Duke, John 2010-09-03

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John Duke is a musician from New Bedford, MA. He grew up working in a factory and bought his own Saxophone when he was 14 years old. He became a well known musician around the world, and he talks about how he ended up living in Lubbock, TX

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: John Duke

Additional Parties Recorded:

Date: September 03, 2010

Location: Lubbock, Texas

Interviewer: Curtis Peoples

Length: 01:16:30


Biography, Born New Bedford, MA, Whaling city, Seamen’s Bethel, Developed Polio- 2 years, Worked in a factory as a child, Government paid immigrants to move to New England, Father- Manuel F. Duke (Duque- Portuguese), Brother moved to Ft. Lauderdale and died of Leukemia, Marie- Sister 91 years old, 6 brothers and sisters, Mill Work, Spinning room, Bobbin Boy, Mule spinning, 14 years old, Saxophone, $25, Bought it himself, Took lessons $1 a lesson, Met a professor, Memorized book, 25cents a lesson, Boston Symphony, Father, Skilled Pianist, Concerts, Eddie Peyton, Lincoln Park, Quit factory job, Arranged the music, 17 years old, Restaurants, Combos were getting hired to play in restaurants, Small hotel, Band leader, Combo, Piano, Drums, Saxophone, Trumpet, Sang songs, Scholarship, Studied Clarinet, Leonard Bernstein, New York, Mid Town Hotels, 36,000 musicians, About 6 months till you can play, Took a job in Arizona, Belmont Plaza Hotel, From 1-3 MWF see what jobs are available, Bob Machet, Worked for him, His wife, From North Carolina, Trustworthy person, Died of Cancer, Doug Coppins, Agent, Interested in him, Andy ended up working for him, New Haven, Copa Cabana Lounge, Got the gig, Music Corporation of America, Signed contract, Had to beg to get time off, Elizabeth Island, Calmed him down, Needed a break from the rat race, Big Band, Christopher Plumber, Early 50’s, Wanted a job in Puerto Rico, Went back to a combo, Signed a short contract in Miami, Stayed for about 5 years, Developed emphysema from second hand smoke, Everyone smoked indoors in those days, Bought a restaurant, Bought a driving range, Wife died, Bought land in Jacksonville, Fl, Wanted to build apartments, Crazy, Went crazy after his wife died, Had a friend help him schedule a tour to deal with his grief, 1977, Miller Country Club/ Odessa, Lubbock Club-On top of the bank building, Lubbock Country Club, Amarillo Country club, Lasted about 10 years, Remarried his nurse, She died from cancer too, Old Age, His mind was good, but his body was failing him, Shadow Hills Golf Club- Lubbock, Broke his hip, and cannot play golf anymore, Peripheral neuropathy, Writes his own stories, Publishers won’t publish his stories anymore, Lost a lot of money due to Enron, Learned how to work the internet

Access Information

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Transcript: No transcript available

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