Several movies have had a world premiere in Atlanta. We will take a look today. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. Information about the films is from the Internet Movie Database. This is an encore presentation.
As some of you may know, “Gone With The Wind had it’s world premiere at the Lowes Grand Theater on December 15, 1939. The Lowes Grand site is the current location of the Georgia Pacific building. There is a vacant lot next door, on top of some MARTA paraphernalia. This lot was the site of the Paramount Theater, another movie palace that did not survive.
The GWTW premiere was a big deal. Ten year old Martin Luther King Jr. sang with his church choir. Clark Gable requested a private meeting with Margaret Mitchell, who became the envy of every woman in America. When Mr. Gable checked out of his hotel, a lady was going to be given his room. The clerk asked for a minute to change the sheets on the bed, and the lady said, no, I want to sleep on the same sheets as him.
It was the golden age of movies, and the next year Atlanta hosted the first showing of “Who Killed Aunt Maggie”. The premiere was at the Rialto, on October 24, 1940. The review at IMDB said it was an enjoyable mystery, even if it was a cliche fest. It is not often seen today.
In 1946, “Song Of The South” had it’s premiere at the Fox Theater. SOTS is a controversial item these days. It was based on the Uncle Remus stories, which were written down by Joel Chandler Harris. For those who don’t know, these stories were told by the rural black people that Mr. Harris knew when he was growing up near Eatonton GA. As Wikipedia tells the tale “Controversy surrounding his southern plantation themes, narrative structure, collection of African-American folklore, use of dialect, and Uncle Remus character, however, has denigrated the significance of Harris’ work”. In other words, Brer Rabbit is not politically correct.
The reviews at IMDB tell a different tale. To them, SOTS is a happy children’s movie. The Disney company seems to wish it would go away and be forgotten. Copies are tough to come by these days. PG would say to see it for yourself and make up your own mind, but Disney won’t let you.
The female lead in SOTS was Ruth Warrick. Miss Warrick was a versatile talent. Her first movie role was in “Citizen Kane”, as Kane’s first wife. She was in many movies, before moving to television. She was perhaps best known as Phoebe Tyler, in the soap opera “All My Children”. Wikipedia tells a story about her, that is ironic for the female lead of “Song Of The South”
“In July 2000, she refused to accept a lifetime achievement award from the South Carolina Arts Commission because she was offended by legislators’ decision to move the Confederate flag from the state Capitol dome to another spot on the grounds in response to a boycott of the state by flag opponents. A lifelong supporter of African-American rights, she felt the flag should be removed completely, and commented, “In my view, this was no compromise. It was a deliberate affront to the African-Americans, who see it as a sign of oppression and hate.”
In 1949, the Paramount had the first screening of “The Gal Who Took The West”. The female lead was Yvonne De Carlo, who later achieved immortality as Lily Munster. In November 1951, the spotlights returned to Lowes Grand for “Quo Vadis”.
The last film in the GSU picture collection is “The Last Rebel”. This western had it’s premiere at the Rialto, May 27, 1958. The movie was a return to Atlanta glory for Olivia De Havilland. The film is the story of a man, whose wife dies in a fire during the war between the states. PG questions the use of the Stars and Bars on the marquee.
In 1974, Ringo Starr produced and acted in “Son of Dracula”. The movie had it’s world premiere at the Cherokee Plaza Theater. Cherokee Plaza is a shopping center on Peachtree Road, just east of the Atlanta city limits. The theater was torn down during a renovation, and the space is currently the produce department at Krogers.
A local radio station hired a band to play in the parking lot at the premiere. At some point, a long limousine pulled up to a stage, and Ringo Starr and Harry Nillson got out. Both were wearing sunglasses, even though it was after dark. Ringo got on the stage, waved a wand at the crowd, and said “I am turning you into frogs”. He went inside to see the movie, the crowd went home, and the movie was mercifully forgotten.
In 1981, PG went to a supper in an apartment building (now a vacant lot) across from First Baptist Church on Peachtree Street. There was a commotion down the street at the Fox, and PG went to see what it was. “Sharkey’s Machine” had it’s World Premiere that night.
PG finished a book, Peachtree Street-Atlanta. The author is William Bailey Williford, and it was published by the University of Georgia Press in 1962. PG found this at the Chamblee library, and this is probably the best way to find this book today. (Reissued by UGA Press.)
