Chamblee54

The Kinks

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Music by chamblee54 on June 20, 2018

LBSCB04-059bz

LBSCB04-082az

LBSCB04-181az

LBSCB04-181aza

LBSCB05-073az


Dangerousminds brings the sad news that Pete Quaife, the original bass player for The Kinks , passed away yesterday. He was 66, and had been in dialysis for several years. Maybe it is time for Chamblee54 to do a post about The Kinks. This is a repost.

Battling brothers Ray and Dave Davies are the core of The Kinks. (The name is pronounced like the american Davis, as though the e did not exist). Ray was the vocalist, writer, and rhythm guitar player. Dave was the lead guitarist, and sparring partner for his brother. The fisticuffs were not restricted to the brothers. This led to the band being barred from performing in the United States between 1965 and 1969. The sixties happened anyway.

There were several hits in the early days, most notably “You really got me”. (This later became a signature tune for Van Halen). The band had numerous adventures, but never became the superstars that other British bands of that era did. Ray Davies developed as a songwriter, with many witty tunes, full of social commentary and britishness.(spell check suggestion:brutishness)

In the seventies The Kinks kept trooping on. They did an album called Preservation Act, which became the basis of a theatrical presentation. The next album was called Soap Opera, with a theater like production. This is where PG got to see The Kinks.

LBSCB14-036fz

LBSCB14-036fza

LBSCB14-036gz

LBSCB14-119bz

LBSCB14-119dz


It was sometime in the spring of 1975, at the Atlanta Municipal Auditorium. Elvin Bishop was the opening act. The Kinks had started when PG arrived, buying a $4.00 balcony seat. Alex Cooley was in the box office counting money, and broke open a roll of quarters to make change for a five.

The band was playing “Celluloid Heroes” when PG walked into the auditorium. There was no one on the door checking tickets, so PG walked onto the floor and found an empty seat on the 13th row. The next number was “Lola”.

Ray Davies introduced the song by saying
” If you are a man, sing LO. If you are a woman, sing LA. If you are not sure, clap your hands”. The next number was about demon alcohol. There were lights shining on the crowd during this number, as Ray Davies asked if there were any sinners in the audience. The band did several more songs, ending the first half of the evening with “You really got me”. Dave Davies got some spotlight time with a rave up intro to this number.
The second part of the show was a theatrical presentation of “Soap Opera”. The band wore rainbow colored wigs, and stood at the back of the stage while Ray Davies told the tale. “Soap Opera” was about a rock star who traded places with Norman, who lived a boring life. The flat Norman lived in has pictures of ducks on the wall, which drove Ray/Norman to scream
“I can’t stand those f*****g ducks”. This led into a rocking ditty called, predictably, “Ducks on the Wall”.
As the show dragged on, Ray/Norman was embarrassed by the mess he was in.
“You can’t say that in front of The Kinks, they are my band, and that is my audience.” The audience lights were turned on again, and the band played a medley of hits from 1964.
Finally, the real Norman came back to reclaim his wife, put the ducks back on the wall, and kick out The Kinks. The band gave up on theater before much longer, and were popular for the rest of the concert happy seventies. Ray Davies was the babydaddy for Chrissie Hynde . Eventually, the band quit performing, and continued to cash royalty checks.

Pictures are from the “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

LBSCB19-014az

N36-183_az

LBSCB13-086az

LBSCB05-100bz

Advertisements

Amazing Grace

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on May 25, 2018

06577x

06577xa

06577xb

09334x

09334xa

09334xb

09334xc

This story was originally posted by Gartalker and chamblee54. Pictures are from The Library of Congress. It is probably fiction.
Recently I was asked by a funeral director to play my bagpipes at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper’s cemetery in the Kentucky back-country.

As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost; and being a typical man I didn’t stop for directions. I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral guy had evidently gone and the hearse was nowhere in sight.There were only the diggers and crew left and they were eating lunch.

I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late. I went to the side of the grave and looked down and the vault lid was already in place. I didn’t know what else to do, so I started to play.
The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I’ve never played before for this homeless man.

And as I played ‘Amazing Grace,’ the workers began to weep. They wept, I wept, and we all wept together. When I finished I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head hung low, my heart was full.

As I was opening the door to my car, I heard one of the worker say, “Sweet Mother of Jesus, I never seen nothing like that before and I’ve been putting in septic tanks for twenty years.”

09335x

09335xa

09353x

09353xa

09353xb

09353xc

Bob Dylan’s Birthday

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Music by chamblee54 on May 24, 2018









This is a repost. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. Today is Bob Dylan’s seventy seventh birthday. This chamblee 54 birthday tribute is composed primarily of three previously published pieces of work.

This compendium was assembled in 2016. On David Bowie’s in 2016, PG created a computer playlist, and assembled a few blog posts into a birthday celebration. Three days later, David Bowie was dead. PG decided to do the same thing to Bob Dylan on his birthday. Instead of dying, Bob Dylan won the Nobel prize. A similar effort on RuPaul’s birthday had no effect on the performer.

It was a late may morning in Atlanta GA, and a slack blogger was searching his archives. Yes, Issac Asinov never got writers block, and when he wasn’t going to the bathroom he was typing, but that is a lifestyle choice. Easy writing makes tough reading. So, anyway, in the may archive for 2011 there was a post about Bob Dylan’s seventieth birthday. People were taking bets on whether he would make it to thirty, and here he is at seventy seven.

Hibbing MN is a cold place. At least it can claim to be the birthplace of Robert Allen Zimmerman. That’s Allen ,with an e, and double L, just like hell. The original initials were RAZ, which might be a good trivia question, or, with a silent W in front, radio station call letters. The problem is, he legally changed his name to Bob Dylan, with no known middle name. Those initial are BD.

On May 24, 1941, the curly haired wonder boi arrived. The world was a different place. Europe was in flames, and eyeing the young men of America as fresh cannon fodder. This was twelve years, eleven months, and eighteen days before PG graced the planet. A twelve year old in Hibbing MN would have no reason to think of a newborn baby in Atlanta GA.

These days, not everyone knows who Bob Dylan is. Auto tuned automated canned music is the next big thing. If auto tune had been around in 1963, we would never had known how badly Mr. Dylan sings. In an age where rappers pay ghost writers to compose their tweets, being able to write songs is not valued. There is just no telling. And so it goes.
A.J. Weberman has made a life out of going through Bob Dylan’s garbage. He wrote a book, “The Devil and Bob Dylan”.
“THIS BOOK CHALLENGES ALL PREVIOUS CONVENTIONAL THINKING ABOUT BOB DYLAN. DYLAN IS JUST THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT YOU BELIEVE HIM TO BE. BUT WHAT PURPOSE DOES IT SERVE EXPOSING HIM AS A RACIST, HIV POSITIVE EX-JUNKIE AND HOLOCAUST DENIER? NONE EXCEPT THAT OF TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE. $17 INCLUDING POSTAGE! THE BOOK IS 500 PAGES AND FULLY ILLUSTRATED.
There was a comment on the Bob Dylan webpage…
Everybody knows by now that there’s a gazillion books on me either out or coming out in the near future. So I’m encouraging anybody who’s ever met me, heard me or even seen me, to get in on the action and scribble their own book. You never know, somebody might have a great book in them. PG doesn’t write books. He did grow up in America, and has a few opinions about Bob Dylan. It ought to be good for a few hundred words here. (HT to dangerous minds ) (Chamblee54 has posted about Mr. Dylan before.)
The first time PG heard of Bob Dylan was probably at the record rack of Zippy’s dime store in Cherokee Plaza. There was an album of his greatest hits, and it came with a poster. The poster had a drawing of the man, with psychedelic waves of hair cascading in multi colored glory to the edges. PG never did buy the LP.

