Reese LaMarr DuPree was born July 18, 1883 on a cotton plantation in Bibb County, Georgia. As a youngster he began singing spirituals in church. Reese left Georgia for a better life at the age of 13 and by 1900 was singing in hotels in New York for a living.
Reese began writing songs, including “Shortnin’ Bread”. He began promoting concerts and is said to have mad eand lost a fortune at it.
Reese arrived in Asbury Park in 1918, where he purchased the building at 1155 Springwood Avenue and turned it into the Roseland Cabaret. Roseland was the largest and grandest venue on the West Side during the 1920s.
It hosted many of the biggest, nationally known, black entertainers of the day including Duke Ellington’s Cotton Club Orchestra in 1930.
While living in Asbury Park/Neptune, Reese Dupree recorded one of the earliest (if not THE earliest) blues record by a black male vocalist accompanied by guitar, in 1924.