Oral Histories

Interview of Buddy Collette

Jazz flute, saxophone, and clarinet player. Advocate for the amalgamation of the black musicians’ local union, Local 767 and white musicians’ union, Local 47.
Central Avenue Sounds: Buddy Collette
Central Avenue Sounds Oral History Project
African American History
Biographical Note:
Jazz flute, saxophone, and clarinet player. Advocate for the amalgamation of the black musicians’ local union, Local 767 and white musicians’ union, Local 47.
Isoardi, Steven L.
Collette, Buddy
Persons Present:
Collette and Isoardi.
Place Conducted:
Collette's home in Los Angeles, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Steven L. Isoardi, UCLA Oral History Program; B.A., Government, University of San Francisco; M.A., Government, University of San Francisco; M.A., Political Science, UCLA; Ph.D., Political Science, UCLA.Isoardi prepared for the interviews by consulting jazz histories, autobiographies, oral histories, relevant jazz periodicals, documentary films, and back issues of the California Eagle and the Los Angeles Sentinel.
Processing of Interview:
Alex Cline, editor, edited the interview. He checked the verbatim transcript of the interview against the original tape recordings, edited for punctuation, paragraphing, and spelling, and verified proper names. Whenever possible, Cline checked the proper names of nightclubs against articles and advertisements in back issues of the California Eagle. Words and phrases inserted by the editor have been bracketed.Collette reviewed the transcript. He verified proper names and made minor corrections and additions.Teresa Barnett, senior editor, prepared the table of contents. David P. Gist, editor, prepared the biographical summary and interview history. Vimala Jayanti, editor, compiled the index.
17 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Series Statement:
Interviews in this series preserve the spoken memories of individuals, mainly musicians, who were raised near and/or performed on Los Angeles's Central Avenue from the late 1920s to the mid-1950s.
Marries and studies to be a musician on the G.I. Bill--Meets Bill Green and his friends--Benny Carter and his band--Begins studying flute--Forms the Community Symphony Orchestra.
More on the Community Orchestra--Josephine Baker-Amalgamation of black and white locals of the American Federation of musicians--Plays a flute solo in the Community Symphony Orchestra--Jerry Fielding signs him on as a band member on "You Bet Your Life"--Being refused service in restaurants.
Collette's music schools and teachers--Playing at the Crystal Tea Room--Young players in the forties--More on Benny Carter--Collette's sound--Experiences discrimination in the South--Importance of teamwork in a band--Eric Dolphy--More on Merle Johnston.
More on Eric Dolphy--Frank Morgan--Joseph Schillinger's rhythmic system--Sonny Criss--Dexter Gordon.
Recording opportunities in Los Angeles in the forties and early fifties--Meets Nelson Riddle--Frank Sinatra--Marital difficulties--More on amalgamation of the two locals in the American Federation of Musicians.
More on the amalgamation--Working with women in the union--Current conditions for African-Americans in the union and the music industry--Plays for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)--Jerry Fielding blacklisted from the music industry.