McCann, Les(born: 1935)
Born in Lexington, KY, Les McCann is a self-taught musician. He left Kentucky to join the Navy in the 1950s. In 1956, while still in the Navy, he won a talent contest for his singing, leading to his appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. McCann later formed a trio in Los Angeles. In 1960 he signed a contract with Pacific Jazz and recorded Les McCann Plays the Truth and The Shout. He was known for his piano playing style, and on the successful album, Swiss Movement, McCann emphasized his singing. He suffered a stroke in the 1990s, but returned to singing and playing. In 2002 he was included in the recording of Pump It Up. For more see Les McCann Biography, and Biographical Dictionary of Afro-American African Musicians, by E. Southern.