I had the qualifications, but I was not chosen.
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I gathered that those two Big-shot Boys, Joe + Fletcher, just was afraid to let me sing, thinking maybe I'd sort of ruin their reputations with their musical public. They not knowing that I had been singing all of my life. In churches, etc. I had one of the finest All Boys Quartets that ever walked the streets of New Orleans.
I was born on the other side of the tracks, in public housing in Brooklyn, New York. My dad never made more than $20,000 a year, and I grew up in a family that lost health insurance. So I was scarred at a young age with understanding what it was like to watch my parents lose access to the American dream.