Cannonball Adderley


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Julian Edwin Adderley
(September 15, 1928 - August 8, 1975)

Nicknamed "Cannonball" which was a mispronunciation of his real nickname. His original nickname was "Cannibal" because of his momentous appetite. But someone said "Cannonball" by mistake when he was being introduced his first night on stage and that is the name that stuck.

He was a teacher, a bandleader, a composer, a producer, a philosopher and a maker of legendary gumbo. He was also a civil rights activist, a diabetic who smoked four packs of Pell Mell cigarettes a day, and he suffered his first stoke at the age of 29.

Recently, one of Cannonball's close friends and a former band member, George Duke, said that Cannonball chose to live richly rather than long. He was recorded on more than 120 albums and performed with some of the biggest names in the music industry-from Quincy Jones to The Who.

To learn more about this prodigious and complicated man, explore this site and make sure you follow some of the links in the resources section. Also watch for the documentary film on Cannonball Adderley currently in production with The Documentary Institute at the University of Florida. The film is set to be completed in April 2001.

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© Copyright 2000 Angela Dean Vigil
Last revised: 11-26-2000