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Fans Remember Scamps Bass Player Oscar "Lucky" Wesley

Kansas City recently lost one of the pillars of the jazz community. Oscar "Lucky" Wesley died on March 27, 2010, at the age of 82.

By Susan B. Wilson

Kansas City, MO – Known by all as "Lucky," Wesley was a bass player and vocalist with the Scamps for almost forty years.

Wesley started out as a trumpet player. He served in the Air Force, where he led a 17-piece band in the late 1940's. Lucky Wesley was influenced by Count Basie, and went on to form a group called the Five Aces. He later played with the legendary Kansas City pianist Jay McShann.

Wesley's upright bass was strung with gut, not steel strings. He could make rooms resonate with a mellow bass line that was part of a distinct Kansas City jazz sound.

A recent memorial at the Phoenix Jazz Club downtown was packed with friends, family and fellow musicians. KCUR's Susan B. Wilson was there.

Oscar "Lucky" Wesley was buried this weekend in Mount Moriah Cemetary.

This story was produced for KC Currents. To listen on your own schedule, subscribe to the KC Currents Podcast.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Susan admits that her “first love” was radio, being an avid listener since childhood. However, she spent much of her career in mental health, healthcare administration, and sports psychology (Susan holds a PhD in clinical psychology from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Bloch School of Business at UMKC.) In the meantime, Wilson satisfied her journalistic cravings by doing public speaking, providing “expert” interviews for local television, and being a guest commentator/contributor to KPRS’s morning drive time show and the teen talk show “Generation Rap.”
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