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Truck Parham Dies at 91

Bassist Truck Parham, a longtime fixture in the Chicago trad-jazz scene, died on June 5 at his home (in Chicago), at the age of 91.

Born as Charles Valdez Parham on Jan. 25, 1911, Parham had a long and distinguished career in music that spanned several eras, playing and recording with many jazz legends. A successful athlete in his early days, Parham doubled as a professional football player with the Chicago Negro All Stars and as a boxer before turning to music. Although he began his musical career as a drummer, Parham switched to tuba and then was one of the first to make the transition from tuba to string bass in the 1930s, studying with legendary Count Basie bass player Walter Page.

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