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Lessly “Count” Fisher

Lessly “Count” Fisher Biography

Lessly “Count” Fisher



Quote “Let there be light, and there was light.”
Time of Year Spring
Vacation Spot Hammond, Indiana & Austin, Texas

Band leader, businessman and Chief of Police Lessly “Count” Fisher was born on August 19, 1923 in Canton, Mississippi to Ruby Mosby Fisher and future steelworker Seaser Fisher. Fisher was given the nickname of “Count” by Count Basie. He grew up in the New Edition section of East Chicago, Indian and attended Calumet Elementary School, Garfield Elementary School, and Columbus School, Fisher graduated from Washington High School in 1941. An accident in the steel mill inspired him to join his cousin, Wallace Hayes playing drums for the Nightsteppers. Fisher, along with childhood friend Jack McDuff, learned to read music from Jesse Evans while working as driver and bodyguard for entertainment businessman, Jake Brennan.

Touring the midwest, Fisher’s band also included Schoolboy Porter, Johnny Mott, Bill Lane and Aretta Lamar. In 1951, he met and toured several cities with singer Eve Rene. Later reunited with Rene, they played Indianapolis’ Joy Lounge and the Hubbub. Fisher married Rene and established the Carousel Club in the late 1950s. Over the years, they featured The Hampton Family, Rodney Dangerfield, June Christie, Leroy Vinegar, Freddie Hubbard, George Kirby, Redd Foxx, Moms Mabley, Jimmy McGriff, Jack McDuff, John Coltrane and James Brown. The Fishers also participated in muscular dystrophy telethons with Lorne Greene. From 1963 to 1965, the couple operated the Chateau de Count and Eve near the Indiana State Capitol. There, they showcased Roy Hamilton, Lula Reed and Motown acts along with many other names.

In 1966, Fisher and Rene moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan and played the London House as the house band. Eventually, Fisher moved away from show business and took a job as Sheriff’s Deputy for Kent County, Michigan. He was also Idlewild, Michigan’s first chief of police. Fisher and wife, Eve, now a retired civil servant, live in Grand Rapids. Their son, Rodney, is a musician who once played Sir Nose D’Voidoffunk with George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic.

Fisher was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on March 10, 2007.

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