After Bud runs away from the Amos household, he isn’t sure what to do or where to go. He eventually decides to try and get to Grand Rapids, Michigan in order to search for Herman E. Calloway.
"So where's your daddy?"
"I think he lives in Grand Rapids, I never met him."
Calloway turns out to be Bud’s grandfather, but Bud and Calloway don’t figure that out until near the end of the book. It’s amazing that Bud is successful in finding Calloway at all. The only clue that Bud has is a flier about Calloway and his band, The Dusky Devastators of the Depression. Bud finds where the band is, walks into the building, and bluntly announces that Calloway is his father. Calloway isn’t at all happy, and the situation is quite tense for a few moments. The band members eventually diffuse the situation, and they start with some simple introductions. This all occurs in chapter 13. The first band member to introduce himself is Jimmy Wesley. He plays the horn.
The horn player said, "Little man, my name is Jimmy Wesley, you can call me Mr. Jimmy."
Next is Doug “the Thug” Tennant. He plays drums. After him is “Steady Eddie” the sax player. His real name is Eddie Patrick. The trombone player is Chug “Doo-Doo Bug” Cross, and the only white member of the group is Roy “Dirty Deed” Breed. He plays the piano.
After introductions, Bud is allowed to join the band for dinner. At dinner, Bud meets the final member of the band, Miss Thomas. She is the band’s singer.
Mr. Jimmy said, "Bud, this here's Miss Thomas, she's our vocal stylist."
She could tell I didn't know what that meant so she said, "I'm the singer, honey."
All of the band members, except Calloway, are wonderful to Bud. They really make him feel welcome, but Steady Eddie winds up being Bud’s favorite. Steady Eddie is the band member who gives his old instrument case to Bud because Bud’s current case is practically falling apart. Steady Eddie is also the band member who comes up with Bud’s “band name.” In chapter 16, Bud is given a recorder to practice music with and the name “Sleepy LaBone.”