How this road got the name Peachtree is a good question. Most peaches grow south of the fall line. The story goes that there was a Creek Indian village called Standing Peachtree, located where Peachtree Creek runs into the Chattahoochee. During the war of 1812 Fort Peachtree was built on this site.
There was a trail that ran from Buckhead to an intersection with the Sandtown Trail, at what is now Five Points. A short distance south of this intersection was a settlement known as White Hall. For many years, Peachtree Street south of Five Points was known as Whitehall Road. At some point in the last thirty years, a decision was made to change Whitehall to Peachtree. It did not help the rundown condition of Whitehall Street.
In 1835 Governor Wilson Lumpkin decided that Georgia should build a Railroad that would be centered near the junction of Peachtree Trail and Sandtown Trail. The new town was named “Marthasville”, after the youngest daughter of the Governor. Martha Lumpkin is a resident of Oakland Cemetery today.
The village was soon renamed Atlanta, which was a feminine form of Atlantic. Houses, churches, and businesses were soon built on Peachtree Road. In 1856, Richard Peters built a flour mill. To insure a steady supply of firewood, he bought four hundred acres of land, for five dollars an acre. The land was between Eighth Street, North Avenue, Argonne Avenue, and Atlantic Drive.
Another pioneer citizen with a large landholding was George Washington (Wash) Collier. Mr. Collier bought 202 acres for $150 in 1847. The land was between West Peachtree, Fourteenth Street, Piedmont Road, Montgomery Ferry Road, and the Rhodes Center. Much of the land was used for the development of Ansley Park.
In 1854, Atlanta entertained, for the first time, a man who had been President. On May 2, Millard Fillmore arrived from Augusta on a private rail car.
There was some unpleasantness in 1864, which we will not concern ourselves with.
In 1866, there was a shocking murder. John Plaster was found dead, in an area known as “tight squeeze”. This was an area of shanties, at the present location of Crescent Avenue and Tenth Street. A hundred years later, this was near “the strip”, Atlanta’s hippie district, also called “Tight Squeeze”.
As the nineteenth century rolled along, many mansions were built on Peachtree Street. The road was paved, and streetcars ran up and down. Automobiles came, and came, and came. An expressway was built in the 1950′s, and quickly became obsolete. One by one, the mansions were torn down and replaced with businesses and churches.
The book was written in 1962, when the party was just getting started. The High Museum was known then as the Atlanta Art Association. In June of 1962, a plane full of prominent Atlanta residents crashed in Paris, killing all on board. As a memorial to those people, the Memorial Arts Center on Peachtree, at Fifteenth Street, was built.
Another phenomenon which is not explained by the book is the custom of naming everything here Peachtree. There are countless streets and institutions named for a fruit tree that likes warmer climates. Atlanta has a one street skyline, that stretches from Five Points to Peachtree Dunwoody Road, almost at the city limits. PG lives a quarter mile off Peachtree, in Dekalb County, and has no idea why Peachtree is a magic word.
Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. and The Library of Congress. This is the annual repost.
The bosslady gave permission to leave at 1:30. The first problem was getting off the complex. There was a line of slow moving cars, going out the back door. Going up the hill, PG felt the beginnings of a skid. Atlanta is a city of hills. This did not look good.
Turning right onto Spring Road was the start of more waiting. It took about a half hour to get a few blocks away from the retail giant headquarters, across I285, and onto Cumberland Parkway. A decision was made to stay off I 285, and take Highway 41 over the river. It was a very slow go, with a few cars stopped completely in the road. After you got past Mt. Paran, the traffic cleared up a bit, and it was a smooth ride to West Paces Ferry.
West Paces was smooth going, until you got to Northside Drive. Then the cars were moving very, very slowly. It was a bit mysterious why. There was not much snow, and with all the cars on the main roads there was little ice. Of course, in Atlanta, GA, a snowstorm is time to panic. It is what we do.
When PG got to the Governor’s Mansion, he started to take pictures. It was 2:47 pm. A lady near Peachtree said that cars were not moving there either. The radio said that as bad as the surface streets were, the interstates were much worse. If that wasn’t enough, there was a fire at the Marta five points station. The passengers were going from Civic Center to Garnett Street on buses. When the trains started to roll again, it was single track on the north south lines.
