Leonard Gayton


Gayton was a colorful drummer and vocalist (who sang through a megaphone) on Seattle’s ’20s jazz scene. In 1926, at Garfield High School, he and Evelyn Bundy started the Garfield Ramblers. In 1929, Gayton played in the band that opened Charlie Louie’s speakeasy, the Chinese Gardens, at Seventh Avenue South and South King Street, and was arrested there in 1931 during a much-publicized federal raid. After that, he married Emma Pigford and settled down to a “respectable” life as a scion in one of the most prominent African-American pioneer families of Seattle.

Jackson Street After Hours (print); https://www.historylink.org/File/3749