Willis Lester Young (“Pres”) (1909-1959)

Lester (Willis) Young, known as “Pres,” was born in Woodville, Mississippi and died in New York City. Named Willis Lester at birth, he dropped “Willis” at an early age. Young developed a light tone and swinging style as a member of “territory bands,” such as … Read MoreWillis Lester Young (“Pres”) (1909-1959)

Robert “Bumps” Blackwell (1918-1985)

Robert “Bumps” Blackwell was a musician, producer, and composer who worked with the top names in early jazz and rock and roll.  Blackwell was born in Seattle, Washington on May 23, 1918.  By the late 1940s his Seattle-based “Bumps Blackwell Junior Band” featured Ray Charles … Read MoreRobert “Bumps” Blackwell (1918-1985)

Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (1932-1972)

Acting on the presumption that rural southern blacks were generally more promiscuous and syphilitic than whites, and without sufficient funding to establish an effective treatment program for them, doctors working with the Public Health Service (PHS) commenced a multi-year experiment in 1932. Their actions deprived … Read MoreTuskegee Syphilis Experiment (1932-1972)