West Paces Ferry became East Paces Ferry, and PG looked for a way to get to Peachtree Road. The side road took a long time to negotiate, but by that time the clock was a non issue. Peachtree was slow and sticky through Peachtree Dunwoody, although arguably not much worse than a regular rush hour. After crossing Peachtree Dunwoody, Peachtree mysteriously cleared up. PG went through the Redding Road underpass, over a few more roads, and far enough into his driveway to avoid the sliding cars. It was 5:00 pm. Three hours longer than usual.
One day in the eighth grade, PG had a sore spot in his eye. They called it a stye. One afternoon, he got out of school, walked to Lenox Square, saw a doctor, and got some eye drops.
When he left the doctor’s office, there was a man, standing in front of Rich’s on the sidewalk, selling a newspaper. He had blond hair down past his shoulders. PG asked what the newspaper was. Mostly politics, he said. PG gave him fifteen cents for a copy of “The Great Speckled Bird”.
The Bird was an underground newspaper. It was so bad, it needed to be buried. If you are under fifty, you have probably never seen one. These papers flourished for a while. The Bird was published from 1968 to 1976. The April 26, 1968 edition was volume one, number four. This was what PG bought that day.
The Georgia State University Library has a digital collection. Included in it are copies of The Great Speckled Bird. Included in this collection is edition Number Four. PG went looking for that first copy. He needed to be patient, for the GSU server took it’s time. Finally, the copy he asked for came up. It was mostly politics.
When PG saw page four, he knew it was the edition from forty four years ago. “Sergeant Pepper’s Vietnam Report” was the story of a young man sent to Nam. It had a paragraph that impressed young PG, and is reproduced here. The rest of the article is not that great, which is typical of most underground newspaper writing.
A couple of years later, PG spent the summer working at the Lenox Square Theater. The number two screen was a long skinny room. If you stood in the right place, you could hear the electric door openers of the Colonial Grocery store upstairs. The Bird salesmen were a feature at the mall that summer, which not everyone appreciated. This was the year of the second, and last, Atlanta Pop Festival. PG was not quite hip enough to make it. He was back in the city, taking tickets for “Fellini Satyricon”. The Bird was printing 26 pages an issue, with lots of ads, pictures, and the distinctive graphics of the era.
Stories about hippies, and the Bird, can be found at The Strip Project.
Pictures are from ” The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library” .
This is a repost, written like H.P. Lovecraft.
There is an old saying, what goes around comes around. When you sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind. The thing is, it is not always obvious what is payback for what. Moreton Rolleston Jr. filed a lawsuit to have the Civil Rights Act declared unconstitutional. Forty years later, a Black man, built a mansion on the site of Mr. Rolleston’s home. The fact that this Black man earned his money by playing Black women, in movies, is icing on the cake.
When the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, Moreton Rolleston, Jr., owned the Heart of Atlanta Motel. He filed a lawsuit, trying to have the law overturned by the courts. The case went to the Supreme Court, which upheld the law.
The legal justification of the Civil Rights Act was a law giving the U.S. Government the right to regulate interstate commerce. Mr. Rolleston argued that this use of the commerce clause went too far. “‘The argument that this law was passed to relieve a burden on interstate commerce is so much hogwash. It was intended to regulate the acts of individuals.’ If the commerce clause can be stretched that far, declared Rolleston, ‘Congress can regulate every facet of life.’” (PG supports all citizens having the right to housing, education, etc. He also wonders if we are on a slippery slope. The government keeps taking more and more freedom away.) (The link for the quote no longer works.)
In 1969, Tyler Perry was born. From humble beginnings, he has been incredibly successful. His signature character is a woman named Madea.
In 1985, Mr. Rolleston was involved in a real estate deal that went sour. He was sued. In 2003, Mr. Rolleston was evicted from his Buckhead home. (Go here for details). In 2005, the propery was sold to Tyler Perry. When the source story was written in 2007, Mr. Rolleston had sued Mr. Perry several times, claiming that it was still his property.
Apparently, Mr. Rolleston , who was disbarred in 2007, is still alive.
HT Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub.. Pictures from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.
It was six am on tuesday morning. Many say that tuesday is worse than monday, but PG is not a statistician. He feels the urge to contribute to the collective wisdom, but does not have an original thought. It is time to look in the archives, and find something to repost. A feature with the lurid title “Big Hair” is on the list.
