Oral History Interviews

Roy Brooks: Drumist 1938-2005

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Not a drummer, but a drumist Growing up in a Detroit with pianos in every house, Roy Brooks found the beginnings of his self-described purpose: to create a musical truth. Though Brooks received guidance from several of his more well-known contemporaries — Dizzy Gillespie and John Coltrane among them — he chose to forge his […]

Barbara Martin

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“As my grandma said whenever we did something of accomplishment, whenever she was very proud of us she would say, ‘I feel right rich.’ … I liked it when my grandma said that about me. If we don’t maintain this heritage all the connections of our musical ancestry then… we won’t have that feeling. As one who has had it, I don’t want generations to come, not to.”

Thomas “Beans” Bowles

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Bowles: I put the lead and line onto “Fingertips.” I played the flute in there and I played the line and then they made the words — they added words to my line, but nobody knows that but me and the gateposts and the other writers. [laughs] Heron: So you were actually on the performance? […]