August 1, 2010
Mississippi native Albert Hibbler moved to the small northeast Arkansas community of Dell (Mississippi County) when he was ten. HIbbler was blind at an early age, and his parents sent him to the Madison Battery School for the Blind in Little Rock (Pulaski County), where he developed a baritone voice with a perfect pitch. By age twenty, he was touring the country with different bands. In 1943, he joined the Duke Ellington Band and rose to fame. After eight years, he left Ellington to pursue a solo career. In 1955 and 1956, he had five songs on the Billboard pop chart. Hibbler was also the first African American to have a radio show broadcast from Little Rock.