John "Fess" Whatley

Tuscaloosa County native John Tuggle "Fess" Whatley (c. 1895-1972) was a jazz musician and educator in the Birmingham, Jefferson County, area during the early twentieth century, mentoring such performers as Erskine Hawkins, Herman Blount (Sun Ra) , and Cleveland Eaton. Whatley joined Hawkins and Eaton in the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in 1991.

Courtesy of the Birmingham Public Library Archives