Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Brooks Co. musician joins Ga. Music Hall of Fame

Brooks Co. musician joins Ga. Music Hall of Fame » Local News » Moultrie Observe_2014-01-29_09-09-59

From the site:

QUITMAN — For several years, Billy Ingram never asked for a cent to enter his weekly Brooks County Jamboree nestled in Downtown Quitman.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Thumbs Carllile's Official Website


From the site:

I met Thumbs when he and his family moved to Atlanta in 1987. About 6 months later he approached me about recording a demo of his trio (The Indecent 3) to offer for sale at his gigs. Each time we got together to work on the project, it had the feel of a type of celebration. And indeed there was reason for celebration. After all he had conquered cancer and for the first time in his life he was fronting his own band and playing exactly what he loved.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ray Charles to Appear on 'Forever' Stamp


From the site:

Postal officials say the agency is releasing a stamp featuring Ray Charles, of Albany, on Monday along with one of the artists' previously unreleased songs.

Charles was a singer and songwriter who pioneered the soul and rhythm and blues genres. He was born Sept. 23, 1934 in Albany, Ga., and died in 2004.

Events are being planned in Atlanta and Los Angeles to celebrate Charles' induction into the series.

R&B singer Ashanti and the Morehouse Glee Club are scheduled to perform at the school's Ray Charles Performing Arts Center, and Chaka Khan is headlining an event at the Grammy Museum at L.A. Live.

The U.S. Postal Service honors music legends annually by featuring them on limited-edition stamps.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Paula Deen’s Cook Tells of Slights, Steeped in History



NYT story reporting on a shameful aspect of Georgia’s history, culture and traditions. Dora  played an integral role in Paula’s success – and Paula acknowledges this yet treated her so badly. The tradition of white racism lives on in the South, and sadly Georgians are not exempt.

From the site:

SAVANNAH, Ga. — Dora Charles and Paula Deen were soul sisters. That’s what Ms. Deen called the black cook from the start, even before the books and the television shows and the millions of dollars.

For 22 years, Mrs. Charles was the queen of the Deen kitchens. She helped open the Lady & Sons, the restaurant here that made Ms. Deen’s career. She developed recipes, trained other cooks and made sure everything down to the collard greens tasted right.

“If it’s a Southern dish,” Ms. Deen once said, “you better not put it out unless it passes this woman’s tongue.”

The money was not great. Mrs. Charles spent years making less than $10 an hour, even after Ms. Deen became a Food Network star. And there were tough moments. She said Ms. Deen used racial slurs. Once she wanted Mrs. Charles to ring a dinner bell in front of the restaurant, hollering for people to come and get it.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Musician writes album to benefit Georgia Innocence Project


From the site:

As a longtime musician and mayor pro-tem for the tiny Pine Lake municipality in DeKalb County, Melanie Hammett has always been interested in the intersection of art, activism and giving back.

Hammett has performed and worked with some of the biggest names in the local music scene, including Indigo Girls, Sugarland’s Kristian Bush and DeDe Vogt, and created scores for theatre productions in collaboration with Majorie Kellogg and Kenny Leon.

Her latest project, Life Sentence, came from volunteering with the Georgia Innocence Project, the nonprofit that helps to free those wrongly prosecuted through DNA tests and educate about wrongful convictions.

“I’d wanted to volunteer with the Innocence Project for a long time, but they mostly wanted lawyers,” Hammett said. “I called and told them I would come in and make coffee, vacuum, whatever they needed. I feel that strongly about their mission.”

So, that’s exactly what Hammett did. While volunteering, she was introduced to Clarence Harrison, who was wrongly convicted of kidnapping, rape and robbery of a Decatur woman in 1987 and spent nearly 20 years behind bars until he became the first person exonerated by the Georgia Innocence Project.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Ray Stevens Reflects on a Diverse Career


From the site:

Ray Stevens is known for being a funny guy with a catalog full of knee-slapper novelty tunes. But he can get pretty serious about the subject of comedy. Serious enough to spend a couple of years compiling and recording over 100 comedy tunes for a formidable boxed set, The Encyclopedia of Recorded Comedy Music.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Macon music legend Johnny Jenkins gets star on Douglass Theatre’s Walk of Fame Read


From the site:

Johnny Jenkins is not a household name.

But the guitarist and Macon native is credited with influencing the style of Jimi Hendrix and other well-known musicians. Friday night, the Douglass Theatre will honor Jenkins with the installation of an etched portrait of him on its Walk of Fame.

The panel for Jenkins, who died in 2006, will join those of Little Richard, Otis Redding, Hamp Swain and James Brown outside the Douglass. The unveiling will take place at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a concert.

“Johnny Jenkins was in the group the Pinetoppers and he actually helped launch the career of Otis Redding,” said Gina Ward, director of the Douglass. “He saw Otis playing at the Douglass one night and he asked if he could play with him.”

