John Jefferson "JJ" Bishop Jr.
John Jefferson "JJ" Bishop Jr. was born Sept 4th, 1920 in Ocala Florida. He was a graduate of Ocala High School and member of the band under Mrs. Browne' Greaton Cole in the 1930's, playing Coronet and Eb Horn. He served in the U.S. Army Air Force Band during World War II. He attended Murray State University in Kentucky where he recieved his degree in Music.
He taught music for a few years at the McCallie School in Chattanooga, Tennessee before returning to Ocala and being appointed the Band Director at Ocala Jr. High School in 1957. He worked closely with the high school director, Pop Armstrong, during this time, performing several joint concerts with the high school band in and around Ocala. When Pop stepped down due to declining health, Mr. Bishop took over as the Band Director for Ocala High School in 1962 and remained in that position until 1965. During his tenure he organized several precursors to the Marion All-County Band, including students from OHS, Lake Weir HS, and Dunnellon HS for various combined performances around the area as needed. Mr. Bishop was also instrumental in the organization and growth of the Ocala Christmas parade during the 60's, having held the positions of both Parade Committee Chairman and Music Committee Chairman. In 1964 during his time as chairman, a record number of Florida bands, over twenty, participated in the Ocala Christmas Parade that year.
In 1965, Mr. Bishop left to become the Band Director at Fort King Jr. High (later Middle School), where he remained until his retirement in the late 1980's. He remained active with the Ocala Kiwanis Club until is death in 2002.