Friday, January 05, 2007

Street Singers, Soul Shouters, And Rebels With A Cause: Music From Macon!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

The sad passing of Mr James Brown at Christmas brought home to me that people we take for granted as ever-present parts of our culture are passing each day, sometimes without the recognition they deserved for contributing so much to the lives of thousands of people. Every effort that is made to record and learn about the life-stories of people who have on so many levels done more than entertain us should be cherished.

So after the shock of James Brown's death, something more positive is occuring for Georgia soul fans. A new book is being released in March 2007 from Indigo Custom Publishing and the New Town Macon urban regeneration scheme, entitled Street Singers, Soul Shouters And Rebels With A Cause: Music From Macon.

It has taken author Candice Dyer a couple of years and a supporting team of music sleuths to track down and interview the hundreds of key players who made Macon a special place for music. Here is a short list of just some of the people who have contributed: Phil & Alan Walden, Carolyn Killen, Hamp Swain, Little Richard and Melvin 'Percy' Welch, Zelma & Rogers Redding, Eddie Kirkland, Jerry Wexler, white soul singer Wayne Cochran, the late James Brown and Johnny Jenkins, Pinetop Perkins, Speedo Simms, Jackie Avery and Ella Brown, Rick Hall, former Ohio Untouchable Robert Ward, and Otis tour band trumpeter Newt Collier, as well as a number of people associated to the Allman Brothers Band.

The title of the book was thought up by Wade Griner from Warner Robins, who submitted the winning entry for the Name That Book contest held by Indigo Publishing in the autumn. He won an all-expenses-paid to see The Allman Brothers Band in New York’s Beacon Theater:

“Although I am not a Macon native, like so many others from Central Georgia, I’ve spent my entire life impressed by the music that came from our region. From the Reverend Pearly Brown to Little Richard, Otis Redding and the soulsters who shook the music world despite society’s racial lines, as well as the Allman Brothers Band who elevated rock and roll to a new level by playing it from the guts of the South---there are no few words to describe the history of music from Macon.”

Wade in fact has his own personal connection to Macon music. His wife, Jessica Walden-Griner, is the daughter of Alan Walden and the niece of Phil Walden.

The book will feature photographs never before seen and a CD of interviews with the key artists who transformed the music of the 60’s and 70’s. The website for the book is being set up as we speak and should be online later in January at: You'll be able to buy the book, find out more about the music of Macon ... and also try a recipe for Rocklet Chocolate Chip Cookies. Mmmm.

Pre-order Street Singers, Soul Shakers And Rebels With A Cause here from late January...

Information and cover photo kindly provided by Mary Robinson at Indigo Custom Publishing.


Rob Whatman said...

Hmm, they still haven't put up the website for the book... I'll make a new post when there is more to see...

Darcy said...

Do you know if anything ever came of this? A quick serach on tinternet seems to say not.

Rob Whatman said...

Hi Darcy,

Sadly, I haven't heard anything more about it. I have an email for their publicity manager, so maybe I'll drop them a line. Brian at Georgia Soul may know something more, as he knows one of the authors.


gemma said...

Hi Rob,
I don't suppose you were present at the Stax Revue concert at the Finsbury Park Astoria in 1976? I'm making a BBC Radio documentary on it and looking for anyone who can remember that evening.
Any help you can offer would be gratefully appreciated, you can reach me at