Key West’s King of Soul

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Robert Albury    “Key West’s King of Soul” Robert Albury, a homegrown Key West talent, grew up on the corner of Amelia and Whitehead Streets in Bahama Village, enjoying his older brother George’s singing. George toured with B.B. King for a short time before returning to Key West. Another brother, William, was a great singer […]

The management works tirelessly avoiding progress

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John Vagnoni    ” The management works tirelessly avoiding progress.” John Vagnoni grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and graduated from Temple University in 1969. He arrived in Key West in 1972, after the Navy had closed the submarine base (now Truman Annex) and Key West’s economy was devastated. Duval Street was mostly boarded up, rents were cheap, […]

Sam Cooke saved my life

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Les Greene   ”Sam Cooke saved his life.” Les Greene, youngest of three brothers and one sister, was born in Baltimore, Maryland but his family moved to Guyana where he lived until age nine and then, they returned to Baltimore. His mother, Pinky Greene, home schooled him. Interestingly, Guyana television stations did not broadcast commercials. Instead […]

Singing is like a natural high

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Raven Cooper  “Singing is like a natural high” Raven Cooper grew up in Hot Springs, Arkansas and was a competitive freestyle and butterfly swimmer and diver in high school. She began listening to Janis Joplin at an early age, and it was a major music influence. Her grandmother bought her a classical guitar while on a […]

Order The Soul of Key West, Volume III

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ORDER  Volume III At 120 pages, the book contains stories of 45 musicians and 193 photographs including tributes to Michael McCloud, Shel Silverstein, Ellen Welters Sanchez, and a Bill Blue/Caffeine Carl Soundcheck Ellegy. Also a Centerfold view of Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band at the Coffee Butler Amphitheater in 2023. Check out the […]

face is hurting from smiling so much

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Chris Burchard. – his face is hurting from smiling so much Born in Pittsburgh, PA, Chris Burchard spent time in California but his formative years were spent in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He began playing piano at six years old and received his first guitar in the 4th grade. Early in high school, he played […]

playing piano and accordion for 30 years in Key West

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Rob DiStasi Born to a large Italian family in Belleville, New Jersey, Rob started learning the accordion at five years old. Later he took piano lessons but they were overtaken by a larger interest in baseball. While in Belleville High School Rob’s music interest was renewed and he became part of the chorale group and […]

she bet on herself and is here to stay

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Collette Campbell – she bet on herself and is here to stay Collette Campbell and her two younger sisters Lauren and Katherine are from Rockville Center, Long Island, New York. Her mother Sue and father Joe, encouraged her to sing classical and opera and when she was in middle school, Collette began taking formal voice […]

Joe Tripp – A serious crooner

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Joe Tripp   “A serious crooner” Joseph Edward Tripp was born in Michigan but his family moved to Dunedin, Florida where he grew up. He had a few piano lessons early in life and had always loved singing. He went to Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee during the late 80’s, when karaoke was becoming popular. […]

Music was always his first love

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David Feder – Music was always his first love David Feder was born in Niagara Falls, New York. His father was in the military, and they lived in a few places but spent most of the time in Buffalo area. To David, Buffalo was a great place to grow up. It was a center for […]

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