At times his theatrics prompted white bistro owners to arouse the badge to avoid what they feared would be agitation by agitated teenagers. Some of Mr. McNeely’s adolescent African-Americans additionally banned of his over-the-top displays, abstention them as uncouth.
“I played with Nat King Cole up in Oakland one time, and I came on powerhouse, the army was screaming,” Mr. McNeely told LA Weekly in 2016. “I ran into him after that night at Bop City, an after-hours spot, and he said, ‘You’ll never assignment with me again.’
“I anticipation he was joking. He wasn’t.”
The artist Amiri Baraka detected article added confusing — and culturally added acute — than bald anarchy in Mr. McNeely’s performances. In his book “Blues People: Negro Music in White America” (1963), he wrote that he heard Mr. McNeely’s arrant riffs as a “black scream,” an announcement of individuality and beef in the face of ancestral oppression.
Cecil James McNeely was built-in on April 29, 1927, the youngest of three boys, in the Watts adjacency of Los Angeles. His father, Dillard, was a porter on a amphibian bank anchored off the Santa Monica coast. His mother, Armonia, a Native American, fabricated Indian blankets and quilts that
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