Eugene Haynes Jr. was born in East Saint Louis at his parent’s home on Missouri Ave. Mr. Haynes was a self-taught musical prodigy whose talents became clear at the young age of four. Upon graduating from Lincoln Senior high, he attended Julliard School of Music. Here he would welcome his hometown friend Miles Davis. As a classical pianist, Haynes made his debut at Carnegie Hall in 1958. His performance would prove so electrifying that he would be asked to perform later that same year at the World’s Fair in Brussels, Belgium.
His artistry was praised not only in the U. S., but also in Europe and South America. The celebrated Isador Philipp called him, “One of the greatest musical talents America has produced.” His career in music was multifaceted, including work as a composer, a radio host, and professor. Upon his retirement, he returned to live in his hometown of East Saint Louis. One of his last performances was in 2005 at Antioch Baptist Church in Saint Louis, MO. This great musical talent departed this life in 2007.
Find more of your local heroes in Legendary East St. Louisans: An African American Series, http://amzn.to/29Bs21o.