This is an excerpt from Leroy Cooper's memoir as told to me back in 2007. The material is copyrighted by Susan Cross and cannot be copied, published or duplicated without permission.
Copyright Charles Wells Photography
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Leroy Cooper had a wonderful life. His musical accomplishments include about 20 years as baritone sax player and bandleader for Ray Charles.
In addition, he was a great story teller. I had the great honor of sitting wth him and listening to him recount his tales. Here is a little clip about how his interest in music first developed.
To see Leroy back in 1975 leading the Ray Charles Orchestra, click here:
You can hear Joe Adams introduce him. The man with the very large Afro hairstyle playing keyboards when Ray comes out is the magnificent Ernest Vantrease, a.k.a. The Deacon. Ernest was with Ray for about 30 years and now plays keyboards for B.B. King.