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Sonny Rollins

Jazz composer and saxophonist Sonny Rollins was born on September 7, 1930 in New York City. His parents, immigrants from the U.S. Virgin Islands, raised him in Manhattan’s central Harlem and Sugar Hill neighborhoods. Rollins received his first alto saxophone at seven years old; and was heavily influenced by saxophonist Charlie Parker by the time he enrolled at Edward W. Stitt Junior High School. Rollins switched to tenor saxophone, and was mentored by pianist Thelonious Monk.

Upon graduating from high school, Rollins made his first recordings with Babs Gonzales, J.J. Johnson, Bud Powell, and Fats Navarro. He went on to record with such jazz legends as Miles Davis, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk. In 1954, Rollins’ compositions “Oleo,” “Airegin,” and “Doxy” were featured on Miles Davis’ Bags' Groove. He later moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he became immersed in the jazz scene at Hyde Park’s Bee Hive club. When Clifford Brown and Max Roach’s band visited Chicago, Rollins was invited to join them, returning to New York City in the summer of 1956. After the tragic deaths of Brown and the band’s pianist, Rollins left the band to lead his own group, recording the acclaimed album Saxophone Colossus, which included Rollins’ calypso-inspired composition “St. Thomas.” In 1957, Rollins pioneered the use of bass and drums, without piano, as accompaniment for saxophone solos, a format later adopted by such band leaders like Lew Tabackin, Branford Marsalis, and Ornette Coleman. In 1958, he recorded Freedom Suite, which received a limited release before being repackaged by Riverside Records.

In 1959, Rollins spent two years practicing yoga and playing saxophone on the Williamsburg Bridge. In 1962, he released The Bridge, which was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. He also produced five other albums. Rollins experimented with free jazz and noise on East Broadway Run Down, released in 1962. He took another hiatus from 1969 to 1971, travelling to Jamaica and to an ashram in Powai, India. Rollins then began recording more R&B and funk-oriented tracks with Milestone Records, appearing at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art and on The Tonight Show. In 1998, Rollins, a dedicated environmental advocate, released Global Warming.

Rollins recorded over sixty albums, and was the subject of many documentaries. He received numerous awards and honors, including the Grammy Award for lifetime achievement.

Sonny Rollins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 3, 2016.

Accession Number

A2016.113

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/3/2016

Last Name

Rollins

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Organizations
Schools

P.S. 89

P.S. 46 Arthur Tappan School

I.S. 164 Edward W. Stitt Junior High School

Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics

First Name

Sonny

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

ROL03

Favorite Season

None

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Favorite Quote

It's All Good.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

9/7/1930

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Cauliflower

Short Description

Jazz composer and saxophonist Sonny Rollins (1930 - ) composed the jazz standards “Oleo,” “Airegin,” and “Doxy,” and released over sixty albums in his name, including Saxophone Colossus (1956) and Freedom Suite (1958).

Employment

Doxy Records

Favorite Color

Red

DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Sonny Rollins' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Sonny Rollins lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Sonny Rollins describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Sonny Rollins lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Sonny Rollins describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Sonny Rollins remembers his father's U.S. Navy career

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Sonny Rollins recalls his father's requests to be assigned to the Brooklyn Navy Yard

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Sonny Rollins describes his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Sonny Rollins describes the sounds of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Sonny Rollins remembers his early interest in blues music

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Sonny Rollins recalls learning to play the saxophone

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Sonny Rollins recalls the early influence of Charlie Parker and Coleman Hawkins

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Sonny Rollins recalls his requests for lessons from older jazz musicians

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Sonny Rollins remembers joining Thelonius Monk's band

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Sonny Rollins remembers the influence of a childhood prank, pt. 1

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Sonny Rollins remembers the influence of a childhood prank, pt. 2

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Sonny Rollins reflects upon the impact of his spirituality on his music

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Sonny Rollins talks about the prevalence of drugs in the jazz community

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Sonny Rollins describes his imprisonment on Rikers Island in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Sonny Rollins remembers his attempts to stop using heroin

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Sonny Rollins describes the United States Narcotic Farm in Lexington, Kentucky

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Sonny Rollins remembers moving to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Sonny Rollins remembers his efforts to avoid a drug relapse

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Sonny Rollins recalls his return to the music scene

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Sonny Rollins remembers moving to the Wabash Avenue YMCA in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Sonny Rollins recalls traveling with the Clifford Brown and Max Roach Quintet

