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Al Hibbler

A distinctive baritone singer who came into prominence with the Duke Ellington Orchestra in the 1940s, and scored a hit later with his version of the song “Unchained Melody.”

Albert Hibbler was born in August of 1915 in the little town of Tyro, Mississippi. In 1927 his family moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, and Hibbler who had been born blind studied music at the Conservatory for the Blind in that city and sang with his church choir.

He first vocalized with local territory bands in Arkansas and Oklahoma such as Dub Jenkins. In 1942 he won a talent contest in Memphis, and was asked to join the band of Kansas City pianist Jay McShann which included future jazz legend Charlie Parker. His first record was with McShann with the tune “Get Me On Your Mind” for Decca Records.

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