Vernon “Pops” Buford

Tenor saxophone.

Born in Seatttle and raised in Oakland, where he studied with Jerome Richardson, Buford returned to Seattle in 1946 with the Ernie Lewis band and played with Bumps Blackwell at the Washington Social Club, Ray Charles at the Black Elks Club and with Floyd Standifer and Quincy Jones at the Madison “Y.” In the 1950s, Pops worked downtown with pianist Winfield King at the Textile and in 1957 he was in the debut band at Pete’s Poop Deck. Buford’s big, throaty sound also made him popular on the burgeoning rock’n’roll scene at Ft. Lewis in the ’50s. A 1977 stroke sidelined Pops’ career as a musician.

Jackson Street After Hours (print).