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Sonny Rollins talks about playing with the Clifford Brown and Max Roach Quintet

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Sonny Rollins remembers the deaths of Clifford Brown and Richie Powell

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Sonny Rollins remembers the aftermath of the death of Clifford Brown

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Sonny Rollins lists his early albums

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Sonny Rollins remembers Miles Davis

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Sonny Rollins describes his first wife

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Sonny Rollins describes the genres of his music

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Sonny Rollins talks about his protest music

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Sonny Rollins remembers his album, 'Freedom Suite'

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Sonny Rollins talks about his Mohawk hairstyle

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Sonny Rollins remembers his first sabbatical from recording

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Sonny Rollins recalls practicing on the Williamsburg Bridge in New York City

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Sonny Rollins recalls developing an interest in yoga

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Sonny Rollins remembers his trip to India, pt. 1

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Sonny Rollins remembers his trip to India, pt. 2

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Sonny Rollins recalls playing the saxophone in India

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Sonny Rollins describes his homes in New York

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Sonny Rollins talks about his musical development in the 1970s

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Sonny Rollins remembers playing with bagpiper Rufus Harley

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Sonny Rollins recalls popularizing the unaccompanied saxophone solo

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Sonny Rollins describes his media appearances

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Sonny Rollins recalls his work to change the perceptions of jazz music

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Sonny Rollins remembers recording with the Rolling Stones

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Sonny Rollins talks about the Sonny Rollins International Jazz Archives

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Sonny Rollins describes his album, 'Global Warming'

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Sonny Rollins remembers the attacks of September 11, 2001

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Sonny Rollins describes his performance after September 11, 2001

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Sonny Rollins remembers his wife's death

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Sonny Rollins talks about Doxy Records

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Sonny Rollins talks about contemporary jazz music

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Sonny Rollins talks about jazz expression

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Sonny Rollins talks about his idea of unity

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Sonny Rollins reflects upon his life, pt. 1

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Sonny Rollins shares his advice to aspiring jazz artists

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Sonny Rollins reflects upon his life, pt. 2

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Sonny Rollins narrates his photographs

Wayne Shorter

Saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter was born on August 25, 1933 in Newark, New Jersey. Shorter played the clarinet at Newark Arts High School, but switched to the saxophone before entering New York University in 1952. After graduating with his B.M.E. degree in 1956, Shorter worked for a short time with composer John Eaton until he was drafted into the U.S. Army for two years.

In 1958, Shorter briefly played with Horace Silver, and then joined Maynard Ferguson's big band. The following year, he joined Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers where he remained until 1963, eventually becoming the band's music director. During the Blakey period, Shorter also made his debut on records as a leader, and produced several albums for Chicago's Vee-Jay label including Introducing Wayne Shorter, Second Genesis, and Wayning Moments.

In September of 1964, Miles Davis invited Shorter to join his quintet, completing a lineup that included Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams. Shorter stayed with Davis until 1970 and was one of the band's most prolific composers, contributing songs like "E.S.P.," "Pinocchio," "Nefertiti," "Sanctuary," "Footprints," "Fall," and "Prince of Darkness." Shorter also became a productive solo artist for Blue Note Records during this period, recording eleven albums including Night Dreamer, JuJu, Speak No Evil, The All Seeing Eye and Adam's Apple.

In November of 1970, Shorter teamed up with Joe Zawinul to form the jazz fusion band Weather Report. Four years later, he released the album Native Dancer, which featured Herbie Hancock and Brazilian composer and vocalist Milton Nascimento. In the late 1970s, Shorter toured with Freddie Hubbard, Hancock, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams as V.S.O.P. He then left Weather Report in 1985 and went on to record three albums on Columbia Records from 1986 to 1988.

Shorter re-emerged in 1992 with Wallace Roney and the V.S.O.P. rhythm section in the "A Tribute to Miles" band. In 1995, now on the Verve record label, Shorter released the solo album High Life; and, in 1997, released 1 1 with Herbie Hancock. Footprints Live! was released in 2002 under his own name with a new quartet, followed by Alegría in 2003 and Beyond the Sound Barrier in 2005. Without a Net, his first recording for Blue Note Records in forty-three years, was released in February of 2013.

In all, Shorter recorded over twenty albums as a bandleader, and appeared on numerous others, including several Joni Mitchell studio albums. He has also toured and recorded alongside Carlos Santana, among others. Shorter has received ten Grammy Awards; the Montreal International Jazz Festival’s Miles Davis Award; a Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Award; and Honorary Doctorate of Music degrees from the Berklee College of Music and New York University.

