A colorful and versatile musician who was comfortable while on the piano, or stretching out on the Hammond organ. Milt Buckner was also quite the character and very much the jovial entertainer.
Orphaned as a child, Buckner was taught music by an uncle in Detroit. He started playing piano and arranging for local bands such as The Harlem Aristocrats and The Dixie Whangdoodles - by the late 1920s. After joining drummer Don Cox's band in 1932, Buckner began experimenting with patterned parallel chords, becoming famous as the earliest purveyor of what came to be known as block chords or locked hands style;, he then attracted the attention of McKinney's Cotton Pickers in 1934 for whom he wrote arrangements.