't know 'bout that." He said, "Come to my office tomorrow." I said, "'Bout what time?" He said, "Be there at nine o'clock. Can you be there?" I said, "Yeah." He said, "Can you get up that early?" I said, "Yeah." So I got up 'bout seven o'clock, took my bath, went downtown. He said, "You come to work? Come to get a job." No, he said, "You come to get a job?" I said, "Well, what you got?" He showed me the papers and things. And he said, "This how much you'll be making." I said, "Damn, that all?" I said, "What I got to do?" "You got to go out and get people, I'll put you with a partner for two weeks. If your partner say you make it, you'll be on your own and you'll get a raise." I say, "Okay, we'll try it." "Here's your badge." I said, "Already?" He said, "Here's your badge, here's your permit, gun permit." I said, "I carry a gun?" He say, "Yeah, you go to the shooting range tomorrow." He say, "I'll have Pat [ph.]," which was my partner, he's going now too. He say, "I'll have Pat take you out on the shooting range." I say, "All right." And I was, you know, I was playing with it. Hell, then I got to liking the thing, man. And after two week I went by myself. There it is.$$What kind of experiences did you have as a sheriff's deputy here?$$None.$$No?$$No, I was a musician.$$Okay.$$(Laughter) I didn't have no kind of experience. That's what--everybody laughed at when I call the boys back home, they call me a liar. When I call my boys, when I call back home and told 'em I'm a police, a deputy sheriff, they--"You lie. How in the hell you got to be a deputy as much as you fight?" You know. But I was a deputy. I stayed with them, I don't know how--'til I retired I guess.

Evelyn Freeman Roberts

Evelyn Freeman Roberts was born on February 13, 1919, to Gertrude Evelyn Richardson and Ernest Aaron Freeman. Roberts grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and performed music at local social events with "The Freeman Family," a group that included her brother, Ernie, and father. She also began performing locally in a classical ensemble. Roberts skipped school one day to watch Duke Ellington at Cleveland's Palace Theater and met Ellington after the performance. His music made a huge impact on Roberts, who decided at that moment that she wanted to be a bandleader. She was a bright student, and graduated ahead of her grade in 1936.

After auditioning for a scholarship at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Roberts decided to attend the Institute. Although she had less training than many of the students, Roberts had perfect pitch and was a talented sight-reader, and managed to work her way through school performing. Around 1938, she formed her own swing band, and their performances included a Cleveland Institute dance party. Roberts graduated from the Institute of Music in 1941, and as an African American, she saw no openings in classical music, so she began to focus more on her band's work.

Her group, now titled the Evelyn Freeman Swing Band, had begun performing locally, including broadcasts on Cleveland's WHK radio station and performances for the local NBC affiliate. When World War II arrived, a Navy recruiter convinced the group to join the Navy as a whole, which prevented the draft from splitting the ensemble. As a result, they had become the first all-African American Navy band, were stationed near Peru, Indiana and were nicknamed the "Gobs of Swing." Roberts herself was not recruited, although she would be later as an 'honorary member,' but in the meantime she continued performing but with a smaller ensemble, which included such future jazz stars as Ben "Bull Moose" Jackson.

In 1945, after the war ended, Roberts left Cleveland after meeting Thomas S. Roberts, her future husband. Roberts met her husband after he sought her for some musical arrangements, although it took some time before they would become romantically involved. The couple soon moved to New York City, where Roberts received significant critical accolades for her vocal arrangements for the Wings over Jordan gospel group. She also began working with Vaudeville acts, then began performing in upscale hotels in New York City. In the meantime, much of her band, now discharged from the military, went on to significant success, including members who would go on to perform with Dizzy Gillespie and Lionel Hampton.

The Evelyn Freeman Orchestra would reform in the late 1950s with new members, and released Let’s Make a Little Motion. In 1960, she released Sky High, a new album, and in 1962 released Didn’t It Rain. In the late 1960s, she moved to California and masterminded a group called The Young Saints, and in 1970, the Young Saints performed for Richard Nixon in the White House. Roberts continued to perform over the years, including a lengthy stint as a composer for television, although she would often remain in the background as an arranger, including work for Bing Crosby, Dean Martin and Louis Prima. She was the co-founder and chief administrator for the Young Saints Scholarship Foundation.