The former Mr. Zimmerman was never big on top 40 am radio. Somebody somewhere was getting a headache over those lyrics, but Atlanta GA was not somewhere in those days. By this time, Mr. Dylan had crashed his motorcycle, and gone into hiding. As the counter culture exploded (if only someone had disinfected that counter) the curly haired poet was in hiding, the subject of much speculation. At one point, people were stealing his garbage, and claiming to find evidence of investment in munitions firms. The neoscience of Dylanology continues to this day.

As PG got older and stupider, he heard more and more Bob Dylan music. In the summer of 1972, there was a performance at the Concert for Bangladesh. A couple of albums released during this era sucked, and some people stopped caring about Bob Dylan.

At the start of 1974, a tour was announced. The Band was to be the backing group. The circus came to the Omni, and PG got some of the mail order tickets. He couldn’t find anyone to use the second ticket, and sold it to a stranger outside the arena.

The show was nothing special. Bob Dylan excels at writing, is ok in the studio, and blah on stage. Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter was at the show, and was said to look bored. Mr. Dylan was invited to the Governor’s mansion after the show, and talked to the Governor. A lot of people in Georgia were surprised that Jimmy would want to run for President.
As the Seventies went me me meing into sex and drugs oblivion, Bob Dylan regained both his writing touch, and love of the spotlight. The Rolling Thunder tour happened, he got back together with Joan Baez, divorced his wife, became born again, became more Jewish, counted money, and generally lived the life. PG did his own version of all that, without Joan Baez or being circumcised again.

In the winter of 1991, America was consumed by war fever. Saddam Hussein had been elevated to next Hitler status, and had to be taught a lesson. One night, Bob Dylan played on a music awards show, and performed “Masters of War”. He played a discordant version of that ditty, with the result that few understood what he had said. By this time, Mr. Dylan had assembled a band, and gone out on the “Never Ending Tour”. A Bob Dylan concert had gone from being a special event, to being another name on the festival roster. Overexposure will do that.

On the last night of the Olympics in 1996, Bob Dylan played the House of Blues downtown. PG won a pair of the $80 tickets in a radio station contest. It was his only trip downtown during the games, and had to wait in a security line to get into Centennial Olympic Park.

The only celebrity, other than Mr. Dylan, seen at the House of Blues that night was Bill Walton. The band was competent…they impressed PG as being like a bar band that did a lot of Dylan songs, with a strangely authentic lead vocalist. The sound in the room was not good, at least in the spot where PG stood. The only song he recognized was “All along the Watchtower”, the Jimi Hendrix classic. Mr. Dylan got a cheer when he put his harmonica appliance on.










The aptly named dangerousminds has a link to a story about the recording of Blonde on Blonde, by Bob Dylan. It only happened once.

Bob Dylan was 24 years old, newly married, and had “sold out” i.e. started to play electric guitar. A bunch of Canadians known as The Hawks (later The Band) was touring with him. Barely a month after the release of “Highway 61 Revisited”, sessions started at a New York studio.

The New York sessions did not work, so a decision was made to go to Nashville. Al Kooper played organ, and served as a music director. A crew of Nashville players was recruited. A bass player named Joseph Souter, Jr. would become famous a few years later using the name Joe South. Kris Kristofferson was the janitor at the studio.

Most studios have bafflers, or sound proof room dividers, splitting the studio into cubicles. For these sessions, the bafflers were taken down, and the band played together as a unit.

The second session in Nashville started at 6pm and lasted until 530 the next morning. Mr. Dylan was working on the lyrics to “Sad eyed lady of the lowlands”, and the recording could not start until he was ready. The musicians played ping pong and waited. At 4am, the song was ready, and the record was finished in two takes.

PG had marginal encounters with two of the players on this album. He met a lady once, who worked in an insurance office. One of the customers was Joe South. His driving record file was an inch thick.

Al Kooper had a prosperous career after his association with Bob Dylan. The former Alan Peter Kuperschmidt produced the first three Lynyrd Skynyrd albums, sold that contract for a nice piece of change, and lived happily ever after.

One night, Mr. Kooper was playing a show at the Great Southeast Music Hall, and PG sat in front of the stage. During a break between songs, PG asked his friend “what time is it?”. Mr. Kooper heard him on stage, and said it was 11:30.










If it ever quits raining, PG is going to walk to the Chamblee library and return a book, and a cd. The cd is by Bob Dylan, and is a work of genius. The book is about the former Mr. Zimmerman, and is a piece of garbage. (BTW, Dylan is not the only Zimmerman to hit the big time. Ethel Merman was born Ethel Agnes Zimmerman.The Zimmerman telegram got us into World War I. The less said about George Zimmerman, the better)

When returning cd’s to a library, you need to get a check in receipt. Once, PG returned a stack of cd’s to the Brookhaven library. When checking them in, one was missed by the scanner. A few days later, there was a note in the mail about an overdue cd.

The good news was, the cd was on the shelf when PG went back to investigate, and the matter was quickly settled. It did not help that the cd was a collection of disco music called “Shake your booty”.

“The freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” was released in the early sixties, when the man was barely old enough to buy a drink. There is not a bad song on it, and several are classic rock staples. At a time when mindless pop dominated pop music, here were thoughtful, moving lyrics.

In 1991, with America in a war frenzy, Mr. Dylan appeared on a music awards show. He performed “Masters of War”, at a time when the majority would be appalled if they could understand what he was singing. Mr. Dylan has been reinvented many times, and often the lyrics get gargled.

Five years later, PG won tickets to a Bob Dylan concert. It was the last night of the Olympics, and the man was appearing at the House of Blues. (Tickets were $80, so the radio contest is the only reason PG went). It was like hearing a good bar band, that did nothing but Dylan songs, with the man as the vocalist. Due to the mix of the sound, PG could not recognize many of the songs.

The book is Bob Dylan: Prophet, Mystic, Poet by Seth Rogovoy. It tells the Dylan tale as a story of Jewish prophecy. PG got to page 16, where the author claims that “Like a Rolling Stone” “almost single handedly revolutionized rock’n roll music”. Huh?

PG was eating dinner, and did not have anything else to read. He got to page 38. Nothing in the next 22 pages changed his mind away from ditching the book. How does nonsense like this get published?








The Great Southeast Music Hall

Posted in Georgia History, GSU photo archive, Music by chamblee54 on May 20, 2018

LBCB080-061az

LBCB080-061aza

LBGPNS7-134az

LBGPNS7-134bz

LBCB041-064az


The Great Southeast Music Hall was an important part of life in Atlanta during the seventies. It was located in the elbow of a shopping center, Broadview Plaza. A bowling alley was downstairs, a two level K mart next door, and Atlanta’s first hispanic neighborhood across the street. Like almost everything else here, Broadview Plaza was torn down, and replaced by a more uppity set of stores.

When you went into the lobby of the Music Hall, you noticed the walls. Performers were given a magic marker, and encouraged to leave a message. John Mayall found the ladies room, and said he likes to be near the ladies. The late Phil Ochs said “Impeach Nixon and Agnew”. What happened to those boards is a good question.

