By Joel Francis
Buck O’Neil, Negro Leagues baseball player and ambassador of all things good, died at age 90 three years ago this month. Today we pay tribute to Buck by reprinting his longest music-only interview.
I spoke to Buck as an undergrad back in the summer of 1998 while freelancing for the Kansas City Blues Society. For some reason the article never made it into “Blues News,” and it languished until Ken Burns premiered his “Jazz” documentary series in 2001. I was working for The Examiner in Independence, Mo. at the time. They were all too happy to run my interview.
The day photographer and I took the picture that accompanied the story (not the one that appears online), we met Buck at the Blue Room then hit Arthur Bryant’s around the corner. Now *that’s* Kansas City.