Roberts passed away on June 5, 2017 at age 98.

Accession Number

A2006.056

Sex

Female

Interview Date

3/31/2006

Last Name

Roberts

Maker Category
Middle Name

Freeman

Organizations
Schools

Central High School

Cleveland Institute of Music

John Burroughs Elementary School

First Name

Evelyn

Birth City, State, Country

Cleveland

HM ID

ROB12

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Ohio

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Education Is The Key To Success.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

2/13/1919

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Shrimp

Death Date

6/5/2017

Short Description

Bandleader, music composer, and musician Evelyn Freeman Roberts (1919 - 2017 ) formed the Evelyn Freeman Orchestra and composed music for television shows.

Employment

Young Saints

Evelyn Freeman Swing Band

Karamu House

Wings Over Jordan

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:2976,59:4557,83:8896,183:10968,220:15774,279:16502,287:17022,298:32102,502:45935,665:46275,670:54520,827:57410,899:72284,1023:72572,1028:74012,1056:74444,1063:74948,1071:77252,1151:85796,1264:94160,1404:94970,1421:108798,1612:115974,1721:116526,1729:120690,1738:127375,1890:133660,1983:134260,1994:134660,1999:138160,2047:140746,2060:141114,2065:141942,2076:142678,2085:143506,2095:145465,2129:153746,2400:156385,2442:162470,2543$0,0:7680,190:21596,384:28775,466:29450,476:37145,574:38090,584:41470,620:41810,654:55461,784:71206,982:81623,1166:83854,1243:94455,1363:94795,1368:101626,1478:130480,2111
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Evelyn Freeman Roberts' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts lists her parents' birthdates and birthplaces

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts talks about her maternal great grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts describes her maternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts describes her maternal grandfather

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts describes her mother's family

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls visiting her maternal grandparents

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts describes her maternal grandmother's country store

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts describes her mother's experience at boarding school

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts describes her mother's education

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts describes how her parents met

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts describes her paternal great grandfather

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts describes her paternal grandparents' courtship

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts describes her father's time at Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts describes her parents' married life

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts lists her siblings

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts describes her father's occupations

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls her father's music career

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts remembers John Burroughs Elementary School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts describes Cleveland, Ohio's Central High School

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts describes the demographics of Central High School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls her decision to attend Cleveland Institute of Music

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls her experience at Cleveland Institute of Music

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls her brothers' educations

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts talks about her brother, Ernest Freeman, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls playing concerts with her family in Cleveland

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts remembers meeting Duke Ellington

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls forming the Evelyn Freeman Swing Band

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls how her swing band was recruited to the U.S. Army

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls her career after her swing band's military recruitment

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls meeting her husband

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls arranging for the Wings Over Jordan Choir

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls her work arranging music in New York

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls her marriage to Lloyd Gentry

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts explains her relation to Minnie Gentry and Terrence Howard

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts remembers buying a house in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts remembers touring with her children, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls touring with her children, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts remembers moving to Los Angeles, California

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls challenges in Los Angeles, California

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts remembers working with Peggy Lee

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls performing on 'The Jonathan Winters Show'

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls the Young Saints' performance on 'The Andy Griffith Show'

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls working with Frankie Laine

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls working with Louis Prima

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts remembers forming the Young Saints

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls the Young Saints' contract with Ashley-Famous talent agency

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls the Young Saints' performance on 'The Danny Kaye Show'

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls her classes for the Model Cities program

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts describes the Young Saints program at Second Baptist Church

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts talks about the success of the Young Saints

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts describes her family's involvement in the Young Saints

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls the Young Saints' performance at the White House, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls the Young Saints' performance at the White House, pt. 2

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts reflects upon her career

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Evelyn Freeman Roberts narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

