Little Jake & The Soul Searchers - Gainesville, FL

In 1960 Arnold Jake Mitchell was frontman for the R&B group“Little Jake and the Blenders.” They became the first African American singing group to perform at the Gator Growl and after the celebration the group was booked solid for two years at the sorority and fraternity houses. (If you check the University of Florida Archives the group was on the program for that year's Gator Growl.)

The singing group and the band were in the parade and on the TV. They put in 10,000 extra bleachers in the end zone at Gator Growl so that African Americans could be there. All the members of the singing group, except for one, are still alive.

We have contacted Florida Blue Key about “Little Jake and the Blenders” performing at the 2010 Gator Growl because they made history in 1960 by participating in the first desegregated homecoming celebration. We would really like to be a part of the festivities at Gator Growl 2010. The band is currently working on songs will perform with Mitchell, along with a female choir at the event.

Mitchell would also like to announce a new work in progress. Mitchell will be working on a new Album called “Have Faith.” The work will include original songs. Please make arrangements to have an interview with Mitchell about his ambitious plans promote Florida’s rich musical traditions for future generations.

As a vocalist, Mitchell went on to performances nationwide. He made recordings for Impact Records, Newton Records and his own label Golden Hit Productions. In the 1960’s T-Bone Walker accompanied him when his stage name was Jock Mitchell. During the same period played with James Jamerson, legendary Motown bassist, ( who played behind all the major musicians on the Motown Label including the Four Tops and the Supremes. (Motown Records eventually bought out Impact Records.) In Florida he played with guitarist and recording artist Sarasota Slim extensively and the two remain good friends to this day. Mitchell has also been included in a history book by Kurt "K.O.T.O." Curtis entitled "Florida's Famous and Forgotten" copyrighted in 2005 by Florida Media Inc. On ( there are samples of Mitchell's music. The recordings were made live at the 2002 Pensacola Florida Blues Festival. B. B. King was the featured performer along with Sarasota Slim, Mike Babbitt (Motown Records), and Quincy Jennings (organ player for KC and the Sunshine Band. from 1974 to 1984) including others accompanied him at the event.

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