For as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated by all things historical but especially rock and roll music of the 1950s and 1960s. Though it was already considered oldies when I was growing up the energy, inventiveness and direct, visceral appeal of rock and roll spoke to me and made me want to move my feet. As I got older I learned about how rock and roll came about by drawing on the earlier forms of blues and country music. I am especially intrigued by songs that exemplify the cross-over of those genres into what we now identify as rock and roll. From Sam Phillips who launched the career of Elvis Presley to Birmingham’s Jerry Woodard to Mobile’s Marty Lott AKA The Phantom, Alabamians have figured prominently into that phenomena. While rock and roll was my first love my musical interests are eclectic and include blues, jazz, old time, county, gospel, soul, R&B all of which have a distinguished heritage in Alabama.
I spent the first 20 years of my life in Alabama after which I moved to New York City where I lived for over 15 years. During that time I got to know a lot of people from all over who had the same love of music I did. Often in discussions about great music would reveal connections to Alabama and I found that people generally recognized the state’s important role in music history. I think it’s human nature for people to take their immediate surroundings for granted and often Alabamians don’t realize how great those contributions were, and still are, and many important stories are yet to be told.
This blog will be devoted to highlighting the musicians and others in the music industry who have played a part in the music history of Alabama and by extension that of the United States. I will also be announcing live performances of historical interest at Alabama venues by local as well as out-of-state musicians.