Early issues of The Golden Bull, the student yearbook from Johnson C. Smith University, are now available on DigitalNC. One of North Carolina’s early jazz bandleaders is pictured in the 1930 volume. Campbell Aurelius Tolbert, known professionally as “Skeets” Tolbert, grew up in Lincolntown, N.C. Tolbert’s professional career spanned the 1930s and 1940s, first as a backup musician and then as the leader of a group called The Gentlemen of Swing. The Gentlemen of Swing toured the east coast, and had a few of their songs captured on film, one of which, “No No Baby,” is available on YouTube.
Tolbert lived in Charlotte again in the late 1940s when he taught high school music before moving to Texas, where he lived for the remainder of his life.