The auditorium held about 500 people. The stage was only three feet or so above the floor. There was an empty space in front of the stage, and a few rows of bench backs behind that. When the place opened, there were lots of pillows on this floor, with the Music Hall logo. The carpet in this front area was fresh when the place opened, and got progressively grosser as the years went by. Beer was served in aluminum buckets, and inevitably some wound up on the carpet.

The show the Music Hall is most famous for is the US debut of the Sex Pistols. PG didn’t make it that night, but has heard from a few who did. The performance was said to be horrible. There are stories of Sid Vicious wandering through the apartments around Broadview trying to find heroin. Years later, PG was reading about that night in Please Kill Me, when the train he was riding pulled into the Lindberg Marta station. This is across the street from the Broadview Plaza, still standing at the time.

These days, the intersection of Lindbergh Drive and Piedmont Road (about a mile north of the park) is next to Hiway 400. When the Music Hall was in it’s prime, the land for the Highway was owned by the State of Georgia, which was fighting legal battles over the highway. The land had a network of dirt roads, one of which connected Buford Hiway to Lindbergh Drive. When you went from Chamblee to the Music Hall, the most direct route was over this dirt road. This dirt road is where Sidney Marcus Boulevard is today. Broadview Plaza was torn down, and replaced by a Home Depot.

Eventually, the business model for the Music Hall did not work, and the facility moved to Cherokee Plaza. This Music Hall was in a movie theater. The Cherokee Plaza Theater was the scene for the world premiere of Son of Dracula . This move did not work, for a number of reasons. The parking lot was too small, and people who wanted a loaf of bread from the A&P were blocked out during shows. Cherokee Plaza is just outside the city limits, on Peachtree Road. In the late seventies, DeKalb county was aggressively fighting drunk driving, and had roadblocks. Many of these roadblocks were outside the Music Hall, which kept many people from attending. Before long, this Music Hall closed.

Many years later, PG bought a second hand typewriter, and needed a ribbon. (Younger readers should ask an older person about this.) He went into an office supply store in Broadview Plaza, and soon realized that he was standing on the site of the Music Hall. He asked the clerk if he could have a bucket of beer, and got a very strange look in return.

One industrious afternoon during this era, PG made a list of shows he saw at the Music Hall. The memory cells are already protesting, but we are going to try and remember as much as possible about these shows. A big thank you to Wikipedia for help with spelling and names.

New York Rock Ensemble – PG walked into the auditorium during the last part of the first show, as the band played “A whiter shade of pale”. The bass player wore lace up boots, with the pants legs tucked into them. Before long, the second show came on stage. Keyboard player Michael Kamen was the central focus, acting out the lyrics to “Anaconda”.

Silverman Deborah McColl fronted this drummerless band

Al Kooper PG has written about an unfortunate incident involving Al Kooper during this show. This would have never happened in “The Catcher in the Rye”…the kids always knew what time it was in that story. Mr. Kooper did a solo show, including “Sam Stone” by John Prine.

Ellen McIlwaine/ James Cotton Blues Band Ms. McIlwaine was pregnant, and played slide guitar. Mr. Cotton played harmonica. One of his players started to fan him with a towel, because he was hot.

Breakfast Special/ Doc and Merle Watson Breakfast Special was a local bluegrass crew, who did “The coming down song”. The Watsons did ” Deep River Blues” and “Thats All”, among other things. PG had a copy of their latest LP, and asked Merle to autograph it. He wrote his name on one side, turned it over, and signed Doc’s name on the other side.

Mason/Atlanta Rythym Section This show was the night Led Zeppelin played Atlanta Stadium.

New Riders of the Purple Sage When the Music Hall opened, a performer would typically play from Tuesday to Sunday. NRPS was a one night show. They worked well in the packed hall, and shined on “Glenville Train”. The next year, they did a tour with Commander Cody and The Lost Planet Airmen. Commander Cody opened, and raised hell. NRPS followed with a mellow rock show, and before long people were getting bored and leaving.

David Buskin / Loudon Wainwright III Chamblee 54 has written about this show before. Mr. Buskin talked about doing a show at Max’s Kansas City, the person sitting next to PG said “Gross”.

Steve Martin / Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Chamblee54 has written about the show by Mr. Martin . This was his last tour as an opening act. Nitty Gritty was a sight to behold. John McEuen played fiddle, and recited a poem about life.

Martin Mull / Melissa Manchester PG went to see Mr. Mull, who opened the show with a three piece band. (After the show, Mr. Mull said the name of the band was the (your name) (draws a blank with his fingers) orchestra.) The headliner was Ms. Manchester, little known at the time. She was a knockout. While standup comedy has it’s place, for emotional impact there is nothing like a singer.

Texas Gary Bennett / Weather Report Mr. Bennett played acoustic guitar, and sang, as an opener for a packed house of jazz rockers. It did not go well. At one point, trying to get some rapport with the crowd, he said ” has anyone here been busted at the Omni?” (The authorities had begun arresting people for smoking pot at the major concerts.)

Weather Report was amazing. Josef Zawinul had the loud keyboard sound, Wayne Shorter played his leads on soprano sax, and there was a drummer and percussion player. There was tons of rythym, to go with the electronic jazz sounds. When it was over, PG went up to Mr. Zawinul, shook his hand and, and said thank you. He was pouring a glass of beer from a pitcher, and looked a bit startled.

LBCB065-104az

LBCB076-015cz

LBCB077-016az

LBCB077-091az

LBCE11-011az

David Pomerance / Rahsaan Roland Kirk Chamblee54 has written about this show before. Mr. Kirk was a force of nature, the modern miracle of the tenor saxophone. He did not suffer from false modesty. This was the night Richard Nixon resigned, which pleased Mr. Kirk no end. The blind Rahsaan said that he did not want to see his audience, because we were too ugly. At one point, his band had been jamming for about ten minutes, when PG realized that Mr. Kirk had been holding a single note the entire time. The three saxophones at one time thing was a visual shocker, but he got sounds that way that you cannot get from a single instrument. At one point, Mr. Kirk pulled his sunglasses off, and made a face at the crowd. It was an amazing evening.
Chic Corea / Return to Forever This was a disappointment. Tickets were $4.50, which may be the most PG ever paid at the Music Hall. The band only played about an hour. It was all electric, ignoring the acoustic instruments set up on stage. RTF was a four piece, all star band. They had Chic Corea on keyboards, Stanley Clarke on bass, Al Demeola on guitar, and Lenny White on drums. That sounds like a great show, but it turned out to be four solo artists jamming. There was no cohesion, and the overall sound was less than the sum of the individual parts. Corea leaned over his keyboard, twisted knobs, and made faces, as if to say “look at how intense this is”. It wasn’t.

Mccoy Tyner The former Coltrane sideman played a very nice show. He had a percussion man, with several tables covered in exotic instruments. PG took a break after to first show to hang out at a neighborhood disco. When he got back, there was no doorman checking tickets, and anyone could walk in for free. PG took advantage of this discovery many times over the next few years.

Bill Crystal / Jean Luc Ponty Former Frank Zappa player Jean Luc Ponty played at the Music Hall, with a bass player who was a fellow Zappa alumni. The surprise of the evening was then-unknown Bill Crystal. A few weeks after this show, “Soap” would premiere, and make him a star. Mr. Crystal did a killer impersonation of a gila monster.

