|Genres:||Pop / Rock|
|Decades:||1980s 1990s 2000s|
24 October 1938, Ninety Six, South Carolina, USA. Both Popes parents were musical, his mother playing piano and organ in church, his father a trombonist and drummer. The family moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, when he was still a small child and from the age of 14, he studied at the Midway and Granoff schools of music. An admirer of Lester Young, Miles Davis, McCoy Tyner, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, Pope became proficient on tenor saxophone, flute, bass clarinet, oboe and piano. As a teenager, he worked with Lee Morgan, and was asked by John Coltrane to take his place for him in the Jimmy Smith Trio (Coltrane was leaving to join Davis and still had two weeks of his contract to fulfil). In 1964, Pope was briefly with Chet Baker and the following year he began a spell playing in the house band at the Uptown Theater in Philadelphia, backing artists such as Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, and the Temptations. In these early...