Preston, Cass

Part 1 of 2 was recorded at the base of Tumamoc Hill in Tucson, Arizona on January 10th, 2019. It covers the following themes: 

b. 1929 

  • Family. Father’s job as janitor at Dunbar School. 

  • Importance of playing and listening to music growing up. Playing music at The Beehive. Tucson’s jazz scene. 

  • Childhood near the South Park neighborhood. Walking downtown to the movies. Segregation in theaters and at restaurants. Description of Meyer Avenue and Sabino Alley in the 1930s and 1940s.  

  • Lack of educational opportunities and mentorship at Dunbar. Father’s job at Desert Sanitorium and Postal Service. 

  • Neighborhoods. 

  • Picking up Louie Armstrong from the airport. Music scene and venues of the 1940s and 1950s. 

  • Great Depression, food, church, and community. 

  • Tucson High in the 1940s, socializing, work, and sports. 

  • Scholarship to ASU, flunking ROTC, and a lost scholarship. Serving with the US Air Force in England. Playing music with Jamaicans. 

  • Attending UA in the 1950s, studying physical education. Music in the fifties. 


Part 2 of 2 was recorded at the base of Tumamoc Hill in Tucson, Arizona on February 7th, 2019. It covers the following themes: 

  • Preston’s UA experience. 

  • Teaching PE and gymnastics at Pueblo from late 1950 to 1989. Working for TUSD. 

  • Playing with Cass Preston and the Individuals.  

  • Meeting wife and getting married in California because Arizona banned interracial marriage. Discrimination across Preston’s life. 

  • Changes in jazz. 


PeopleAengus Anderson