Chick Webb grew up on Madison and Ashland Avenue on Baltimore's east side. He was a sickly child who, unable to attend school, started drumming with anything he could get his hands on to divert himself from his illness. His career was a study in beating the odds. He bought his first set of drums with money he made selling the Afro-American on Gay and Aisquith streets. Webb's personality reached over the footlights to every individual in the audience.