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Needham Author Carmen Fields: Going Back to T-Town: The Ernie Fields Territory Big Band

November 14, 2023 @ 7:30 pm 8:30 pm

There was a time when countless young people in the Midwest, South, and Southwest went to dances and stage shows to hear a territory band play. Territory bands traveled from town to town, performing jazz and swing music, and Tulsa-based musician Ernie Fields (1904–97) led one of the best. In Going Back to T-Town, Ernie’s daughter, Carmen Fields, tells a story of success, disappointment, and perseverance extending from the early jazz era to the 1960s. This is an enlightening account of how this talented musician and businessman navigated the hurdles of racial segregation during the Jim Crow era.

A devoted husband and family man, Ernie Fields also respected and appreciated his fellow musicians. The book includes a “Roll Call” of his organization’s members, based on notes he kept about them. Going Back to T-Town is a priceless source of information for historians of American popular music and African American history.

Carmen Fields is an Emmy Award–winning broadcast news journalist who currently produces and hosts the public affairs program Higher Ground on WHDH-TV, Boston. She co-anchored WGBH’s Ten O’Clock News from 1987 to 1991 and wrote the script for the American Experience documentary “Goin’ Back to T-Town” (1993).

Sponsored by the Needham Free Public Library – Books available for Purchase and Autographing at conclusion of presentation. Registration is required for this event.


November 14, 2023
7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
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Needham Free Public Library
781-455-7559 ext. 223
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Needham Free Public Library

1139 Highland Ave
Needham Heights, 02494
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