Wendell Phillip Culley in Count Basie Orchestra

    The journey to find pictures of my Grand Uncle Wendell Culley has truly become fruitful.  I have searched the World Wide Web, searched e-bay, looked at online photo’s of band’s Wendell played in, traveled to Worcester, MA and Washington D.C to search libraries and archives, and even made requests from family members to search their personal photo collections.  I was met with some success and some disappointments.  My greatest success came when I connected with Armin Büttner, the writer and researcher for CROWNPROPELLER’S Blog. (Click Link to see blog)
     I came across a post featuring Lionel Hampton and his Orchestra.  In the photo that was posted, Wendell Culley was situated in the back with the Trumpet section.  When I inquired about the photo, I was granted permission to share on my blog for my family history.  I was so thrilled with this, and with much surprise was sent another photo of a close-up with Wendell.  Check out this post Wendell Culley: Treasure Chest Thursday.
    When I thought Christmas was over, I received another email with a photo attachment of Wendell Culley from the “Otto Flueckiger Collection.”
Wendell P. Culley
photo by Ernest Zwonicek via the Flueckiger Collection
Photo possibly taken in Geneva, Switzerland, 1956

Wendell Culley played trumpet with the Count Basie Orchestra from 1951-1959.

Other photo’s and story of Wendell and the Count Basie Orchestra on the Crownpropeller Blog (Link)

     Here are a couple more photo’s of Wendell Culley by Ernest Zwonicek via the Flueckiger Collection”

Benny Powell (???), Wendell Culley, Marshall Royal
Count Basie, Wendell Culley, and others.
Joe Williams
At the train station
Others may or may not be band members.
(If you can identify anyone please contact Crownpropeller’s Blog)

In regular and on-going research, I came across one of the passenger lists of 1956 of Count Basie’s Orchestra. I was hoping that it was the travel record of the Basie Orchestra to Geneva Switzerland in 1956, but the one below is to Prestwick, Scotland.  I hope that eventually the passenger lists will be posted on ancestry.com.

Travel Record of Count Basie Orchestra
Prestwick, Scotland
Driggs Collection

I have another blog: The Cully Family-An African American Legacy that will include a detailed history of Wendell Culley and all of his siblings.  This blog is currently being worked on, so check back often.

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