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