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Audio recording clip of Interview with Simeon Holloway by Claytee D. White, April 19 and April 20, 2013

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Part of an interview with Simeon Holloway by Claytee D. White, April 19, 2013. Holloway tells of receiving honorary music degree from the School of Music in Norfolk, Virginia, 40 years after World War II in 1981.

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Simeon Holloway oral history interview, 2013 April 18. OH-00878. [Audio recording] Oral History Research Center, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Neva


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So once you were in this band and playing starting in 1942, so how did that end up for you? Was it just like being in the military? It was the military. We had strict rules. We had inspection of our instruments. It's all military. You got military pay and everything. I was a second class musician. I never got first, but it was good enough. I wanted to get out by that time. Then we left there. We was there I think I said about two and a half years. Then we went to Hawaii, a place called Manana Barracks. Now before—I must tell you this; you probably know it already—before I went in blacks washed pots and pans and were called mess attendants and that's what they did. As far as I know we were the first blacks in the history of the Navy who were not mess attendants going in the Navy, the first. And the sad part about it...a good friend of ours—I'll mention it later on—forty years later went to the School of Music in Norfolk, Virginia, and said I want to see about this black band. This is 40 years later, now. And they come in there and said, what do you mean? We're integrated; there's no such thing as a black band. He said Mister—his name is Skinner; he's dead now—I was in it; I played clarinet. He said there was no such thing as a black band. No, no, no. There's no history of us at all. Forty years we've been deceived. So later on, he kept on messing around and found something. So he said, hell, I guess there must have been a black band. So in 1981 there was a black history program in Norfolk, Virginia and we all came and got honorary degrees for the School of Music.