City of Atlanta and Jimmy Buffett’s resort set to destroy historic country music site

The single 'The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane' recorded in 1923 can be heard on YouTube. (Image by BBYMRLCCOTN)
The single ‘The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane’ recorded in 1923 can be heard on YouTube. (Image by BBYMRLCCOTN)

Country music wasn’t always mainstream as it is today. In 1923 the genre stood on the breakout brink, and a major influence in that breakout was a song titled “The Little Old Log Cabin in the Lane.” The building where that song was recorded is about to be destroyed with the city of Atlanta’s blessing, although there is an effort to save it. Pop icon Jimmy Buffett also has a profit-seeking hand in the destruction. Continue reading “City of Atlanta and Jimmy Buffett’s resort set to destroy historic country music site”

West Ashley Street Blues—in Jacksonville, Florida?

Blind Blake and Jacksonville, a historic stop along the blues music trail

Image of Blind Blake from popular YouTube site RagtimeDorian Henry: youtu.be/D-YwCk6ANY4
Image of Blind Blake from popular YouTube site RagtimeDorian Henry: youtu.be/D-YwCk6ANY4

In discussions about the stomping grounds of early blues musicians, Mississippi, Chicago, and Memphis are cited as havens for the birth of the first blues wave.

Delta blues arising by the waters of the Mississippi river. The swinging, big band style of Chicago. The intricate, bouncing notes of the Piedmont blues. Blues in other areas aren’t discussed as much, although the genre touched many different communities in the United States. Continue reading “West Ashley Street Blues—in Jacksonville, Florida?”

FBI comes clean about Big Foot after 42 years

Big Foot, also known as Sasquatch, has been the subject of an FBI “investigation”—sort of. So many claims have been made about this ape-like creature who allegedly roams not only the dreams of imaginative children but also the wilderness in the northwestern area of the United States. Big Foot never quite caught my imagination, but he certainly has drawn attention from bloggers, indie documentary makers, and dedicated sleuths like Peter C. Byrne. It was a letter from Mr. Byrne that sparked a closer look at Bigfoot from the FBI, and the federal law enforcement agency delivered hard results the government is now sharing with all of us. There were “15 hairs attached to a tiny piece of skin.” Continue reading “FBI comes clean about Big Foot after 42 years”

D-Day art and letters—“Into the Jaws of Death”, hero weathermen, poets

Robert F. Sargent, who served in the US Coast Guard, took this photograph of Allied troops on D-Day. He captioned it, "Into the Jaws of Death."
Robert F. Sargent, who served in the US Coast Guard, took this photograph of Allied troops on D-Day. He captioned it, “Into the Jaws of Death.”

If you’re a baby boomer, you know what D-Day was and what it stands for. If you’re younger, probably not so much. The tragic dearth of history, both global and domestic, in US classrooms has led to broad ignorance on more topics than I can count. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, more than 150,000 men were carried across the English Channel to begin wresting France from the hands of the National Socialist German Workers Party, more popularly known as the “Nazis.” Mother Nature had actually delayed the crossing by a day. Thousands of Allied troops died; thousands of Nazis died. Thousands of French civilians died. Some of the lesser known heroes that day were weathermen. Continue reading “D-Day art and letters—“Into the Jaws of Death”, hero weathermen, poets”

Attorney determined to clear pilot’s name—again—in Skyway Bridge disaster

Iconic moment showing a car driven by Richard Hornbuckle who was able to brake just in time to avoid a plunge into the Bay after a freighter hit the Skyway Bridge in 1980. Hornbuckle told media, "“The Lord was real good to the four of us." (Image from NBC news video May 9, 1980 provided to Facebook)
Richard Hornbuckle said, “The Lord was real good to the four of us,” after he was able to brake in time when part of the Skyway Bridge collapsed, falling into Tampa Bay on May 9, 1980. (Photo from NBC News broadcast; May 9, 1980; video on Facebook)

Each May Floridians remember the 35 victims of the Skyway Bridge disaster in Tampa Bay. A freighter struck the bridge early in the morning on May 9, 1980. The freighter, Summit Venture, was flying the Liberian flag when a sudden storm made it impossible for radar to work.