Between shows, Mr. Crystal had been entertained by a local musician. During the second show, he held his finger to his nose, made a snorting sound, and said thank you. PG heard this, and yelled “Locker Room”, the name of a “deooderizer” that some liked to get a buzz sniffing. Mr. Crystal said “Locker room. Jeez, I need to get the hecklers rosetta stone to know what he means”. Good times.

Keith Jarrett This is another show that might have been better than PG’s enjoyment. At one point early in the show, PG moved over to the front of the stage, to look at Mr. Jarrett’s hands. After the show, people told PG that the player had been giving him dirty looks when he did that. PG asked Mr. Jarrett about it, and he said that PG had interfered with his concentration.

This show featured a quartet, instead of a solo piano. The bass player was Charley Haden, who seemed a bit puffy faced. PG later learned that he had been addicted to heroin at the time.

Melissa Manchester Ms. Manchester came back for another week at the Music Hall, about a year after her first appearance. At one point, she asked the band if they were ready to do a new song, and then performed “I got eyes” for the first time in public. This was later the b side to “Midnight Blue”. One of the players in her band was a man named James Newton Howard. Part of the deal for touring with her was that he could play a solo number on piano, called “Newton’s Ego”. He later played with Elton John, and became wealthy writing film scores.

Flora Purim /Airto Moreira On PG’s 23rd birthday, Flora Purim played at the Music Hall. At the time, PG had a profound appreciation of her albums. The band had a nice sound, and was the equal of her records. The Chic Corea tune “Light as a Feather” was a standout. Her husband, Airto Moreira (eye, ear, toe) fronted the band on some of the numbers, and had some funny routines. Ms. Purim held two microphones throughout the show, with one connected to some audio filters. PG found holding two microphones to be visually distracting. PG had known of the Jewish ancestry of Ms. Purim, but had not thought much about it. Then he saw her live, and realized that she does, indeed, look Jewish. A Piedmont Park show in 1987 was rained out.

Hot Tuna Hot Tuna is a dependable, though not spectacular, band. On a previous show in Atlanta, they went on stage at 10:55, and played without a break until 2:50. This night, a fried of a friend was working at the Music Hall, and PG got in before the crowds, to get a prime spot, in the first row of benchbacks. At one point, PG was rocking back and forth against the benchback, and a neighbor asked him to quit. Those buckets of beer were influential.

Shakti This was an acoustic, Hindu oriented band fronted by guitar superman John McLaughlin. The numbers seemed to go on forever.

David Manion / Mark Almond This was a long awaited Atlanta performance by Mark Almond. (This is a jazz/blues band, totally different from the Soft Cell vocalist with a similar name.) They played two sets, which were only an hour or so long. This was disappointing to the people who could not wait for the second show. In the second show, they “took the shackles off” saxophone player Johnny Almond, and he played a wild solo during “The city”.

The incident we are about to describe may or may not have involved David Manion. What happened was, a small portable radio was playing on the edge of the stage. The spotlight was on the radio, which sounded like gibberish to most of the audience. Gradually, the chattering audience got quiet, and tried to listen to the radio. After a few minutes, a man came out, and stood in darkness behind the radio. The PA speaker announced “The new force of rock in Atlanta”. The man then dropped a large piece of granite on the radio, smashing it into bits.

Laurie Chapman / Stomu Yamashta Laurie Chapman was a singer/piano player, with some good stories. She told of a trucker, driving beside her and talking to her on a cb radio. ” You better get that drink out from between your legs before it gets too hot to handle”.

Stomu Yamashta is somewhat of a star in Japan. The show here was filmed for showing on TV there. His band, Go, was an all star collection, including Ava Cherry. She was a backup vocalist, and girlfriend, with David Bowie. After the show, PG was introduced to Spencer Davis in the lobby.

The next few shows were at Cherokee Plaza.

Martin Mull Mr. Mull was a solo star this time. He did a song about doing nothing, adding that dead people can do it too. The parking lot was packed, which was a major problem at the new location.

The week before the Super Bowl in 1994, Mr. Mull filmed a Comedy Central show in Woodruff Park. The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders were kicking field goals. After the filming PG stood a few feet away from Mr. Mull, but could not think of anything to say.

Sun Ra PG went to a wedding, and a bunch of people from there went to see Sun Ra. This was an entertaining spectacle, with a big band and dancers. After the show, PG asked Sun Ra how he could afford to take a band like that on the road. He said he was doing it for beauty.

David Bromberg This was another big band production. PG showed within a few minutes of the gateman leaving his post, and saw about 45 minutes without buying a ticket.

Lester Flatt/John Hartford One boring Saturday night, PG walked up to the Music Hall, and saw the two fiddle players jamming. A few weeks later, Lester Flatt passed away. This is a repost. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. As a bonus to the reader(s) here, we are reposting Great Southeast Music Hall Stories. It is a collection of comments from an earlier posting of this feature.

LBCB074-106az

LBCB073-075az

LBCB070-136bz

LBCB009-018az

LBCB024-017bz

LBCB053-055ez

LBSCE3-001az

LBstrip031az

LBstrip031kz

LBstrip031qz

LBstrip031uza

LBStrip044hz

LBCB076-062bz


Chamblee54 posted a tribute to The Great Southeast Music Hall a few years ago. This was a concert venue, with no hard liquor and a 500 person capacity, next door to a bowling alley on Piedmont Road. It was about a mile north of Piedmont Park, and in front of the dirt road that became Sidney Marcus Boulevard. GSEMH hosted some great shows. This was when record companies would invest in new bands by putting them on promotional tours, and Atlanta was a popular stop.

The chamblee54 post attracted 85 comments. This is a slow day for Matt Walsh, but is a record for chamblee54. Most of the comments were boring … great place to play, I saw Steve Martin there and drank too many buckets of beer. A few of these comments tell stories. This post puts the best of the GSEMH comments in one place. Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”. See if you can guess which one was taken at GSEMH.

Neal B. – Som Records June 10, 2012 at 5:18 pm Great reading! Brought back some memories. I saw three shows at the Music Hall – The Dixie Dregs, Elvin Bishop and David Allan Coe. I saw Coe the night before my SATs in 1978 or ’79 and it was (and still is) the most bikers I’ve ever seen in once place. Elvin Bishop just tore it up, really good.

jake lamb May 17, 2011 at 11:34 am Great stories of our past. I can’t remember the shows I went to, but after reading your post it certainly helps clear the fog. As I went thru the list I noted, “Yep I was with CG at that show, that one too, oh yeah, I remember Al saying to you what time it was but didn’t you delete the expletives? Odetta blasting the audience for not showing her the proper respect…what a crybaby! The autographed Marc Almond Album, meeting them backstage to learn how the finger was ripped from Jon’s hand after a tree limb caught on his ring finger when he jumped out of a tree during a photo shoot, resulting in having to learn how to play the saxaphone with one less digit ala Jerry Garcia, and the Hot Tuna Show with Papa John Screech. Flora and Eye Ear Toes logo on his equipment. Was it there that we went on Halloween, me dressed as a bagman for Nixon (A paper sack over my head) and you going as a Bee-keeper (a vegetable strainer over your head)? God we were hilarious! It’s all beginning to come back, but what never went away was remembering the great friend I went with.