It seems as though BH was written for trifecta writing challenge. Evidently, PG has been contributing for a year now. This might be the first totally recycled entry. What can be said to melt the hearts and minds of those judging this week? A winning entry would make a nice holiday present.
This monday morning post is written in response to the Trifecta Writing Challenge. The mission for today: “This weekend we’re asking you to write 33 words that will make us laugh or smile. Even a chuckle will do. We look forward to the communal spirit lifting. Good luck!”
Before thinking of what to say, PG put the pictures together. They are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”. The 33 words are about one of the pictures.
Buck Owens looked at the woman with big, black hair. She held onto her pocketbook with both hands. You don’t mean that. The man in the checkered suit looked ahead, but saw nothing.
PG read East is East by T. Coraghessan Boyle. This is a 1990 copyright, and the author is now known as T.C. Boyle. Most people that know him say Tom. There are videos of him speaking, and some say how to pronounce his middle name.
EIS is a great story. A Japanese man is working on a boat, gets in trouble, and jumps off the boat. He swims to shore, and lands on a Georgia island. He has a series of adventures on the island, until he is captured by the authorities. Hiro, the Japanese man, escapes from confinement, and turns up in the Okefenokee Swamp. There is another improbable rescue, until he runs out of luck. He winds up in a hospital, with a lot of charges against him.
Numerous sub plots ensue. Some of the other people on the island are weirdos. The island is called Tupelo, and is apparently modeled on Sapelo. Hiro turns out to be a Japanese-American mix, with a baggage compartment full of issues. There are stereotypes galore, from the bungling federal agents, ditzy artists, angry blacks, and hungry insects.
Some english major has probably written a term paper criticizing the shortcomings of this book. That does not matter to PG. All he wants is a good story. EIE is a page turner. You want to get back to see what happens next. The improbable twists in the plot don’t matter after a while. EIE is a fun book. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
There was a book at the Chamblee Library, Mick: The Wild Life and Mad Genius of Jagger. The work is credited to a man named Christopher Anderson, who has a slew of best sellers to his credit. The copyright was issued to “Anderson Productions.”
When you write about Mickie, you have to post a few videos. One of the first to come up is “Waiting on a friend.” This was the first video that PG saw on MTV. One night in early 1982, PG rode his bike to an apartment on Buford Hiway. While he was there, someone said hey watch this, music television. The video was a favorite that first winter of MTV, even though it wasn’t really that good.
Mick Jagger has been a part of many lives the last fifty years. The stones were conceded to be number two to the beatles, but stayed together longer. The era of rock concert as megaevent coincided with the reinvention of the stones, after the demise of Brian Jones. He did after all start the band. Mr. Jones had become too much of a druggie to be relied on, and was fired. The book says that Mr. Jones was drowned, by a construction worker.
Ok, we are three paragraphs in, and we have not discussed Mr. Jagger’s pecker. Most of the book is about this instrument of undetermined size. The book says Mick stuffed a sock in his pants before shows. Mick has screwed thousands of women, and more than a few men. Whether Mick is a top, or a bottom, is left to the imagination.
The phrase “fuck Mick Jagger” is seminal. One night, the B52s were playing at a toilet on Ponce De Leon Avenue called the Big Dipper. The venue was later torn down, the ground decontaminated, and an animal clinic built on it’s site. After the show, one of the girls (either Kate or Cindy, or maybe neither, since this story is possibly an urban legend) was hanging out in the parking lot. “Beulah” was running his mouth, as he liked to do, talking about his hero Mick Jagger. Finally, the B52girl had heard enough. “Fuck Mick Jagger, one day Mick Jagger will come see me.”
The book goes into excruciating detail about the stones story. Mick grew up middle class, and was close to his parents. He bit the end of his lip playing basketball, and sounded different. While going to the London School of Economics, he connected with Keith Richard, and found that they both liked Chuck Berry. The Glimmer Twins started to hang out together, and played a few gigs at a nightclub owned by Alexis Korner. (Mr. Korner opened for Humble Pie and Edgar Winter at the Atlanta Municipal Auditorium in 1972. He was ignored by the festive crowd.)
At this time, Mick had been introduced to sex by the other boys at his school. The first time with a woman was when Mick was an orderly at Bexley Mental Hospital. A nurse “yanked him into the linen closet where, surrounded by sheets, mops, and bedpans, Mick lost his virginity standing up”.
