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“Band Leader Sadly Recalls FDR Favorites,” April 13, 1945

(The following is article appeared on p. 14 of the April 13, 1945 issue of the Atlanta Constitution.)

Band Leader Sadly Recalls FDR Favorites

Warm Springs, Ga., April 12. CPO Graham W. Jackson, Negro band leader, was preparing to put on a command performance before President Roosevelt a short time before he died. Jackson, now in the Navy, is well known in Atlanta as a band leader.

Jackson said that the appearance today, it it had gone on, would have been his 24th appearance before the President. He said he had been appearing with his band here at Warm Springs even before Mr. Roosevelt became President.

One of the President’s favorite requests, Jackson said, was “How Sweet Is the Air.” Another of his old favorites was “Home on the Range.” He said that the President’s tastes covered a wide range of music, classical, semi-classical and popular.

“The President often complimented me on my music,” said Jackson sadly. “I think he would have wanted the show to go on, but that, of course, was impossible. We had just finished our rehearsal and were getting ready to go to the Little White House when we received news of his death. But I hope to continue to give performances here at the Foundation. It’s a great pleasure to me.”

Mrs. R.M. Fowler, who runs the store and bus station at Warm Springs, said:

“We all have really lost a friend. He always had a smile for everybody. I remember the time when he was here several years ago to dedicate our community house. A lot of secret servicemen surrounded him, but he asked them to move away, saying ‘the people here are all my friends.’ That how he felt about it and that’s how we felt about him.”

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Graham Jackson Playing the Accordion in front of Georgia Hall, Apr. 13, 1945
Source: Roosevelt/Warm Springs

Atlanta Constitution, April 13, 1945