Home / General / Gillespie ’64!

Gillespie ’64!



I was unaware of the Dizzy Gillespie for president campaign in 1964. His idea for Miles Davis as head of the CIA certainly would have made for a funkier agency by the late 60s. And who could oppose that?

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
  • Love it! People come to meetings in the CIA Director’s office, and Miles is sitting there with the chair’s back turned to them throughout the meeting. I would go see that movie.

    • Barry Freed

      People come to meetings in the CIA Director’s office, and Miles is sitting there with the chair’s back turned to them throughout the meeting.


  • howard

    wow, that’s two of us that didn’t know about diz’s campaign!

    i don’t have 35 minutes to check the performance right now, but later today (special note to scott: notice james moody on flute in diz’s band!).

  • Todd

    Opens up a lot of possibilities for a great Cabinet:
    Davis – CIA
    Duke Ellington – State
    Sun Ra – Faith-based initiative

    • Doesn’t Sun Ra get named to head NASA?

      • Todd

        too qualified. he’d never be confirmed.

        • The Dark Avenger

          Been there, done that.

    • howard

      damn, i grow old, i grow old: wasn’t it gil scott heron who had a great set of lyrics about how aretha was going to be the secretary of this and someone else the secretary of that? i can’t track it down but i’m sure someone here will know.

      • Parliament, “Chocolate City”.

        • Hogan

          And when they come to march on ya
          Tell ’em to make sure they got their James Brown pass
          And don’t be surprised if Ali is in the White House
          Reverend Ike, Secretary of the Treasury
          Richard Pryor, Minister of Education
          Stevie Wonder, Secretary of fine arts
          And Miss Aretha Franklin, the First Lady

          • howard

            that’s it, that’s it: thank you both. i was just getting to the point of saying “maybe it wasn’t gil scott, maybe it was someone else.”

            phew: it’s been irritating me since 12:31 that i couldn’t remember.

  • Aimai

    My Great Uncle, Charles Roisman, was Dizzy’s lawyer, at least some of the time. I seem to remember a little ditty about my Uncle that Dizzy wrote, but I can’t find a link to it.

  • FridayNext

    One of my favorite personal Brushes With Greatness was when I went to see Dizzy play at Blues Alley in DC in the 80’s. They must have limited green room at that club. I went to the bathroom before the show, did my thing at the urinal, turned around to wash my hands and there he was, cleaning out his horn in the bathroom sink. To this day I don’t recall what we talked about, but I do remember it was about music and he did most of the talking. It was a spiritual experience for this college-aged, bass trombone playing untalented amateur. I would have voted for him to be god.

  • Unemployed_Northeastern

    Please tell me Sun Ra would have been Secretary of State!

  • I knew about this because I knew about the Miles Davis gag. He proposed Malcolm X for Attorney General ( “one cat we definitely want to have on our side,”) and Louis Armstrong was slated to head the Ministry of Agriculture. (Louis would have been better as Ambassador to the UN I think.)

    Barry Goldwater offered a lame response to the Gillespie campaign by citing white Dixieland trombonist Turk Murphy as his favorite jazz musician. “All I can say is I don’t blame Turk for that,” Gillespie retorted. “I’m glad he didn’t pick me.”

    All kidding aside, in those moments when I think American culture is beyond saving I think about cats like Dizzy and I feel better

    • howard

      great story!

    • That’s outstanding.

  • Warren Po

    Dizzy listed his prospective (reorganized) cabinet in a chapter on the campaign in his autobiography. Other choices not noted above:
    Duke Ellington – Minister of State
    Max Roach – Minister of Defense
    Charles Mingus – Minister of Peace (“because he’ll take a piece of your head faster than anybody I know”)
    Ella Fitzgerald – Secretary HEW
    Ray Charles – Director Library of Congress
    Ross Barnett – US Information Officer, Congo

    Sun Ra, sadly, untapped.

  • Barry Freed


    Stanford historian unearths greed-drenched origins of Mexico’s groundwater crisis

    Through a historical analysis of agrarian reform and hydraulic technology, Stanford professor Mikael Wolfe discovers how politically well-connected business interests helped put Mexico’s groundwater supply on a path toward unsustainability.

  • drkrick

    Does this make Pat Paulsen the Pat Boone of ’60’s celebrity Presidential runs?

  • dn

    The John Birks Society was a third party I could have gotten behind.

It is main inner container footer text