Wayne Shorter was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 11, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.255

Sex

Male

Interview Date

11/11/2014 |and| 11/14/2014

Last Name

Shorter

Maker Category
Organizations
Schools

Arts High School

New York University

First Name

Wayne

Birth City, State, Country

Newark

HM ID

SHO03

State

New Jersey

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

California

Birth Date

8/25/1933

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Los Angeles

Country

United States

Short Description

Saxophonist and music composer Wayne Shorter (1933 - ) won ten Grammy Awards during his career, and was one of jazz’s leading figures beginning in the 1960s.

Employment

U.S. Army

Maynard Ferguson's Big Band

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers

Miles Davis Quintet

Weather Report

Wayne Shorter Quartet

Gene Barge

Saxophonist, music producer and song writer Gene “Daddy G” Barge was born in Norfolk, Virginia on August, 9 1926. He graduated from Booker T. Washington High School and played clarinet in the school band. Barge then attended West Virginia State College where he first majored in architecture, but quickly switched to music because of his interest in the saxophone. After receiving his B.A. degree from West Virginia State College in 1950, Barge returned to Norfolk, Virginia and played with a number of bands and singing groups including the Griffin Brothers and the Five Keys.

In 1955, Barge recorded his first saxophone instrumentals entitled “Country” and “Way Down Home” on Chess Records’ Checker Label. He taught music at Suffolk High School while playing and singing in bands and touring with both Ray Charles and the Philadelphia vocal group The Turbans. In 1957, Barge played the saxophone on Chuck Willis’ “C.C. Rider,” which became a number one R& B hit. In 1960, he recorded “A Night with Daddy G” with his band the Church Street Five on Norfolk’s Legrand Label. From 1961 to 1962, Barge collaborated with Gary U.S. Bonds on a number of hit records including "School Is In," "School Is Out," "Dear Lady Twist," "Twist Twist Senora," "Copy Cat" and the number one pop hit, “Quarter to Three.” In 1964, Barge was hired as a producer, arranger, and saxophone player for Chess Records in Chicago, Illinois and played on Fontella Bass’ “Rescue Me” in 1965. Chess Records closed in 1971 and Barge was hired by Stax Records in their gospel division, Gospel Truth. Barge produced Inez Andrews’ “Lord Don’t Move the Mountain” and The Beautiful Zion Baptist Church's "I'll Make It Alright.” In 1974, Barge began working with pianist, Marvin Yancy and Charles Jackson. He was hired to do demos with Natalie Cole. He went to win a Grammy Award for co-producing Cole’s “Sophisticated Lady” in 1977.

Barge has toured with Fat Dominos, Bo Diddley, Chuck Willis, The Rolling Stones and Natalie Cole. He has had roles in many major motion pictures including Code of Silence, Above the Law, Under Siege, The Package and The Fugitive. Barge consulted for Martin Scorsese’s 2003 PBS documentary, The Blues. He also appeared in a 2010 episode of the TV documentary series Legends, entitled "Roll over Beethoven - The Chess Records Saga." Barge lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Gene Barge was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on January 20, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.043

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/20/2012

Last Name

Barge

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widower

Schools

Booker T. Washington High School

West Virginia State University

J.C. Price Elementary School

First Name

Gene

Birth City, State, Country

Norfolk

HM ID

BAR12

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

Look Alive.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Birth Date

8/9/1926

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

United States

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Saxophonist, songwriter, and music producer Gene Barge (1926 - ) played on Chuck Willis’ pop hit, “C.C. Rider,” co-wrote with Gary U.S. Bonds “Quarter to Three” and received a Grammy Award for co-producing Natalie Cole’s “Sophisticated Lady.”

Employment

Suffolk High School

Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System

Stax Records

United States Air Force

United States Navy

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Gene Barge's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Gene Barge lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Gene Barge describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Gene Barge describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Gene Barge talks about the legacy of slavery in Fayettesville, North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Gene Barge talks about his father's career

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Gene Barge describes his father's musical interests

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Gene Barge remembers his parents' relationship

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Gene Barge talks about his relationship with his paternal grandmother

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Gene Barge describes his likeness to his parents

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Gene Barge describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Gene Barge talks about his experiences at J.C. Price Elementary School in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Gene Barge recalls the competitiveness of the local high schools

Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Gene Barge describes the geography of Tidewater Virginia

Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Gene Barge talks about the black community in Tidewater Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Gene Barge describes the prominent African Americans from Tidewater Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Gene Barge remembers meeting Fats Waller

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Gene Barge talks about the musicians from Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Gene Barge remembers joining the Booker T. Washington High School band in Norfolk, Virginia

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Gene Barge describes the political events during his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Gene Barge remembers an influential teacher

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Gene Barge recalls preparing to join the U.S. Army Air Forces

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Gene Barge remembers his time in the U.S. Army Air Forces

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Gene Barge remembers his first saxophone

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Gene Barge describes his transition to West Virginia State College in Institute, Virginia

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Gene Barge talks about the alumni of West Virginia State College, pt. 1

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Gene Barge remembers Tuskegee Airman John Whitehead

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Gene Barge talks about the alumni of West Virginia State College, pt. 2

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Gene Barge remembers his mentors at West Virginia State College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Gene Barge talks about Eleanor Roosevelt's civil rights activism

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Gene Barge recalls his work experiences after graduating from college

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Gene Barge talks about the history of rhythm and blues

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Gene Barge remembers his early records

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Gene Barge talks about his recordings with Gary U.S. Bonds

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Gene Barge describes the influence of Charles Manuel "Sweet Daddy" Grace on his music

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Gene Barge talks about his half sisters

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Gene Barge remembers the Norfolk Seventeen

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Gene Barge recalls the discrimination against black artists in the recording industry

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Gene Barge describes the musicians he met at Chess Records

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Gene Barge talks about the 'Cadillac Records' movie, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Gene Barge talks about the 'Cadillac Records' movie, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Gene Barge remembers Etta James

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Gene Barge remembers Cash McCall and Billy Stewart

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Gene Barge describes Little Walter's personality and character

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Gene Barge talks about Muddy Waters' jingle for Hamm's Brewery

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Gene Barge recalls recording albums with Howlin' Wolf

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Gene Barge remembers recording doo wop and gospel music

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Gene Barge describes his work with Natalie Cole

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Gene Barge talks about his acting career

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Gene Barge remembers touring with The Rolling Stones

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Gene Barge describes the members of The Rolling Stones

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Gene Barge recalls his acting role in 'The Guardian'

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Gene Barge describes 'The Blues' documentary television series

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Gene Barge talks about his saxophone style

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Gene Barge recalls his efforts to credit studio musicians

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Gene Barge remembers his influences and his influence on the music industry

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Gene Barge shares his advice to young musicians

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Gene Barge reflects upon his life

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Gene Barge reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Gene Barge talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Gene Barge remembers playing in the Breadbasket Band

Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Gene Barge describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