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Little Richard's boyhood home to be moved


From the site:

Officials in Georgia have decided to move the boyhood home of Little Richard to spare it from a highway construction project.

Macon Mayor Robert Reichert made the announcement Friday. WMAZ-TV reports ( that the 80-year-old singer is receiving an honorary degree on Saturday from Mercer University.

Born Richard Wayne Penniman, Little Richard grew up in Macon's Pleasant Hill community. That's a neighborhood that was later divided by the construction of Interstate 75.

The "Tutti Frutti" singer's boyhood home faced possible demolition to make room for a planned expansion of the interchange where I-75 meets Interstate 16 to Savannah.

City officials said the home will be relocated to a lot near the Pleasant Hill community garden. At its new location, the house will be used as a neighborhood resource center

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Georgia students organize school’s first integrated prom


I can’t believe segregation is alive and well in South Georgia. Congrats to these four young ladies who wanted to make a change! Good for them!

From the site:

A high school in rural south Georgia is about to be shaken up.

Both the prom and homecoming dances held there have been segregated for 30 years. Blacks are not invited to the white kids’ prom and the same holds true for homecoming.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sylvester man makes unique drums that capture history


From the site:

SYLVESTER, Ga. -- Michael Outlaw believes in reincarnation. At least he does for the centuries-old heart pine wood he finds in abandoned Georgia houses. If Outlaw has his way, he'll make each and every stick into unique, upscale furniture and -- snare drums?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Georgia Music Foundation Benefit at The Tabernacle on January 29, 2013


Luke Bryan, Ludacris And Zac Brown Attend GA Music Benefit
ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 29: Recording artist Mac Powell of Third Day attends the Georgia Music Foundation Benefit at The Tabernacle on January 29, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Ben Rose/Getty Images for The Georgia Music Foundation, Inc.)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Georgia blues musician Precious Bryant has died at 71


From the site:

Georgia blues singer Precious Bryant has died, according to a report from the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. She was 71.

Back in 2005, the Atlanta Journal Constitution ran this tale of a visit with the Talbot County musician (By Nick Marino):

On the winding drive from Buena Vista through Talbotton, the paved road carves through fields of blond grass, and the land spreads into something resembling wilderness.

The blueswoman Precious Bryant lives here in this Middle Georgia countryside, at the end of a gravel path lined with pine straw.

Monday, November 19, 2012

My Mind is on Georgia Blog

I linked to this blog in 2008 – it’s still going strong and it’s still great!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Milledgeville 9th Annual DeepRoots Festival


Q: What time does the Deep Roots Festival Start?

            A: It starts at 10am and last until midnight.

Q: How much are tickets into the Deep Roots Festival?

      A: $5 from 10am until 5pm and $15 after 5pm.

Q: Can I buy Deep Roots Festival tickets in advance?

      A: Yes, you can purchase tickets at the Main Street Office, located at 127 E. Hancock St. one week in advance.

Monday, October 8, 2012

James Brown: Not Knuckling Under


Jeff Cochran’s wonderful profile of James Brown in Like the Dew:

As Brown’s career in music became more successful, it appeared he learned much from the most famous boxer of them all, Muhammad Ali, especially in the field of self-promotion. Ali said he was ”The Greatest,” whereas Brown bestowed himself with numerous titles such as “Soul Brother Number One,” “the Godfather of Soul” and the “Minister of the New New Super Heavy Funk.” Brown, like Ali, showed up with improbable figures in the world of politics quite often, politicos one wouldn’t expect to ever see in the same room together, such as Al Sharpton and Strom Thurmond. Covering all the bases, Brown valued his friends and, of course, what they could do for him.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Ga. State Music School Gets Multimillion Dollar Gift


The Georgia State University School of Music has received a multimillion-dollar gift to support music students, faculty and programs.

The planned gift comes from Atlanta alumna Aileen M. Valianos and her husband Chris. Aileen Valianos holds a bachelor's degree and an M.B.A. from the university. School officials did not specify the amount of the gift.

Monday, September 10, 2012

John Rhys/John Braheny chat about the late Joe South etc.


When I heard recently that The great Joe South ( Games People Play, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, Hush, etc) had recently passed away I remembered that my friend John Rhys (Eddins  if you know him by that last name) had told me about the first time he’d met Joe in Atlanta in the early ‘60s. – a life changing event for him. John is a hit producer/songwriter and proprietor of my favorite blues website, We got together over his kitchen table and reminisced.

As it often happens, we don’t realize at the time, how a single conversation or event could alter our lives. This is approximately 12 minutes of conversation about that and other stuff. Enjoy!

Living legend:Tex Forman did it all in country music

On Sept. 13, 1915, a country music legend was born.

