January 27, 1955
Marianna (Lee County) native Robert McFerrin Sr. debuted as the second African American and first black male to sing at the Metropolitan Opera House. He was cast as Amonasro in Aida. Racial politics rather than sound musical values dictated his being cast as Amonasro. McFerrin is best remembered as the father of singer and conductor Bobby McFerrin, with whom he sometimes performed.