Walter Fuller played trumpet for Earl “Fatha” Hines when Earl, a pianist, formed his first big band in 1936. Walter gained fame as trumpet player and singer on several of the band’s hit recordings. During our interview, Walter spoke of working in clubs owned by mobsters, bringing the Chicago style of jazz to San Diego as early as 1947, and his career in the Southern California jazz scene. He was very humble about his significant role in racially integrating the San Diego chapter of the musicians union, stating that he would only join the board if they no longer separated black musicians in the back of their directory, but alphabetized all of their members in one list.
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