FORT PIERCE FOLKS
School and Florida International
Family: 8 children; 4 boys and 4 girls
Hobbies: Reading, tennis (pre age 72), playing music, writing
and serving on the advisory board for the Fort Pierce Jazz
What Inspires you: ”I guess my sustaining goal in life has
been to be an example to my kids of staying the course and
following through, no matter how hard it gets at times. We’re
still all very close as a family. I guess that’s really my goal to
Something most people don’t know about me: “Just a funny
bit, as a little kid, I brushed my teeth often every day ‘cause
my mother said movie stars always had nice looking teeth.”
that’s what was popular then.”
Hull played with many popular groups during that time
on the road; Ted Lewis & Orchestra, Duke Ellington & Orchestra,
to name a couple.
Once he and his wife started a family, he knew that was the
end of his career on the road. Hull then began to work for a
large retailer as a buyer in women’s shoes, coats and dresses.
Every Wednesday Hull took the train 60 miles into New York
City to shop the market.
“One day while I was in the city, I go into a drug store and
EUGENE “GENE” HULL
Lives in: Fort Pierce
Education: University of Notre
Dame (B.A. Music Education),
Coursework at Fairfield College
Prepatory School, Julliard
ran into a fellow, Al Verst, who used to be second alto when
I played lead alto for Ted Lewis,” Hull recalled. “He told me
that Tex Beneke, a famous sax player, was holding auditions
that day for a lead alto in his newly formed group. Al suggested
Hull was a bit resistant to the idea but had just recently
started taking lessons again to brush up on his playing skills.
At Verst’s suggestion, he was able to borrow a local friend’s
sax and audition that day.
During the 1970s, Hull was leader and saxophonist for the national-touring
show band, Free Spirit. They were a six-person group and became wellknown
around Bridgeport, Connecticut.