The freighter was trying to turn when it struck the bridge. John E. Lerro, the pilot, eventually was cleared as far as fault goes, but that didn’t stop people from judging him. Media understandably covered the story intensely. Lerro is dead now, but his attorney aims to clear his name for the second time.

Tampa attorney Steve Yerrid is co-producing a film about the bridge disaster, hoping to set the record straight. Some media accounts reportedly blamed Lerro, and public opinion embraced theories the pilot had been drinking. Yerrid dismissed those theories because, he said, Lerro “was a health nut.” Continue reading “Attorney determined to clear pilot’s name—again—in Skyway Bridge disaster”

A lesson for indie artists in new film on Bonnie and Clyde

When my husband asked if I wanted to watch the new film about the legendary Bonnie and Clyde, I said yes, but without much enthusiasm. By the end of the film we watched on Netflix, I was singing a different tune. The Highwaymen is well worth viewing. There’s another takeaway too, though, and there’s a lesson for indie artists. Continue reading “A lesson for indie artists in new film on Bonnie and Clyde”

Memoir confirms ‘Black Dahlia’ series on TNT a mishmash of fiction and truth

Fauna Hodel memoir
Fauna Hodel’s memoir bore little resemblance to the TV series it “inspired.” (Photo: Indie Art South)

After viewing the limited series I Am the Night on TNT, I was thoroughly confused.

It was hard to discern fact from fiction, and some of the events depicted in this “Inspired by a true story” production were simply too outrageous to believe. Having read the book the series was “inspired by”, I came to the conclusion the series was a mess.

I’d read about the 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short, dubbed “The Black Dahlia” by media of the day. The murder remains unsolved officially, although author and private detective Steve Hodel believes he has the answers. The series included the story of Fauna Hodel (aka Patricia Ann Greenwade) who was given away at birth in a private adoption. The TV series, in my opinion, was a mishmash of fiction and truth saved in part by some stellar acting performances by Chris Pine and Golden Brooks.

In hopes of making sense of the TV narrative, I purchased Fauna Hodel’s memoir, One Day She’ll Darken. Continue reading “Memoir confirms ‘Black Dahlia’ series on TNT a mishmash of fiction and truth”

Amid Super Bowl anthem controversy, Gladys Knight says “Get ready!”

Gladys Knight spoke about singing the national anthem for Super Bowl Llll in an interview posted by the NFL on YouTube. Amid criticism from a small but vocal collection of activists, Knight has maintained her calm and is sticking to her decision to sing the anthem. Knight has seen and participated in all aspects of the Civil Rights movement, recounting having to give separate performances for white and black audiences in the South of yesteryear.  Continue reading “Amid Super Bowl anthem controversy, Gladys Knight says “Get ready!””

If you missed ‘1776’ at the Alhambra, you missed a great show

1776 A Musical Revolution at Alhambra
Poster for musical show ‘1776, A Musical Revolution’ at The Alhambra in Jacksonville (FL)

We took in the musical ‘1776, A Musical Revolution’ at the Alhambra theater in Jacksonville, FL last week, and if you didn’t, you missed a great show.

It was no small feat for the creators, Sherman Edwards (music and lyrics) and Peter Stone (the book), to come up with a presentation that made history funny, witty, and informative. There were some amazing actors on board too. Throughout the night, the audience laughed and applauded, with many recognizing not much has changed in terms of partisan rancor.

Continue reading “If you missed ‘1776’ at the Alhambra, you missed a great show”

Clown bans, cultural appropriation, and imagination mark Halloween

Pumpkins at Kelp’s Pumpkin Patch near Nashville in Brown County, Indiana. Carol M. Highsmith, photographer. US Library of Congress.
Pumpkins at Kelp’s Pumpkin Patch near Nashville in Brown County, Indiana. Carol M. Highsmith, photographer. US Library of Congress.

Halloween is approaching, and the natter class is having the customary argument about which costumes are offensive because the wearer might be culturally ‘appropriating’ someone else’s heritage. Yet millions of US children and adults of all cultural persuasion will dress up on October 31 and hit the streets or parties to celebrate. Halloween is traditionally silly. Taking the award for silly is a city whose officials have banned clown costumes.  Continue reading “Clown bans, cultural appropriation, and imagination mark Halloween”