In an alternative movie universe, the pathetic characters in Wim Wenders' Paris, Texas might have been devoted fans of classic jazz on a pilgrimage to the birthplace of Richard Fullbright, quite often credited as Dick Fullbright. Born right after the start of the 20th century, Fullbright began performing on tuba in minstrel shows such as the Virginia Minstrels. Things began to get a little jazzier when he joined up with Alonzo Ross and His DeLuxe Syncopaters in 1926, staying with this group until sometime in 1928.
Fullbright's musical beacon was shining next in Florida, where he played with Luckey Roberts. Then Fullbright headed up to New York City, working alongside Lou Henry, Charlie Skeete and Bingie Madison, the latter bandleader developing into a continuing collaborative partner. In the early '30s Fullbright began playing in groups led by banjoist and composer Elmer Snowden before establishing a more lengthy relationship with Teddy Hill which ran through 1937. Hill took Fullbright on a European tour during these years.
Through the late '30s, now doubling on both bass and tuba, Fullbright gigged with Billy Hicks, Dave Martin and others, mostly playing at hotels. He was back with Martin in 1941 following a couple of years with drummer Zutty Singleton. Fullbright's next job of note was with Alberto Soccaras, running from 1943 through 1947. Freelancing was the next strategy, including a run with Noble Sissle at the Diamond Horseshoe venue in New York City and gigs with the appropriately nicknamed Buck Washington. Fullbright retired from music in 1958.