At some point Brian Jones came into the picture. Mick moved into a flat with Brian and Keith, and lived in picturesque squalor. At some point Mick and Brian bumped gooberheads, which left Mick confused. It is not known whether the lads could afford drugs at this point.
The story goes on and on. There are ugly moments, pretty moments, good songs written, lots of drugs, lots of sex. As Mick said in “Shattered,” “sex and sex and sex and sex and sex and sex and sex.” A few begin to wonder if he is capable of a one on one relationship, but those opinions don’t count.
One afternoon in 1978, PG was driving a truck in Decatur. He worked for a lady who did sampling projects, which means giving out samples to consumers. The product this time was Playtex Plus deodorant tampons. The truck was the rag wagon. There was an announcement on the last am rock and roll station in Atlanta. The stones were going to play the Fox Theater, and tickets were on sale now. The signal of the am station faded out at this point, with a gospel station preacher blocking out the rock and roll announcement. PG did not hear the location of the ticket sales. It turns out the tickets went on sale at the box office of the Municipal Auditorium, which was two blocks away from the rental facility of the rag wagon. Such is life.
In 1991, PG was walking to work and noticed an army of movie trucks. Mr. Jagger was appearing in a film, “Free Jack.” PG saw a scene filmed from his perch in the Healey Building, and stood behind a chair with the name “Mick Jagger” stenciled on. There were reports of a van rocking in Cabbagetown. On January 12, 1992, Georgia May Ayeesha Jagger was born.
Mick: The Wild Life and Mad Genius of Jagger is not a bad book. It is easy to read, and does not skimp on slime. The phrase “cringe inducing” is used several times, which may be the result of a focus group. It is not worth $27.00, or $29.99 Canadian. The publisher is Simon&Schuster. The dalliance between Mr. Jagger and Carly Simon is dutifully noted.
Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This ia a repost.
Gregg Allman appeared on Live Talks LA, selling a book, My Cross to Bear. Yes, he was coherent. Mr.Allman says something about going through rehab seventeen times. No one argues disputes that he has had an interesting life.
The chat has a few parts left out. Dicky Betts and Cher are not mentioned. The title of “strangest dude I ever met” goes to Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson, aka the black guy in the group. Gregg says he used to listen to stuff by Roland Kirk.
The story of Duane Allman learning to play slide guitar is good. Duane was sick. Gregg came to see his brother, who was playing the guitar in a new way. It seems the doctor had given him some pills called Coricidin. You take the pills out of the glass bottle, soak the label off, and you have a guitar slider.
When PG was a kid, his uncle was a representative for the company that sold Coriciden. There were boxes of samples in the house, which all came in the glass bottle. PG had not heard that name for forty eight years. The spell check suggestion is Coincidence.
Not everyone at amazon was impressed by the book. “the book was so damged the binding and jacket were ripped that a did not read the book and will not buy an more nick malick.”
The visual multitasking element for this repost was pictures from The Library of Congress. There are two group shots, broken down into smaller images. One is a graduating class of a nursing school at Georgetown University. The photographer lists the date as between 1905 and 1945.
The other image is a line of people waiting to vote. The well dressed citizens are in Clarenden VA. The date is November 4, 1924. Several carry signs for the democratic presidential candidate, John W. Davis. He was nominated on the 103rd ballot of the democratic convention, and lost to Calvin Coolidge.
It was pride sunday, and PG had little desire to go downtown. A check of the innertubes turned up an Okterberfest event in Stone Mountain. This is the downtown part of the city, which the merchants like to call the village. It is not the park, or else PG and Uzi would not be interested.
The parking was in an open field, with the white tents across the street. The polka band was rolling out, or whatever those guys do. There could not have been more than twenty tents in the arts market. It was like the back alley surplus of the Duluth Fall Festival. The team was through in a few minutes. The sausages at the German restaurant did not have any appeal.
Fortunately, the town graveyard was nearby. There was a section of anonymous Confederate graves. Many of the other tombs had markers indicating that a CSA veteran was nearby.
A truck was going through the graveyard, with a man speaking on a loudspeaker. A trailer, full of people, was being pulled by the truck. PG said if he had known about that, he could have gone. Uzi said that there would have been a charge for the tour. PG would not have paid.
After a few cheerful minutes wandering amongst the dead, it was dinner time. There was a Piccadilly cafeteria on the way home. The health department gave them a 90 on the last inspection. No employees were in the restroom when PG washed his hands.