Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Inventory

University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Florence "Bu" Pleasant Collection, 1911-1989



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Pleasant, Florence "Bu," 1933-1989
Title: Florence "Bu" Pleasant Collection
Dates: 1911-1989
Abstract: Scrapbooks, photos, clippings, and a diary comprise the Florence “Bu” Pleasant Collection, 1911-1989, which documents Corpus Christi born pianist Bu Pleasant and her family.
Accession No.: 2009-202
Extent: 6 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Florence “Bu” Pleasant was born on July 23, 1933 to Atlee and Euleh Chapman. Her father, a politician and businessman, owned a chain of liquor stores and a dance hall, where a teenaged Pleasant played piano with musicians such as Nat King Cole, Big Joe Turner, T-Bone Walker, and Count Basie. She graduated from a Catholic, San Antonio boarding school and won a music scholarship to Xavier College in Louisiana. However, she dropped out of school after only two years, married, had a child, and was widowed in quick succession. She then played piano for Arnett Cobb and his Mobb, touring with them for several years, mostly on the east coast. In 1954, her father was shot and killed by her mother during a domestic dispute. Pleasant returned home for the funeral, but left to continue her music career, losing touch with the rest of her family. Her brother tracked her down in 1956 and asked her to move to San Francisco to help care for their mother who still remained in a state of shock. Pleasant moved to the west coast, where she survived a near fatal car accident. In 1958 she moved back to the east coast, taught herself the organ, and played in clubs around New Jersey through the 1960s. In the late 1970s she moved back to Corpus Christi and remarried. In 1988 she was inducted into the Texas Jazz Archives. Pleasant continued to play the piano regularly in piano bars throughout the 1980s until her death in 1989 at 55, of emphysema and bone cancer.

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Scope and Contents

Scrapbooks, photos, clippings, and a diary comprise the Florence “Bu” Pleasant Collection, 1911-1989, which documents Corpus Christi born pianist Bu Pleasant and her family. The collection consists primarily of photographs of Pleasant’s family as well as two family scrapbooks. The collection also contains some postcards, her aunt’s diary, a notebook belonging to her aunt, and a high school diploma.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted access.

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Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Pleasant, Bu.
Subjects
Jazz piano.
Places
Corpus Christi (Tex.).

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Related Material

Additional Bu Pleasant materials available at the Houston Metropolitan Research Center.

Florence "Bu" Pleasant Collection at the Houston Metropolitan Research Center.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Florence "Bu" Pleasant Collection, 1911-1989, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Megan Mummey, August 2009.

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Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Inventory

box
3H161 Clippings, 1982-1989
Alberta Chapman Filmere, Five-year diary, 1940-1945
Alberta Chapman’s notebook, 1911
Postcards, undated
Certificate of Lifelong Citizenship of Corpus Christi given to Alberta Chapman Filmere, June 12, 1975
box
3So14a Wade Douglass Turner’s High School Diploma from Phyllis Wheatley High School in San Antonio, May 25, 1934
box
2.325/D47b Florence “Bu” Pleasant Family Scrapbook, undated
box
2.325/D47c Florence “Bu” Pleasant Family Scrapbook, undated
box
3Y554 Photograph removed from Alberta Filmere’s Five-year diary, undated
Photographs, 1910s-1960s
8x10 negative of Bu Pleasant, undated

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