When you’re playing music, say for instance, you’re playing a part of the band and you’re looking at your music, your horn is down into the stand. This way, it’s up and it goes right on out to the audience, you know?
My youngest daughter sings. She’s going to be very good. She’s graduated from Music School and she’s been working down around and getting her feet wet, you know. I had her out with me for a year just showing her the ropes a little bit, but she’s going to be all right.
I just went to Harvard a little while, because I graduated from Armstrong High School in Washington and then I went up there but I didn’t stay that long because I went into show business.
Piano should be the one. Yeah, because that’s your basis. Everything is right there in front of you.
As a matter of fact they’d blacken us down. I guess there’s a reason that according to what the Caucasian wanted us to look like. He wanted us to look-if we were Black, then he had his idea of what we look like.
Oh, yeah. I know Dizzy. For years he’s been my buddy way, way, way back. Dizzy is one of the most astute guys and one of the most learned guys in the world and knows exactly what he’s doing musically.
I was so enamored with the idea of being in show business so everything was bright to me. I mean, I didn’t think of it as being tough and things like that.
Bud Johnson, God rest his soul of fame, a tenor saxophonist. Bud was always a big, big, big booster of mine and he always when I first met Bud in Pittsburgh when he came through there, he heard me sing and he wanted me to come to Chicago.
It was my band. I organized the band and Dizzy was in the band. Dizzy was the first musical director with the band. Charlie Parker was in the band. But, no, no, that was my band.
I don’t have perfect pitch, but I have relative pitch. I’m glad I don’t have perfect pitch because perfect pitch can drive you crazy.
If you want to be a doctor, a lawyer you must go to college. But if you want to be a musician or such, study your craft. Study music.
I think a song that’s got something to say. I’m not much on gimmicks. I never have been because they don’t last. But I like a song that tells a story and has some meat to it, you know, that means something.
Today the kids that are out now they make a hit record and they put them right out on the stage with 10,000 people out there and they don’t know anything about the business yet.
I knew exactly what I was, and there was no hang-up with me. None whatsoever. The fact that the pigment of my skin maybe being lighter brown than other people of my race, maybe some of them, but you know our race has all colors.
I was still in school at the time and Cab was very popular and everybody was doing Cab Calloway so I did.