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Parker, Charlielocked

(29 August 1920–12 March 1955)
  • Ronald P. Dufour


Parker, Charlie (29 August 1920–12 March 1955), alto saxophonist and jazz composer, also nicknamed "Bird" and "Yardbird", alto saxophonist and jazz composer, also nicknamed “Bird” and “Yardbird,” was born Charles Christopher Parker in Kansas City, Kansas. His father, Charles Parker, Sr., toured black theaters as a singer on the TOBA circuit and later was a chef on the Pullman railroad line; his mother, Addie Boxley (surname uncertain), worked as a cleaning woman. Charles Sr. left the family sometime in the late 1920s, and Charlie saw him only a couple of times after that. In 1931, Parker moved with his mother to Kansas City, Missouri. Formerly a quiet, serious student, by the time he registered at Lincoln High School in 1932, he had become a chronic truant and uninterested in school. It was not for lack of love; his mother constantly doted on him....

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