Interview with Leonard Bechet about his profession as a dentist
Title: Interview with Leonard Bechet about his profession as a dentist Date recorded: April 4, 1949 to April 14, 1949 Contributor(s): Performer: Lomax, Alan; Performer: Bechet, Leonard; Recordist: Lomax, Alan
Note: Leonard Bechet discusses his career as a dentist, a trade he learned apprenticing for several doctors around New Orleans. Dr. Wallace Wood, the dean of the Tulane Dental School, employed him and bought Leonard his first trombone. He couldn't go to college due to his skin color, but he was brought before the college board, proved his expertise and his commitment (as he had volunteered his services to orphans' homes and the "colored" community), and was given a certificate to practice dentistry.
About the session: Interviews with Dr. Leonard Bechet at his home in New Orleans. A dentist by trade and occasional trombonist, Bechet was the older brother of renowned clarinetist Sidney Bechet. He recalls the Bechet family's opinion of Sidney's involvement with the hot jazz circles, the differences between the Creole and black social scenes, pre-jazz Creole music, and discusses his current profession of dentistry. He led the Silver Bells Brass Band, featuring Sidney, until World War I and was a member of the Young Superior Brass Band in the 1920s.
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