And for Tex Forman, a local man who will celebrate his 97th birthday next month, it didn’t take long for the stories to start rolling in. Forman left home at the age of 15 after his parents split and joined a traveling medicine show, singing and performing comedy.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Singer-songwriter Joe South dead at 72, guitarist on Dylan's 'Blonde On Blonde'

Jann Wenner asked Dylan about South for Rolling Stone magazine in 1969:

    WENNER: What first got you involved with or attracted you to the musicians at the Columbia studios.
    DYLAN: Nashville? Well we always used them since “Blonde on Blonde.” Well, we didn’t use Pete (Drake) on “Blonde on Blonde.”
    WENNER: What was Joe South like to work with?
    DYLAN: Joe South? Well he was quiet. He didn’t say too much. I always did like him though.
    WENNER: Do you like his record?
    DYLAN: I love his records.
    WENNER: That album, “Introspect”?
    DYLAN: Um-hmm, I always enjoyed his guitar-playing. Ever since I heard him.
    WENNER: Does he have any solos on “Blonde on Blonde”?
    DYLAN: Um-hmm. Yes he does. He has a... he’s playing a high guitar lick on... well, if you named me the songs, I could tell you which one it was, but it’s catchin’ my mind at the moment. He was playing... he played a big, I believe it was a Gretsch, guitar–one of those Chet Atkins models. That’s the guitar he played it on.
    WENNER: “Absolutely Sweet Marie”?
    DYLAN: Yeah, it could’ve been that one. Or “Just Like a Woman”... one of those. Boy he just... he played so pretty.

(RS47: November 29, 1969)

Al Kooper, in the liner notes to Bootleg Series Vol. 7, wrote, "Just a few credits to pass out that have been hidden over the years. Joe South is playing the soul guitar on 'Stuck Inside...' He is also playing the great bass line on 'Visions of Johanna'."

When Dylan played his longest show ever, on January 12, 1990, at Toad's Place in New Haven, he opened with a one-off cover of "Walk A Mile In My Shoes."


Saturday, September 8, 2012

South Georgia String Project Begins Monday, Sept. 10

VALDOSTA -- A joint venture of the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra and the Valdosta State University Department of Music, the South Georgia String Project is gearing up for another award-winning season.


Music immortals to be honored with festivals

#ALBANY— Two musical icons with Southwest Georgia ties will be honored this fall with festivals in their hometowns.

#X-tratainment Inc. and Xtrataining Records will present the two-part “Albany’s Ray Charles Music Festival” at the Ray Charles Plaza in downtown Albany Sept. 23 and on Jackson and Highland streets in the city’s historic Harlem district Oct. 27.

#The Randolph County Veterans Memorial Committee, meanwhile, will present the second Boudleaux Bryant Festival at Shellman City Park Oct. 13.

#Sheila Raye Charles, daughter of soul great Ray, is scheduled to perform during both days of Albany’s festival honoring her father. She will help the singer’s hometown celebrate Charles’ birthday Sept. 23 at the plaza that bears his name and includes a life-size likeness of the singer sitting at a piano, and she will headline festivities a month later in the Harlem district.

#Part of the proceeds from the Charles celebration will benefit the Cancer Coalition of South Georgia, according to X-tratainment executive and event organizer Thomas Swain.


Singer-songwriter Joe South dies at 72

Sad news about the great musician Joe South. Great session musician, producer, singer and songwriter. He will be missed.
Joe South, a singer-songwriter whose hits included "Games People Play," has died of an apparent heart attack in Georgia, a longtime friend said. He was 72.
South -- who won two Grammys in 1970, including Song of the Year and Best Contemporary Song, for "Games People Play" -- died Wednesday at his home in Flowery Branch, Ga., his friend, Judy Thompson, said.
Born Joseph Alfred Souter Feb. 28, 1940, South was also known for "(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden," recorded by Lynn Anderson and nominated for a Song of the Year Grammy, The New York Times reported. The song was No. 3 on the Billboard pop chart in 1971 and Anderson won a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance, Female.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

2012 Jarrard Concert performers have more than 20 No. 1 songs

“GAINESVILLE - The 11th annual John Jarrard Foundation Concert Songwriters in the Round Show Sept. 15 on Brenau University s Front Lawn will feature singer/songwriters with more than 20 No. 1 hit songs between them.

Songwriters Walt Aldridge, Tony Arata, Steve Bogard, Fred Knobloch and Phillip White headline the annual show honoring Gainesville native and songwriter John Jarrard.”


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Georgia Roots Music

“Georgia, from the Sea Islands to the Appalachian Mountains, from the western piedmont to the southern wiregrass, is rich  in music traditions. Music is all around us- at gospel singings and camp meetings; in African American churches, whose hymns served as the foundation for many civil rights songs; in bluegrass music barns; and at the numerous community festivals and fairs that showcase our local musicians.

