There is no question that John Coltrane was talented. His commitment to jazz and the role he played in popularizing it are undisputed. He could make a saxophone sing. Who knows what strides he would have made in the music world if his life hadn't ended at the early age of 40?
John was the son of John R. Coltrane, a tailor and amateur musician. His mother was Alice Blair Coltrane. Young John was born in Hamlet, North Carolina, on September 23, 1926. John's grandfather was a minister in the A.M.E. Church. When John was just a few months old, his family moved to High Point, North Carolina.
John lost his father, his grandparents, and his aunt in 1939. It was left up to John's mother to raise John and his aunt's child. Mrs. Coltrane worked as a servant to support her family. John's mother and cousin moved to Philadelphia in 1943. They had high hopes of finding better jobs and earning more money. John was beginning to see his musical talent. He joined a community band where he played the clarinet and alto horn.