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The Arts Foundation Of Olde Towne is a neighborhood based, Arts & Humanities incubator that serves to host and produce projects that are about, or initiated by residents from the Near East Area of the City Of Columbus, Ohio.

Bobby Pierce

Bobby Pierce
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio
Instrument: piano
Description: Playing the piano by the age of four, Pierce was part of a musical connection that reaches for decades between Champion Junior High School and East High School. In 1958, Champion Jr. High teacher James Linear switched Bobby from piano to the upright bass. "I lived on Monroe Avenue. You should have seen Geoff Tyus and me hustling from Champion Junior High School to Monroe Avenue carrying this huge upright bass," Pierce is quoted ... He on one end and me on the other. It was one hell of a hike and must have been some sight." At East High School, Ted Turner recognized Pierce's talent and worked to develop it.

Pierce became interested in the organ because of his job at Tyler's Drug Store, which used to stand on the corner of Twentieth and Mt. Vernon Ave.. Diagonally across the street stood Skurdy's Showbar, where Organist James "Uncle Dave" Davis and Ronnie (Rahsaan Roland) Kirk played frequently. Pierce would stand outside and listen. "In fact," laughs Pierce,"that's how I lost my job at Tyler's...standing outside Skurdy's, listening to music when I was supposed to be delivering prescriptions."

* Both quotes are reprinted courtesy of Mahogany Magazine from an article entitled Bobby Pierce: After Touring With Giants, Home Again, by Jim Robinson
Pictured L-R: Bobby Pierce - piano, Sonny McBroom - saxophone
From the collection of: Arnett Howard

For a glossy print of this image refer to ID# ARC11-25

©2000 A.F.O.O.T.