Written by
Bob Stumpel

December 6

Ray Charles Part Of Oral History Project At USF (1977 – 1978)

'77 DM USF

In the summer of 1947, 16 years old, Ray Charles tried to make a living in Tampa, partly succeeding by playing piano (“for a few days”) with a C&W band, The Florida Playboys).
In 1977 and 1978 Otis Anthony interviewed about ninety civil rights pioneers and members of Tampa’s black community for the Tampa Urban League. Some of them talked about music, and the Tampa honky-tonk bars, and gave first-person accounts of Ray Charles when he got his start in Tampa.
The tapes were relegated to Anthony’s garage, but were recently restored and digitized by USF Professor Cheryl Rodriguez, and are now archived in the USF library. Hear this.


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