Al at 17 on first Gig This was my first steady gig as a bassist in 1936. I was all of 17 years old. My Mother paid $125.00 for that first bass (note how elequently the bridge waves bye bye).

When I worked at the B&C club, it was my first close encounter with gays. They weren't even called gays then. It was another more derogatrory name I won't use here.

There was Priscilla, a big linebacker type about 6' tall and 250 lbs. He worked at the auto factories and foundries but was subsequently fired for consorting with the men in the locker room. Then there was Peggy Joyce. Peggy was class, fine silk shirts, slacks and loafers and, subtle makeup. Peggy as about 5' 5" with smooth dark brown complection. He performed a kind of Marlena Dietrich act. No real voice. The club would buzz when he went into the ladies room. Dry was Truman Capote in black. Same size and a faint resemblance. I never knew any other name just "Dry". He sang in a high tenor voice. He was the diva of the B&C.

I also remember Rocking Chair. Rocking Chair did a song and dance act and thought he was a flame until he met Rubber Legs Williams. Rubber Legs Williams was a show business legend. He was 5'8" and about 200 lbs. of what looked like fat but he was strong as two men. Rubber Legs used to do a dance in which he turned his feet at awkward angles and slither all over the stage. He once sang on a Charlie Parker record and appeared with the Basie Orchestra. He was known for his strength and once picked Ben Webster up and sat him on the bar. He once grabbed a cop in N.Y.C., threw the cop's gun and stick out into the street and preceeded to beat the cop's ass while screaming "don't mess with Mother Rubber". Back at the B&C, Rocking Chair thought he would be cute and "go" at it with Rubber Legs. When he was through, Rubber said "That ain't all honey" and grabber Rocking Chair and tore him up...

"People ask my wife what college I attended. I tell them the one behind the Bass looking out at the world."

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photograph copyright Al McKibbon restoration by BobLeeDesign
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