Houston Public Library, Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Florence "Bu" Pleasant Collection MSS.0336

Descriptive Summary

Creator Pleasant, Florence, 1933-1989
Title: Florence "Bu" Pleasant Collection
Dates: Bulk, 1940-1959
Dates: 1933-1988, 1940s-1950s
Identification: MSS.0336
Quantity: 0.5 Linear feet, 1small document box, 1 cassette tape
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library

Biographical Note

Florence Pleasant was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, on July 22, 1933. She and her brother had innate musical talent. Their father owned a dance hall, and their mother was a singer. Ms. Pleasant played piano and violin through high school. She gave up her scholarship to Xavier College in New Orleans after two years because of a burning desire to play bebop music.

Ms. Pleasant played with Arnett Cobb and His Mobb in San Antonio and joined him later in Chicago for two or three years of playing theater circuits, which culminated in appearances at the Apollo Theater and the Birdland Ballroom in New York City.

After teaching herself to play the organ, she finally embarked upon her own personal career as a performer. She left New York City in 1978 due to a relative’s illness, but thereafter performed on the West Coast.

Scope and Contents

The material in the Florence (Bu) Pleasant Collection chronicles the beginning of Ms. Pleasant's life and her musical career. The collection consists of a comprehensive taped interview of Ms. Pleasant on August 14, 1988. The interview is completely transcribed to 34 pages of text and housed with the Oral History Collection. There is also a promotional materials file and photographs.



  • Series 1: Oral History Interview
  • Series 2: Promotional Materials
  • Series 3: Photographs


Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Florence Pleasant Collection must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Index Terms

Charles, Ray, 1930-2004
Cobb, Arnett, 1918-1989
Pleasant, Atlee, 1926-
Pleasant, Florence, 1933-
Rhodes, George
Skylark (Nightclub : Corpus Christi, Tex.)
African American women
Jazz musicians--Texas--Houston

Related Material

MSS 345 Jimmy Ford Collection

MSS 322 Arnett Cobb Collection

MSS 252 Milton Larkin Collection

MSS 403 Illinois Jacquet Collection

MSS 337 Jewel Brown Collection

MSS 442 Herb Brochstein Collection

MSS 349 I.H. Smalley Collection

MSS 390 Campbell Tolbert Collection

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Florence Pleasant Collection. Collection Number MSS 336. Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library.

Acquisition Information

Donated by: Florence Pleasant, August 14, 1988.

Processing Information

Processing and biographical note by: Charles Stephenson, completed June 7, 2007.

Digitized Materials

OH 466, Florence Pleasant oral history interview

A portion of this collection has been digitized and is available through the Houston Area Digital Archives. Please view the digitized material at: http://digital.houstonlibrary.org/cdm/search/collection/archival/searchterm/Florence%20Pleasant/field/all/mode/all/conn/and/order/nosort/ad/asc

Other digitized material related to this collection is available at: http://digital.houstonlibrary.org/cdm/search/collection/images/searchterm/musicians/field/all/mode/all/conn/and/order/nosort/ad/asc

Detailed Description of the Collection


Oral History Interviews

Box Folder
1 1 Personal interview transcript, August 14, 1988
General note
A digital copy of the transcript, along with an audio file of the interview, is available here.
2 Duplicate, Personal interview transcript, August 14, 1988


Promotional Materials

Box Folder
1 3 Flyer: 1st Annual Jazz Heritage Festival at Old Market Square, Houston, Texas, August 12 and 13, 1988
Flyer: Avro Dutch Radio Orchestra at Rockefeller’s The Night Club, August 25, 1988
Jazz Heritage Society of Texas materials, 1988
Fact sheet, Inductees for the Texas Jazz Archives: Ed Gerlach; Milton Larkin; Jimmy Ford; Florence “Bu” Pleasant Conrad Johnson
Program schedule
Letter from Lynne Mieizwa about “Bu” Pleasant



Box Number
1 MSS 336.001 Florence “Bu” Pleasant and Jimmy Ford after induction into the Texas Jazz Archives
MSS 336.002 Florence “Bu” Pleasant
MSS 336.003 Florence “Bu” Pleasant