4$4

DAStory

2$3

DATitle
Evelyn Freeman Roberts remembers meeting Duke Ellington
Evelyn Freeman Roberts recalls forming the Evelyn Freeman Swing Band
Transcript
Now we're coming up to the place, back up to the place now where you're graduating from the institute [Cleveland Institute of Music, Cleveland, Ohio].$$But before that, let's back up again--$$All right.$$--to 1936. I'm graduating, and I'm so far ahead I could have graduated in January when I was sixteen. But I didn't want to graduate in January. That's a bad time to graduate. So I wanted to wait until June to graduate. And so, in the meantime, I have this very light class load. And kids are always going down, going onto the Palace Theatre in Cleveland [Ohio], and that's where all the big bands came to play.$$Right.$$I had never been. And they always come back on Monday, you know, and give a detailed description of everything that went on. So I was curious, and just happened the, the one day that, one Friday that I decided to skip school, Duke Ellington was playing.$$All right.$$That completely changed my life, completely. I was so enthralled when I heard that band. And so after I heard the band, I went backstage and, and a lot of people milling around back there. And you know, when you graduate they, you have these little calling cards, you know, with your name on it.$$Right.$$I sent it up by the elevator boy, and Duke invited me to come up and see him. So I did; I went up to see Duke. Duke had his son with him, Mercer [Mercer Ellington].$$Right.$$And I, I didn't have anything to talk about (laughter), you know.$$Right.$$But I just--and I remember asking Mercer if he was gonna be a musician, and he said, "Oh no, I'm gonna be an engineer," (laughter). And so I met Da- Duke many times after that, and I never did tell him but how he changed my life.$$Now why did Duke Ellington make such an impact? What--$$It was just (simultaneous)--$$--(simultaneous) was it that impacted--$$--the music--$$Just his music.$$--and the way it sounded.$$Okay.$$And I, that was when I decided right then and there I wanna be a bandleader.$$All right, okay.$$And that was a very important turning point in my life.$$Okay. And this was how long before you actually graduated from the institute.$$Oh, this is, this is when I was graduating from high school [Central High School, Cleveland, Ohio]--$$Okay.$$--nineteen thirty-six [1936].$$Okay.$$So I didn't graduate (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) So we're talking about five years--$$Oh yeah.$$--more--$$Well--$$--okay.$$--all my contemporaries, and there were some great musicians that came out of Cleveland [Ohio], you know.$$Right.$$Nobody wanted to be bothered with me.$All right (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) But what happened was, and one of the things that kind of hurried it along, my brother Ernie [Ernest Freeman, Jr.], the violin player, found an old saxophone way back in the closet that belonged to my father [Ernest Freeman, Sr.]. It was an E-flat alto Buescher. I don't even, I don't think they even me--make those kind of, that--he found that in, back in the saxophone and taught himself to play it.$$Right.$$Loved that saxophone because it gave him the freedom of expression he didn't have with the violin. And in playing the classical music, all of the brass players, in fact, everybody, had to play cues that for instruments we didn't have; like the clarinet players would have to play the oboe cues, and the brass would have to play French horn or whatever of the cues. So therefore, I had a bunch of kids who could read music. So I had, so I taken the brass section, and my burdit- my brother Ernie on first sax and a couple of more sax, and we had the bass player, got a drummer. We had a swing band--$$Okay.$$--Evelyn Freeman Swing Band. And in two years' time (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) But when did, when did you form the Evelyn Freeman Swing Band?$$That was formed out of the Freeman Ensemble.$$Okay.$$So we still had, we had two organizations going at the same time.$$Okay, so you were still in high school [Central High School, Cleveland, Ohio] you're saying?$$Nope, I was in, at the institute--$$Okay.$$--by that time.$$Okay, when you formed the swing band.$$Well, when we actually got started, I guess it would be about, about 1938.$$Okay, okay, so we are, you're just in the first year or two--$$Second year (simultaneous).$$--(simultaneous) at the institute?$$Yeah.$$Okay, all right.$$And we even played, we even played for a dance at the institute.$$I'm sorry?$$We even played for a dance at the Cleveland Institute [Cleveland Institute of Music, Cleveland, Ohio].$$At the Cle- at the institute, okay. I'm just trying to get us in the right chronology, right (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, you looked at it chronologically, yeah.