2015 Legacy Inductee

 

Ben Tucker

 

1930 - 2013


Ben Tucker was born on December 13, 1930 in Brentwood Tennessee. By the age of twelve, he began to develop his musical interest first on trumpet and later on the bass and quickly made a name for himself in Nashville. Following a stint in the Air Force, Ben settled in California, playing with Art Pepper and Shorty Rogers, among others, and was an integral participant in the legendary “Jazz of Two Cities.” By the early 1960's, he was regularly performing around the world and recording with such greats as Herbie Mann, Billy Taylor, Dexter Gordon, Buddy Rich, and Quincy Jones. He also wrote several award winning songs. Tucker moved to Savannah in 1971 and in 1972 purchased WSOK, the city’s first black owned radio station. He also owned WLVH FM. The stations were immensely successful during the 13 years he owned them. In 1989, Tucker opened Hard Hearted Hannah’s, a jazz club. He was not only the owner of the club, but he also led the band six nights a week. Over the years, Tucker served on the boards of several organizations. He was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to serve on the Selective Service Board and was reappointed by President Ronald Reagan. Tucker was asked to perform in Atlanta, Georgia for the 1996 Olympic Committee. He is also the creator of the Telfair Jazz Society in Savannah.  Ben Tucker died in 2013.


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