Eugene Gray June 24, 2012 at 11:30 am I grew up in Atlanta so thanks for the memories about the shows at The Great Southeast Music Hall. I attended numerous shows between the years 1974 and 1977. From what I can remember (I do have “70s Memory” after all), here’s some highlights: Kinky Friedman — Smoked a huge cigar throughout the show and tipped his ashes in an ash tray attached to his microphone stand. Brought the house down with ‘Sold American.’ David Allan Coe — Played the first half of the show in his “Country Crooner” persona wearing a white suit and white cowboy hat; then played the second half as The Mysterious Rhinestone Cowboy complete with rhinestone jacket and black mask. Played a hard-rockin’ version of ‘Bossier City’ to close out the show. Best memory: New Riders of the Purple Sage Show opened late with only John Dawson (acoustic guitar) and Buddy Cage (pedal steel) taking the stage. Seems their limo made the right exit off of 285 but the other limo kept going. After Dawson telling us that, he said, “Well, you might not have all of us but you do have two.” He and Cage then played a short set together including a beautiful version of ‘Gypsy Cowboy.’ The other members trickled in and started playing, all having a good time with the audience about their site-seeing tour of Atlanta via 285. Fantastic show and my best memory of The Hall. Weirdest experience: For lack of something to do, went to see the New Zealand group Split Enz. A fun but bizarre show with a group outside my typical taste. Sort of a cross between Devo and Bowie and the Bay City Rollers. Truly a strange show. Worst experience: Pure Prairie League — I was always, always let in and served beer before I turned 18 in ’76. Except for one time. Missed Pure Prairie League because we were all carded; the only time I was ever asked for my ID here. Always regretted missing them since the original band broke up right after this tour. Damn. Thanks again for a spot to remember one of the best concert venues (ever) in Atlanta.

Anonymous July 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm Saw many great shows at the Music Hall; Leon Redbone, Don McLean, Bruce Cogburn, but the funniest thing was at Darryl Rhoads show. My girlfriend (now wife of 30 years) went missing when she left to go make the parent check-in phone call. I found her coming around the corner in the hallway, mad at some guy who wouldn’t get off the phone in the lobby. The “guy” was Darryl and he made a few comments to her from the stage during the show just to keep her pissed. It’s funny now, but I could have died then…

Pharmacist Jim April 28, 2013 at 12:01 pm How about when Jimmy Buffett opened for Billy Joel there in 1974. I was a Pharmacist at Eckerd Drugs in the plaza at the time when Jimmy called me and asked me to call his physician in Key West for a prescription–a musician who wanted to get a legitimate prescription, unheard of!!! I was already a Buffett fan, but this just made me respect him that much more and I’ve been a “Parrot Head” since, now so more than ever since I live in Florida.

Anonymous October 23, 2013 at 8:29 am My best friend and I moved to Atlanta (on purpose) for just the summer of ’73 and attended MANY MANY great shows at the Music Hall. It was SO awesome. Saw Billy Joel right around the Captain Jack release time and he asked me out after the show. Of course, I answered with a resounding “NO! Thank You!!” (you see, I was ABSOLUTELY too cute for him…hehe — not to mention, I thought his nose was entirely too big.) Also, saw Jimmy Buffett who talked to us from the stage because we were from Hattiesburg, MS and he had gone to school there at the University of Southern Mississippi. SOOO COOL!!!

Rod Pearman May 28, 2015 at 10:00 am Couldn’t help but have a smile on my face as I read all these comments. THE Great Southeast Music Hall and Emporium………man, the memories. Sometimes I think I could write a book. My roommate and I lived at Bordeaux Apts. on Buford Hwy, which was just a hop skip and jump over to The Hall via the dirt road which is now Sidney Marcus……..we lived there from 1972 to early 1980, which might be a record for two dudes that were party animals to have survived that long in one apartment complex. Anyhow, we frequented GSEMH about once a month when an act we wanted to see was to play there. A couple of my fondest memories now that I’m in my mid 60’s is, it had to be sometime in ’75. We went to see The Dirt Band (one my favorites of all time) The opening act was this guy named Steve Martin, who at that time, no one on the planet had ever heard of him. Well he comes out, and within 30 seconds he has us so cracked up we’re shooting beer out our noses from his comedy. Really funny stuff, and had no idea it was coming. Well, he does his gig, then the Dirt Band comes out. They play a great set, take a little break, and when they came back out on stage, here comes Steve Martin with a banjo over his shoulder. So we’re all thinking this will be something funny, this guy with a banjo. This guy took off on his “ban-jer” and everybody’s jaw hit the floor. He really tore it up. Then the Dirt Band joined in and he played a few tunes with the band. The guy was incredible on the banjo. Then a few months later, Saturday Night Live did their first show, and there’s Steve Martin on TV. I look over at my roommate as he’s looking at me, and we’re both saying in unison, hey, that’s the guy from The Great Southeast Music Hall. Pretty neat that we got to see him when nobody had a clue of his talent. … I got home later that night, and my roommate (yeah, the same guy I mentioned in earlier chapters of this book….) said he saw something on TV that I wouldn’t believe. Turns out, one of the local TV stations (2, 5, or 11) had sent a reporter over to cover the final show of The Great Southeast Music Hall, and while reporting out front of the establishment, there were about a dozen folks standing there sorta behind the reporter. Well, this one fair lady decided to nonchalantly pull a boob out of her tank top and display it for all the world to see, right there on live TV. My roommate said it was something he’d never forget, and we tell the story often. (I wonder who that young lady was sometimes……) but I digress……..

alun v September 23, 2014 at 11:54 am As the Audio Engineer and last guy to walk out the door @ the Lindbergh (and Cherokee Plaza) locations, the walls, painted and autographed by many of the acts, were destroyed; (legal issues I guess). I still have the door to the tech room, signed by Cowboy, a personal favorite. BTW, I saw the concrete sidewalk @ Peaches, with hand / foot prints and signatures, also destroyed and hauled off………lawyers.

julia guthrie November 26, 2015 at 10:38 pm I just caught the 50th anniversary! of Alice’s restaurant masacree on pbs. Brought back the memory of seeing Arlo at the Great Southeast Music Hall. I was drunk(and maybe other) and it was my birthday, so my bf said I should try to talk to Arlo because my name is Guthrie! I was just drunk and young enough to do just that. I finagled my way to the tourbus door(was pretty good at talking my way into things back then), announced that I was a cousin, and ended up sitting at the little bus table, smoking and talking with Arlo and fam. Pretty sure all I added to the conversation was a shit-eating grin, but it was one of the highlights of my youthful escapades. Loved going to the Music Hall! Ah…youth and happy times. I also lived at Bordeaux apts for a while! Peace:)

Rod November 27, 2015 at 11:06 am You can’t beat Alice’s Restaurant on Thanksgiving Day. I used to have an annual tradition of listening to that song on my Technic’s turntable for probably 30+ years, but somehow that tradition faded out a few years ago. (Maybe because my turntable is sitting on a shelf in my closet Definitely great memories at the Hall. Hard to believe it’s been 40 years ago, give or take. I lived at Bordeaux for 7 years through the ’70’s, which might be a record. We were in G building, and had some of the best parties in NE Atlanta. It was standing room only, kegs on the deck, music crankin’ just below distortion level. Those were the days!