Georgia Touring Schedule:



Graduate Student Explores Georgia’s Musical Legacy

“Much of Sarah Foreman’s summer was filled with music and stories. The University of West Georgia graduate student traveled to a half dozen communities in the state to help them prepare for a traveling Smithsonian exhibit New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music. Along the way, Foreman also helped the communities preserve their own stories for an online site sponsored by the national museum.”


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Harold Shedd tribute brings out the stars

Pat Hearn of Bremen was one of the first people to get to Mill Town Music Hall on Thursday, hoping to see some of her favorite country music stars, get their autographs – maybe even get her photo made with some.
She never dreamed that she would get to actually see the star-spangled event.
Hearn had staked out a place along the rope line lining the red carpet, down which walked such stars as Toby Keith, members of “Alabama,” Mel Tillis, Doug Stone and John Berry. A huge crowd had gathered to watch these stars and other celebrities arrive to pay tribute to Haralson County native and Nashville country producer Harold Shedd.


Ramblin' Rhodes: Mickey Murray makes music again

Fascinating article from Augusta Chronicle’s Ramblin’ Rhodes:

Thanks to some young record company owners in Minneapolis, 74-year-old North Augusta resident Mickey Murray is enjoying renewed national and international attention.


Music writer Stanley Booth to be honored at Smithsonian event in Darien


“Stanley Booth is like a prophet in his own land. The Waycross native and Brunswick resident doesn’t get much respect close to home, but that will change Saturday when he gets a lifetime achievement award for his writing about musicians.”


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Great Site for Georgia Soul, Urban, R&B and Blues

This is a great site for Georgia Soul, Urban, R&B and Blues – check it out: 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Music lovers ready to throwdown in the Good Life City

ALBANY, GA -- The “Georgia Throwdown” music festival, is beginning to rev up. As event planners put the final touches on this music marathon, inquiring minds want to know, what exactly are we in store for?

"We're bringing in three days, Friday Saturday Sunday, October 12-14, we're going to have three main stages, and we’re going to have tons of music, arts, and entertainment going on throughout the day," said Georgia Throwdown representative, Justin Andrews.

Local history: Author’s book recounts county’s ties to Trail of Tears


Author John W. Latty will discuss his book 'Carrying off the Cherokee: History of Buffington's Company Georgia Mounted Militia' at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Cherokee County Historical Society.

Cherokee Tribune/Special

CANTON — Cherokee County's role in the Trail of Tears will be highlighted next week in a program put on by the Cherokee County Historical Society. Author John W. Latty will discuss his book, "Carrying off the Cherokee: History of Buffington's Company, Georgia Mounted Militia," at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Rock Barn on Marietta Highway.


The event, free and open to the public, will give the author an opportunity to tell the story of Capt. Ezekiel Buffington's Georgia Mounted Militia Company during the Cherokee Removal, which was part of the larger Trail of Tears.


The Trail of Tears was the forced removal of members of the Cherokee nation from their lands in Georgia and throughout the southeast.


Latty said he'd always been fascinated about Capt. Buffington's company since his third great-grandfather was a member of his company, but "I didn't know very much about it."


The book also goes into the militia's duty at New Echota and the building of Ft. Buffington in east Cherokee County during the Cherokee removal.


Latty notes the citizen soldiers stationed at Buffington were originally from Hall County, which was also part of the Cherokee nation's land. He added these "men were committed to the settlement" to the growth of the lands.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ramblin' Rhodes: Daniel Johnson Band off to a blazing start

From Don Rhodes at the Augusta Chronicle:

The Daniel Johnson Band, which was formed in late 2010, sings of having “one foot out of the door” on its debut six-song CD Dry County Nights. But the truth is this four-piece band already is so hot musically and so professionally tight that it is not only out the door but running 90 miles an hour on that road heading for success.


The Daniel Johnson Band - Lee Hopkins (from left), Chris Cook, Daniel Johnson and Logan McCullough - will play at The Country Club at 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Atl Symphony Members To Perform 'Slave Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands,' 8/18

From the site:
“As part of the traveling exhibition, New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music, members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will join the Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters to perform “Songs of the Georgia Sea Islands” — a collaborative program of African-American spirituals and slave songs native to the Georgia Low Country — on Saturday, August 18, 2012, at 7:00 p.m. in the Archie B. Myers Sr. Fine Arts Center at the McIntosh Academy in Darien, GA. This concert is free and open to the public.”

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Passionate, Turbulent Life Of James Brown : NPR

The Passionate, Turbulent Life Of James Brown : NPR:

James Brown used to tell people that even being stillborn as a child couldn't stop him. He rose to the highest heights in the music industry and stayed there longer than most. But in the end he succumbed to atrocious financial planning, a drug habit and a violent temper.

RJ Smith, author of the new biography The One: The Life and Music of James Brown, tells NPR's Guy Raz that Brown believed he was indestructible.