Ken Leighton 7 a.m., May 5
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Walter “Rosetta” Fuller learned mellophone as a child before settling on trumpet. He played in a traveling medicine show from age 14, then played with Sammy Stewart in the late 1920s. He moved to Chicago in 1930 and played with Irene Eadie and Her Vogue Vagabonds. He began a longtime partnership with Earl Hines in 1931, before departing to form his own band.
Fuller’s band opened the 1940s by playing at the Grand Terrace in Chicago and the Radio Room in Los Angeles. Among his sidemen were Rozelle Claxton, Quinn Wilson, Omer Simeon, and Gene Ammons. He led bands on the West Coast for over a decade and played as a side trumpeter and vocalist for many years afterward.
The nickname “Rosetta” stems from his singing on the 1934 Earl Hines recording of the song “Rosetta.” Fuller died in April 2003.