BRIAN HOLCOMB June 19, 2015 at 6:00 pm I was a freshman student a GSU in 74 After one of the shows (can’t remember who) I was standing outside in the corridor waiting on some friends. When out the door came my General Chemistry Professor Dr Sears arm in arm with the best looking girl in my class. They turned beet red turned and got away from me as quick as they could. I often wonder if I could have went and bribed an A out of him. LOL

SideShow Bennie December 1, 2015 at 5:24 pm I just stumbled across this article when I Googled GSMH. I lived in Atlanta in 1972-73 and attended a lot of shows at the Broadview Plaza location. I was at one of the Howdy Doody Revival shows that is on the poster pictured in the article. I remember Bob Smith hitting a bad note on the piano, reaching inside and pulling out a pack of ZigZag rolling papers saying, “Clarabelle leaves these things everywhere.” Other shows I remember seeing were Johnny Nash with Sons of The Jungle (The first actual Jamacian Reggae band I ever saw) John Hartford, The Earl Scruggs Revue, Joe Walsh with Barnstorm, Jim Croce, Harry Chapin, Doc Watson, The Hahavishnu Orchestra, Martin Mull, Doug Kershaw. I am pretty sure I was at the Ellen McIllwain and the Breakfast Special shows you mentioned but there were show where a lot of beer buckets were emptied so a lot of those shows are a little hazy. I still have a bucket or two around the house here somewhere. Thanks for the memories!!

chamblee54 May 20, 2018 at 12:31 pm There was a facebook meme. The idea was to say 10 things about yourself, 9 of which were true. Facebook nation was supposed to guess which one was false. PG posted a GSEMH version. He listed 10 acts, 9 of which he saw at the Music Hall. (PG never said Great Southeast, just *the music hall*). The 10 acts listed: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Steve Martin, Martin Mull, Weather Report, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Sex Pistols, Melissa Manchester, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Doc and Merle Watson, Atlanta Rythym Section. You will have to read the post to see what act is the lie, and the 9 acts that PG did see.
David Manion May 20, 2018 at 12:54pm Yes I smashed a transistor radio just before my opening set for Marc almond.
Doug DeLoach May 23 2018 at 4:20 pm “The performance [by the Sex Pistols] was said to be horrible.” You must have exclusively heard either from people who weren’t there or scene trolls who hated punk rock in the first place. The show was about as awesomely punk as punk can get.

LBCE22-016az

LBCE22-016bz

LBGPF3-019rz

LBP34-019bz

LBP40-169az

LBP40-169ez

LBRE006-005az

LBSCB13-085dz

Richie Havens

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on April 28, 2018






Richie Havens died April 22, 2013. He was 72 years old. In 1969, he was the first performer at Woodstock. Mr. Havens was featured in the movie, and became very popular. The promoters asked him to play longer, while backstage chaos played out. “Freedom” was improvised to fill this need.

In 1974, PG had the privilege of seeing Richie Havens. He was playing at Richards, a club on Monroe Drive. It was the 2am show, on a weeknight. There was not a large crowd. What crowd there was kept yelling for “Freedom”, as if Mr. Havens had an obligation to play it.

Mr. Havens played a Guild guitar. He strummed it hard, with his pick dragging down over the body past the air hole. It looked like a guitar would only last a show, or two, before he would wear scratch marks in the body. Indeed, he did change guitars in mid show that night.

Pictures are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.




Tim Curry

Posted in Georgia History, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on April 19, 2018






Tim Curry was born seventy two years ago today. It would be quite a while before April 19 was known as got a minute day. Mr. Curry is an actor, singer, and all around phenomenon. The role that made him a star was Frank-n-Furter in ” The Rocky Horror Show”.

Mr. Curry is best known for playing a flamboyant transvestite. His wikipedia page does not discuss his personal life. If you go to google, and type “is tim curry” the top five results are gay, married, dead, alive, died. A visit to some of the sites listed gave no definite answers. One of the sites tried to slip a *trojan horse* into this machine. Some things are better left a mystery.

After Dr. Furter went back to Transylvania, Mr. Curry made rock and roll albums. In 1978, a tour was put together to promote his vinyl debut. The first show in the United States was at the Agora Ballroom in Atlanta GA. PG was in the audience.

Riding into town on the 23 Ogelthorpe bus, PG got to talk to some ladies who were in town for a conference. They were worried about the crime. PG tried to reassure them by telling a recent news story. This lady was having breakfast in a downtown hotel, when she put her purse down on the floor. A handgun her husband had given her went off when the handbag hit the ground. The ladies breakfast companion was hit and killed.

Mr. Curry walked onstage eating a banana, grabbed a stool and turned it upside down. He appeared to be a bit tipsy. This did not affect his performance. Mr. Curry did most of the songs on his album, along with “Celluoid Heroes” by the Kinks. The latter song featured a Garbo impersonation.

Whoever put the band together for this tour had a lot of money. The guitar player played with Lou Reed on “Rock and Roll Animal”. The keyboard player, and musical director, was Micheal Kamen, formerly of the New York Rock and Roll Ensemble. (A song on the Curry album, “Sloe Gin”, was a NYRRE song, “Fields of Joy”, with new lyrics.)

The only song from “Rocky Horror” that Mr. Curry did was “I’m Going Home”. A few people were upset that he did not do “Sweet Transvestite.” He played another Agora show a couple of years later, and reportedly did perform “Sweet Transvestite.”

Tom Waits was scheduled to perform at the Agora the next night. PG was wandering through the balcony between shows, and saw Mr. Waits sitting at a table. A bodyguard was standing by, who said that it was just someone who looked like Tom Waits.

After the show was over, PG went to a nearby bar, and was talking to a friend about the show. A lady who was with the friend stood in front of him and screamed “What color are your eyes? They are brown, because you are so full of shit”.

Pictures for this repost are from The Library of Congress. Photographs of Cornell Fresh. 8 and Cornell 2d Varsity, 1914 are from the George Grantham Bain Collection




Dead Saturday

Posted in GSU photo archive, History, Holidays, Music, Religion by chamblee54 on March 31, 2018

LBSGPNB1-116aZ

N02-141_01z

N30-047_az

LBCB024-085az

N33-020_az

N33-020_bz

ps012


It is easter season. Once, it was a day to celebrate springtime, the renewal of life after the chilly winter. Then, some people who take their myths literally came into control. The story of the day is of an avatar (G-d become man), who died, and then rose from the grave. This is a repost.

Not only do they believe the story, but they also believe that this belief allows them to live forever. PG does not agree, and would appreciate the Jesus Worshipers a lot more if they kept their ideas to themselves. Sad to say, the believers like to talk about their beliefs. Many seem to think that the louder the talk, the more true the belief.

In the 2100 years since his life and reputed rebirth, Jesus has become quite the cult of personality. Many feel that the current Jesus has almost nothing to do with the historic Jesus. Popular Jesus is a modern day golden calf, a idol created by man. The best way to learn about Jesus is through the words and deeds of his believers. It is not always pretty.

Pictures are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.

LBCB110-037az

LBCB119-001az

LBCB120-048cz

LBCB126-109az

LBCB126-109bz

LBGPF8-004gz

LBSGP1-035az

LBSGPNB1-106az


It was dead saturday 1973, the day between good friday and easter. PG and his friend Gibson have traveled from Athens GA to Charlotte NC to see a rock concert. The plan was eight bands in a crowded football stadium. Jesus did not attend. This is a repost.

PG had never been to an outdoor concert, and had some ideas about how it would be. They were in the house early, and set up a blanket about thirty feet in front of the stage. For the first part of the day, the crowd stayed off their turf.

