Froebel “Fro” Brigham, namesake of the Fro Brigham Preservation Band, 1981. In the 1950s, Brigham booked the Creole Palace in downtown San Diego. Billie Holiday, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington may have performed paying gigs elsewhere when in town, but afterward they’d show up at the Creole Palace and play with whatever band was booked that night.
According to Jacqueline Cogdell DjeDje and Eddie S. Meadows (authors of California Soul), Brigham “was probably one of the earliest jazz musicians to organize a band to preserve a jazz tradition. In a 1995 interview, Brigham stated: ‘In the [Navy] barracks some of us would sit around and talk about preserving 100 years of music — I started one [a band] in New Orleans. I named my band Preservation….’”
Years later, in San Diego, he’d use that name again., with the group spending several years as the house band at Pal Joey's.