Fletcher Hoodi e Myatt

Born: May 21, 1922 Selma, AL

Jazz Drums, Vocals

Inducted into Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in 1980

Source: Alabama Music Hall of Fame

 

 

In 1935 Sun Ra (born Herman Poole Blount) completed a year of musical studies at Alabama A&M University in Huntsville with part of his tuition covered by S. F. Harris, who sponsored further studies for numerous Industrial graduates. He continued to lead his own swing band, now the Sonny Blount Orchestra, in competition with Whatley's ensembles. While Whatley's band often played for white audiences, Blount's group performed almost exclusively for African-American patrons. In its later incarnations, the band included trumpeter Walter Miller, trombonist Nat Atkins, saxophonists George Woodruff, Frank Adams, Joe Alexander, and Warren Parham with Ivory Williams on bass and Fletcher Myatt on drums.

Territory bands couldn't count on recording then, and Alabama's top musicians didn't make it onto wax unless they moved to Chicago or New York. So those of us who weren't around then have no direct evidence of what the Sonny Blount band sounded like. There's just one surviving publicity photo of the band, and Sunny had only a Xerox of that in his possession. And though Sunny would rattle off the names of Alabama musicians in later interviews, it's hard to tell from what he said who was actually in his band. We do have some idea, though, who played in the last Sonny Blount Orchestra, a 12 piece aggregration. Walter Miller, trumpet; Nat Atkins, trombone; George "Jarhead" Woodruff, alto sax; Frank Adams, alto sax; Joe Alexander, tenor sax; Warren Parham, also in the sax section; Ivory Williams, bass; and Fletcher Myatt, drums and vocals. Most of these musicians are now in the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.

 

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