The first electric act was Brownsville Station. The first thing they did was encourage the audience to crowd in front of the stage, resulting in a mob scene for the rest of the day. BS played loud heavy metal, with a guitar/vocals guy painted like a clown. They were a three piece band that day, as their bass player had gotten a job selling furniture in Kansas. “Smokin in the Boys Room” was a hit for this trendy ensemble later that year.

The concept of multiple stages had not hit North Carolina, and there was a long wait between acts. The next band was Mason Profit. “you are talking about boogie, you don’t know shit about boogie. By this time, the crowd was getting off on their downers, the sun was shining, and PG was out of water. It only got better as the day went on. The scheduled next act was Captain Beyond, but they canceled. The replacement was Marshall Tucker. They were good, but not really memorable.

The afternoon went on and on. Goose Creek Symphony came and went, followed by Wet Willie. WW had a routine where this pretty girl was walking down ___ street, which in Charlotte was Independence Boulevard. Eventually, the sun went down, and ZZ Top came on stage.

ZZ Top was the high point of the day. The beards were only about four inches long. They introduced one song, saying “this is something you might know about, song called beer drinkers and hell raisers”. They were the only band to do an encore, with “Francine”.

The next act was Mahavishnu Orchestra, which PG was convinced was the greatest band that ever lived. The stadium crowd was not conducive to their style, but they delivered a good show. John McLaughlin played a twin necked guitar, which PG found a bit disconcerting. The electric violin player, Jerry Goodman, was a stand out.

By the time MO finished, PG wanted to get away from the front of the stage. He took to wandering around the back of the stadium while the Allman Brothers played. The back of the house was full, although there was room to walk around. Before long, it was time to hit the road back to Georgia.









Lady Sings The Blues

Posted in Book Reports, History, Library of Congress, Music, Race by chamblee54 on March 27, 2018


Lady Sings The Blues is the autobiography of Billie Holiday. PG read it in 1978, and pulled it off the shelf recently. The copy he has is was a 1972 paperback, issued in conjunction with the movie. A picture of Diana Ross is on the cover, as well as a price sticker from Woolco. The book sold for $1.25. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. The spell check suggestion for Woolco is Cool.

William Dufty was the ghost writer. His prose is easy to read, with the story flowing out like a Lester Young solo. The 1956 copyright is assigned to “Eleanora Fagan and William Dufty,” using the birth name of the singer. Mr. Dufty was a newspaper writer. “Dufty had one son, Bevan Dufty, with first wife Maely Bartholomew, who had arrived in New York City during World War II after losing most of her family in the Nazi concentration camps. She settled near Harlem where she met her best friend and Bevan’s godmother, Billie Holiday.”

“Bevan Dufty would agree. He’s one of the childless singer’s two godchildren. … “Holiday said motherf — all the time, in her gravelly elegant way,” recalled Dufty, sitting in his City Hall office. His mother, a Czech Jewish immigrant who loved jazz, was close to many musicians and even managed the unmanageable Charlie Parker for a spell, learned to curse from Holiday. But with a European accent. Much of what Dufty knows of Holiday comes from his late mother, who was married to actor Freddie Bartholomew before her brief marriage to William Dufty, one of her seven husbands. Maely, who took her infant son by train to Philadelphia every day to attend yet another of Holiday’s drug trials, was so distraught by the singer’s death that she dedicated herself to helping recovering addicts. A number of musicians lived at the Duftys’ place while kicking the habit (William and Maely Dufty divorced not long after Holiday’s death, and he later married actress Gloria Swanson, who inspired him to write the book “Sugar Blues” about the dangers of processed sugar).”

Billie Holiday’s bio, ‘Lady Sings the Blues,’ may be full of lies, but it gets at jazz great’s core Autobiographies are, by their nature, self serving. This one has a great opening line… ” “Mom and Pop were just a couple of kids when they got married. He was eighteen, she was sixteen, and I was three.” (“Her parents were never married. When she was born, her mother was 19, her father was 17 and they never lived under the same roof.”) Another source adds: “Some of the material in the book, however, must be taken with a grain of salt. Holiday was in rough shape when she worked with Dufty on the project, and she claimed to have never read the book after it was finished. Around this time, Holiday became involved with Louis McKay. The two were arrested for narcotics in 1956, and they married in Mexico the following year. (March 28, 1957) Like many other men in her life, McKay used Holiday’s name and money to advance himself.”

Louis McKay is at the center of another misunderstanding of facts. The Hunting of Billie Holiday claimed that Mr. McKay narked out Miss Holiday in 1947, and set up her first drug bust. LSTB tells a different story. Here, Miss Holiday meets Mr. McKay very briefly in 1931. Someone was trying to rob Mr. McKay. Miss Holiday said “He’s my old man,” and chased off the robber.

Fast forward twenty five years, and Miss Holiday connects with Mr. McKay. “I hadn’t seen him since I was sixteen and he wasn’t much older and I was singing at the Hotcha in Harlem.” The two were married in 1957. They got busted as LSTB ends. Either Politico is wrong about the 1947 bust, or Miss Holiday did not tell the whole story. Either way, Harry Anslinger is not mentioned in LSTB.

Tallulah Bankhead is another missing piece of the puzzle. Reportedly, Miss Bankhead and Miss Holiday were close friends, and possibly lovers. That was over by the time LSTB was written. “When “Lady Sings the Blues” was being prepared, Miss Bankhead got an advance copy, and was horrified by what she saw. A fierce note was sent to the book’s publisher, and scenes were edited out. Miss Holiday was outraged. The letter that resulted is a poison pen classic. “My maid who was with me at the Strand isn’t dead either. There are plenty of others around who remember how you carried on so you almost got me fired out of the place. And if you want to get shitty, we can make it a big shitty party. We can all get funky together!”

Miss Bankhead does make an appearance in LSTB. On page 117, Miss Holiday is describing playing a maid, in a movie. She was not pleased at the typecasting. “Don’t get me wrong. I’ve got nothing against maids – or whores – whether they’re black or white. My mother was a maid, a good one, one of the greatest. My stepmother is Tallulah Bankhead’s maid right now, and that’s a part I’d even consider when they do her life story.” (Miss Bankhead had her own domestic help problems. In 1951, Evyleen Cronin, Tallulah’s maid and secretary, was accused of stealing $10,000-30,000 from Tallulah during her employment. … The case went to trial (much to Tallulah’s embarrassment) and Cronin was convicted.” Many embarrassing details about Miss Bankhead’s life came to light during this trial. Fanny Holiday, the stepmother, is probably a different person than Evyleen Cronin.)

Whatever it’s factual challenges, Lady Sings the Blues is a powerful book. Miss Holiday had a tough life, to say the least. As the singer for Artie Shaw’s big band, Miss Holiday was an integration pioneer, and every two bit cracker wanted to make trouble. Later, she was addicted to heroin, got busted, served time in prison, only to get out and suffer some more.

Three years after LSTB came out, things went from bad to horrible. “In early 1959 she found out that she had cirrhosis of the liver. The doctor told her to stop drinking, which she did for a short time, but soon returned to heavy drinking. … On May 31, 1959, Holiday was taken to Metropolitan Hospital in New York suffering from liver and heart disease. She was arrested for drug possession as she lay dying, and her hospital room was raided by authorities. Police officers were stationed at the door to her room. Holiday remained under police guard at the hospital until she died from pulmonary edema and heart failure caused by cirrhosis of the liver on July 17, 1959.”

