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)

John Jordan “Buck” O’Neil (1911-2006)

John Jordan “Buck” O’Neil was born November 13, 1911, in Carrabelle, Florida.  Working with his father on a Florida celery farm when he was 13, the young O’Neil said to himself, “Damn. There’s got to be something better than this.” After traveling to West Palm … Read MoreJohn Jordan “Buck” O’Neil (1911-2006)