7$9

DATitle
Gene Barge recalls preparing to join the U.S. Army Air Forces
Gene Barge remembers his early records
Transcript
So you, you did con- keep playing the clarinet on some level even though you played football (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Well, I wasn't very good, but I played. Hey, I'd never seen a clarinet before and then Mr. Mc- McPherson [ph.], you know, got us all started. But it started at--how I got to play saxophone was I had--I was in high school [Booker T. Washington High School, Norfolk, Virginia] and I had gotten out of the [U.S.] military.$$Okay. Now wait a minute let me--let--then let's take you to the military first and then we'll get you back to high school.$$Okay.$$So how did you end up getting involved in the military, what happened?$$Well, what happened was when I was, when I was a teenager in high school, we used to go, we used to go when I was a kid, we used to go around the neighborhoods, white neighborhoods about a mile away, quarter of a mile away, and try to go into the alleys and the back of the houses and find metal and scraps and wood and stuff because times were really tight. And we'd find copper or whatever and take it to the--and lead and stuff and some of the guys used to melt it down, melt the metal down and we'd go to the junkyard and sell it. So we stumbled upon a guy--can't think of his name, Mr. West [ph.] or something, who was making an airplane in a garage in his house. And, so we went--so he saw us standing out there looking, so he invited us in, in the garage. And the plane had no wings on it, just a fuselage was in the--so he was putting in the cables for the pedals for the rudders and the stabilizers and you had to put so much of a--so he'd put us in the cockpit and says, "Okay. Now push this pedal, push this pedal." Because he was working by himself. And he was teaching us the names of all the parts of the plane.$$This is a white guy?$$Yeah.$$Okay.$$And I think his name was Willoughby [ph.].$$Um-hm.$$And that's when we got introduced to aviation. So when he says, "Okay, when I finish this plane I want to give it a test flight," and we said, "Well, when you gon- Mr. Willoughby when are you going to put the wings--." "I can't put the wings on in here. I'm going to move it and then we'll put the wings on." And, so sure enough later, some months later, he finished that plane and just a spread with the outside of the plane was like canvas or some kind of material, it wasn't metal. They spray it with what you call dope and it would harden up and tighten up. And he flew it across our neighborhood and buzzed the neighborhood. I was so impressed with the flying aspect of it that I wanted to be a pilot. So when--so I began, during the war [World War II, WWII] I began to study the silhouettes of all the planes around the world and what the Japs [Japanese] were using, the Zero [Mitsubishi A6M Zero], the German (pronunciation) Luftwaffe, Luftwaffe planes, the (pronunciation) Fox Wolf 109 [Focke-Wulf Fw 109] and the Mr. Smith [Smith DSA-1 Miniplane] and the American planes, the P38s [Lockheed P-38 Lightning] and all of those planes. So you would have to idenn- a pilot would have to identify just the silhouettes of the planes in order to pass the test and all of this stuff. So we were--I was up on that and I--we had a teacher, a great, a great math teacher named Surelda James [ph.], she was my math teacher. And I went to her and asked her, "Would you teach me a course in pre-flight math?" She says, "You want to--." I said, "Yeah." And her sister was teaching me French, and they also went to First Baptist [First Baptist Church, Norfolk, Virginia], so they saw me in the Sunday, high, in the Sunday school band. So they kind of got to know me, aside from being my teachers. So she did, she set up a course in pre-flight math. Wasn't nobody in the class but me and another guy. And so we took the class and to get me ready to take the entrance exams for the Air Force [U.S. Army Air Force; U.S. Air Force].$$So you were really serious.$$Hm?$$You were really serious.$$Yeah.$$You knew exactly what you had to learn to--$$Yeah.$$--pass the test and--$$Yeah.$Now what, what was the first record that you appeared on?$$The first record I appeared on was with The Griffin Brothers, and I can't remember the title of the tune, but we recorded in Washington, D.C. in a studio. We only recorded about three songs with him. And I appeared--I played on that session with The Griffin Brothers.$$Okay.$$This was around fifty- '53 [1953], somewhere up in that area of time.$$Okay. Now what I have here is that it was on the Dot [Dot Records] label?$$Yeah, on Dot.$$On Dot, okay. Okay. And, okay, so you--so at the time it says here that they just needed a sax player because the regular sax player at--wasn't available?$$Yeah they had a guy, sax player named Virgil Wilson.$$Um-hm.$$And he couldn't make it, so they got me.$$Okay, all right. So, now how did you meet Gary U.S. Bonds?$$Well, for one thing he lived in my neighborhood (laughter). And he used to be in the neighborhood as a little kid. And mother used to bring him to the store; I used to see him down there with his mother [Irene Bonds] at the store. But what happened was I had done a recording in New York with Chuck Willis, a guy came and got in my house and heard about me and came and said Chuck Willis needed a saxophone player, this was around '56 [1956], '57 [1957]. And around '56 [1956], and he came and found me and said Chuck--so I didn't have a job and I just went over to Newport News [Virginia] and joined the band and went to New York with Chuck Willis and we made a demo, 'C.C. Rider' and then later Atlantic Records got, brought me into New York and I did the session, I played the solo on this segment, it became a big hit, 'C.C. Rider,' Chuck Willis.$$Right, I remember that, yeah.$$Well, I played the solo on it and then they brought me back and I played 'Dupree Blues' later. And so after that, things kind of quieted down for me and then Guida [Frank Guida], this guy that owned Legrand Records where U.S. Bonds was the maj- major artist for him, offered me a chance to record so I went with him. And then Gary was on that label and that's when I met Gary.$$Okay. Now I may have jumped ahead too far, but we'll get back to it, but your first recording that you--$$My first, yeah, my first recording was around fifty- 1955.$$Uh-huh.$$And I sent a, sent a--sent this record in, this tape into Chess Records and they liked it and put it out, a thing called 'Country.'$$Okay. This an instrumental, instrumental?$$Instrumental.$$Okay. And did it do pretty good?$$It went to number one hundred on the national charts, but what killed it was 'Honky Tonk.' So that instrumental, that instrumental grabbed all the attention of all the instrumentals that came out during that little period, during that year.$$Now that's Bill Doggett.$$Bill Doggett.$$So, okay, 'Honky Tonk' and that was the biggest instrumental that year.