Anita Aretha and Elton

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress, Music by chamblee54 on March 25, 2018

8d32364x

8d32365x

8d32365xa

8d32366x

8d32373x

8d32373xa

8d32375x

8d32375xa



In the early nineties, PG had too much free time. On March 25 of one year, he looked in the fishwrapper, and found a list of famous people with birthdays.

There was an unlikely trio celebrating that day. This would be (in order of appearance) Anita Bryant (1940), Aretha Franklin (1942), and Elton John (1947). All three have been paid for singing. The three have a total of five husbands, with Miss Bryant and Mr. John currently attached (Not to each other). Miss Franklin has good taste in hats.

Several other people have arrived on planet earth on March 25. They include , in 1911, Jack Ruby, the killer of Lee Harvey Oswald (d. 1967) (They don’t say alleged when it was on live TV). 1918 produced Howard Cosell, American sports reporter (d. 1995). Flannery O’Connor (d. 1964) arrived in 1925. 1934 gave us Gloria Steinem. To make room for all this talent, Buck Owens died March 25, 2006.

March 25 is after the spring equinox, and has been Easter. A few noteworthy events have gone down on this day. In 1894, Coxey’s Army departed Massillon, Ohio for Washington D.C. In 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire killed 146 garment workers in New York City. In 1939 Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli becomes Pope Pius XII, to the delight of Adolph Hitler. 1955 saw the United States Customs seizes copies of Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl” as obscene. In 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono began their first Bed-In for Peace at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel.

HT and applause to wikipedia. This is a repost. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.



09902x

09902xa

09902xb

27308xa

27308xb

27308xc

8d32355x

8d32358x

00318x

Singers Who Wear Wigs

Posted in Library of Congress, Music, Undogegorized by chamblee54 on March 6, 2018

06660x

06660xa

06660xb

06660xc

06660xd

06660xe

06660xf

06660xg




If you go to google, and type in “singers that wear wigs”, the first name to appear is Mary J. Blige. PG does not follow her closely, but went to youtube and found a video. This is probably not her real hair.

Dolly Parton is known for a lot of things, at least two of which are real. The hair is not. If you ask her “How long does it take to do your hair?”, she says “I don’t know, I’m never there”

If anyone is known for enhancing her natural attributes, it would be Cher. Her fondness for plastic surgery is well known, as is the way her head fits in a hairpiece. In this number, Mrs. Bono talks about some of her favorite people.

Grace Slick is basically retired these days. In her hey day, she never appeared in public in her real hair. PG saw her at the Omni once, and was horrified by her wig. (Grace sells her paintings these days. Her white hair is cut short. The wigs are in a museum.)

RuPaul is not really blonde. That is a part of her wardrobe. In this video, she co stars with Martha Wash, in a remake of “It’s Raining Men”. The original title for this video was Piggly Wiggly.

It is a bit of show business wisdom that you put the horses at the end of a parade. Deaundra Peek fills this important role today. Last year it was a remake of “Supermodel”, which has copyright issues. Today, it is a cooking lesson. The last three characters of the Youtube code are M2M.
This is a repost. Pictures, from The Library of Congress, model “Inter-city beauties, Atlantic City Pageant, 1927.” As a bonus to our reader(s), we will explore the issue, Does Lady Gaga wear a wig? The answers are a bit contradictory, which is somehow fitting. One page says she does not wear a wig, but does wear extensions in some videos. Another answer is that dying her hair is damaging to the hair, if she went to a salon the paparazzi would see her, so yes, she does wear a wig.




06660xh

06660xi

06660xj

06660xk

06660xl

06660xm

06660xn

06660xo

06660xp

06660xq

06660xr

06660xs

06660xt

06660xu

06660xv

06660xw

Billie Holiday Stories

Posted in History, Library of Congress, Music, Race by chamblee54 on February 24, 2018


How ‘Strange Fruit’ Killed Billie Holiday turned up in a facebook feed yesterday. The article states that Harry Jacob Anslinger “the first commissioner of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Federal Bureau of Narcotics,” ordered Billie Holiday to quit performing “Strange Fruit.” When the chanteuse declined, Mr. Anslinger had her arrested for heroin possession. Later, Mr. Anslinger was allegedly responsible for busting Miss Holiday on her deathbed.

The Hunting of Billie Holiday was the source given for the claim about Mr. Anslinger and “Strange Fruit.” The Politico article does not say that Mr. Anslinger ordered Miss Holiday to quit singing “Strange Fruit.” It does say that Louis McKay, one of the many no-good men in Miss Holiday’s life, narked her out. The bust was in 1947, after she had been performing “Strange Fruit” for several years.

Politico had one comment that set off the bs detector. “One day, Harry Anslinger was told that there were also white women, just as famous as Billie, who had drug problems—but he responded to them rather differently. He called Judy Garland, another heroin addict, in to see him.” Frances Gumm was well known for having substance abuse issues. The heroin business was news to a lot of people.

Johann Hari was the author of the politico article. At the time, he was promoting a book, Chasing the Scream, about the war on drugs. Johann Hari has a spotted reputation. “The author used to be the Independent’s star columnist, a prolific polemicist and darling of the left, until his career imploded in disgrace when it emerged in 2011 that many of his articles contained quotes apparently said to him but in fact lifted from his interviewees’ books, or from previous interviews by other journalists.”

The final bust, as Miss Holiday lay dying in the hospital, is part of the legend. A google search does not show what agency was responsible. Harry Anslinger may have been involved, and it may have been someone else. By this time, Elanora Fagan was in bad, bad shape. Years of drinking, and hard drugs, had worn her out. While the hospital bust may have hastened her demise, it is a bit of a stretch to say the Harry Anslinger killed Billie Holiday, because she sang “Strange Fruit.”

Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.

Jesus Gets A New Nickname

Posted in History, Holidays, Library of Congress, Music, Poem, Religion by chamblee54 on February 14, 2018

1a34608x

1a34623x

1a34670xa

1a34671x

1a34709x

1a34771x


There is a video making the rounds now. The title involves Jesus, and a certain racial slur, delicately known as the N word. The video is embedded above. You can feel the magic for yourself.

Here is a story about the song, with the edgy language bleeped. “One pastor is trying to spread the word of God with an edgy rap song. The rapping pastor and his wife claim they have “Christian swag” while tossing around the n-word. … The video of the rapping pastor was recently uploaded to YouTube but it’s not clear when it was filmed. It was taken at a church in Iowa which closed in 2004.” Another helpful interneter has the lyrics.

In case you didn’t know, Pastor Jim Colerick, and Mrs Mary-Sue Colerick, are melanin deficient. They are, as Bette Midler once said about Karen Carpenter, so white they are invisible. It is not considered good manners for Caucasians to use this word, with or without salvation.

There is another angle to this equation. Many Jesus worshipers see not using cusswords as a sign of righteousness. As a result, many Jesus worshipers use the words G-d, and Jesus Christ, as tools of their anger. This violates the third commandment. Now, this use of a sacred name, as profanity, is being extended to using a sacred name as a racial slur. Someone is always ready to manipulate language to serve an agenda.

When you call a book “the word of G-d”, you give certain words too much power. When you designate the lazy way of saying black as a super duper naughty word, you give those six letters way too much power. Now, we see the convergence of these two taboos. Let the party begin.

This is a repost. Pictures of Pastor and Mrs. Colerick are taken from the video. The other images are from The Library of Congress. Jack Delano was the photographer in December 1942.


1a34808xa

1a34808xb

1a34808xe

1a34873x

jcn047

jcn140