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Quincy Jones refused to work with Elvis Presley because he felt that the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll was racist.
“I was writing for [bandleader] Tommy Dorsey, oh God, back then in the ’50s. And Elvis came in, and Tommy said, ‘I don’t want to play with him.’ He was a racist motherf—er. I’m going to shut up now,” the music legend told the Hollywood Reporter for “THR Icons” series.
Meanwhile, Jones said he also suffered through a racist experience with Truman Capote while producing the score for the movie adaptation of Capote’s “In Cold Blood.”
“[Capote] called [director] Richard Brooks up, he said, ‘Richard, I can’t understand you using a Negro to write music to a film with no people of color in it’,” Jones alleged.
“Richard said, ‘F–k you, he’s doing the score.’ I did, and I got nominated for an Oscar.”
Jones also told the trade about his experiences dealing with racism very early in his career.
He said that show business in general was “was very, very racist” early in his career.
“I remember I would be at Universal walking down the hall, and the guys would say, “Here comes a schwartze’ in Yiddish. And I know what that means. It’s like the N-word.”
Jones has worked with everyone from Michael Jackson to Frank Sinatra, Celine Dion and Aretha Franklin — just to name a few. He is one of 16 people to have achieved the quote-unquote “grand slam of show business” or EGOT — by winning Grammy, Emmy, Oscar and Tony awards.
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