The sweet saxophone of Charlie Parker became legendary in jazz music, but the Kansas City hometown talent had a rocky life, with musical highlights and the lows of heroin addiction.
In the first part of Thursday's Up to Date, we talk with KCUR’s Chuck Haddix about Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker, the new biography he’s written on Parker. We’ll examine the stories it brings to light about the troubled but talented musician, his meteoric rise and his steep fall.
To Rebecca Pryor, her grandfather Charlie was a kind of Pied Piper. Everywhere he went, he made music that thrilled listeners.
Charlie Pryor was a percussionist, specializing in drum set, xylophone and a homemade musical washboard supped up with cowbells and horns. When she was little, Charlie took Rebecca with him to play at churches, and he played at her school's assemblies.