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Oprah: Tell me about the time you asked Clark Terry to teach you to play the trumpet.

Quincy: Back then, Clark was working the northwest circuit, so every day after school I'd go see him. I bothered him to death about teaching me—same with Ray Charles later. So Clark finally showed me how to hold my horn so I could play high notes. By the time he got home from the clubs, it was six in the morning, but he'd get up and show me how to play.

Oprah: When did you first meet Ray Charles?

Quincy: At a club called the Rocking Chair in Washington. When Ray moved to Seattle [in 1947], his name spread like a plague. He was 16 and already he could sing like Charles Brown and Nat Cole, and Nat was the king. When Ray would sing songs like "I Love You for Sentimental Reasons," the girls would fall down. And he played jazz, too: bebop alto. We'd play our white gigs from seven to ten at night—the money gigs—then we'd go to the black clubs till one in the morning.

Oprah: And you were impressed with Ray because at 16 he had his own apartment and a woman.

Quincy: And his own record player—oh, baby. I thought it would be great to have my own place like Ray's—and to have a honey up there in it instead of Elvera!

Oprah: How did you keep from becoming depressed in Elvera's house?

Quincy: I told myself I would get out. I didn't know how, but I was sure that I would.

Oprah: While you were still in Washington, didn't you fall in love—with Jeri Caldwell—for the first time?

Quincy: I'd been in love before—I was always in love.

Oprah: But your first serious love was Jeri?

Quincy: No, Gloria Jenkins.

Oprah: But Jeri was the first major love, right?

Quincy: She's the first one I married.

Oprah: Today, we're only going to hit the major loves, Q—just the top 10!

Quincy: Jeri hit on me first. Back then I was dogging it up, and Jeri and her sister were the hotsy-totsies at school. I noticed that she stopped at the water fountain every day—the dog squad is real good at noticing patterns. My daughters have since taught me that guys think their rap is so strong that women can't resist—but that's not it: A girl has a guy spotted a year before he even knows she's there!

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