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Lee, Everett, Jr. and Sylvia Olden
Birth Year : 1916
Everett Lee (1916- ), from Wheeling, WV, was the first African American to direct a white orchestra, the Louisville Philharmonic in 1953; the audience was integrated. Everett was also the first African American to conduct a Broadway show. He was the husband of Sylvia O. Lee (1917-2004), who was born in Mississippi. She was a pianist and vocal coach, the first African American professional musician at the New York Metropolitan Opera. Sylvia's paternal grandfather, George Olden, had served in the Union Army when he was a teen after running away from slavery at the Oldham Plantation in Oldham County, KY. Her father, Rev. J. C. Olden, was living in Louisville, KY, when he arranged for Everett to conduct the Louisville Philharmonic. For more see "Schiller Institute Dialogue with Sylvia Olden Lee, Pianist and Vocal Coach," 02/07/1998, [reprinted from Fidelio Magazine, vol. 7, issue 1 (Spring 1998)]; and W. M. Cheatham, "Lady Sylvia speaks," Black Music Research Journal, vol. 16, issue 1 (Spring 1996), pp. 183-213.
See photo image of James C. Olden and his then son-in-law, Everett Lee, at the Courier-Journal.com "Black History Month | 1953 Everett Lee," 02/01/2010.
Subjects: Freedom, Musicians, Opera, Singers, Song Writers, Grandparents
Geographic Region: Wheeling, West Virginia / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky / Mississippi / New York / Oldham County, Kentucky