Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sifter: The New Flying Squirrels Experience

Nutzy Unchained!

"The Sevens," my column for TV Jerry's new Sifter site, takes a look at how Richmond Flying Squirrels games might change if the new Shockoe Bottom baseball stadium and slavery museum gets built.

Read it right here: http://www.tvjerry.com/the-sevens/

Monday, November 11, 2013

Virginia Living: The Norfolk Sound

Presented for your approval, my new overview feature on "The Norfolk Sound" in the Nov.-Dec. edition of Virginia Living Magazine

It begins:
There was once a building at 408 W. Princess Anne Road in Norfolk, purchased in 1959 by a record store owner named Frank Guida who used the space to record the works of local singers and musicians, such as Gary U.S. Bonds, Gene Barge and Jimmy Soul. Numerous hits were cut here during the early ’60s, including Bonds’ raucous “New Orleans” and “Quarter to Three,” and Soul’s exotic calypso rock ‘n’ roll tunes, “If You Wanna Be Happy” and “Twisting Matilda.”
This is the spot where the Norfolk Sound was born, the rambunctious party rock that influenced generations of musicians, among them the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, the Grateful Dead and the New York Dolls.

With input from yours truly, VL has also put together a cool online slideshow featuring key "Norfolk Sound" hits and rarities on the Legrand and SPQR labels, as well as prime slices of '60's soul from the Shiptown label, which was started by Norfolk businessman Noah Biggs and singer Ida Sands. There is also a link to the new documentary produced by the Virginia Foundation For the Humanities on Hampton Roads bandleader, Charlie McClendon

The feature article is a complimentary piece to the article I wrote for the magazine years ago on legendary saxophonist and bandleader, Gene "Daddy 'G'" Barge

Hopefully, all of this coverage will make you want to seek out and listen to all of the great R&B and soul music produced in the Norfolk area in the '60s and '70s. (Photo of Gary US Bonds, with his signature curl.)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Coastal Virginia Magazine: Reading the Buildings

My feature article for Coastal Virginia Magazine on a new book, "The Chesapeake House," published by UNC Press, tells about the ongoing research into early American architecture by Colonial Williamsburg Foundation historians.

Fascinating stuff (or at least I hope you think so). It begins:

Carl Lounsbury is used to letting folks down gently.
“Their buildings are often not as old as people think they are,” Lounsbury, senior architectural historian at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, says about people who send the museum photographs of their houses. “We urge them to do it because you never know what’s around the bend,” he says. “But it can be disappointing to them. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had to give the bad news: ‘No, George Washington did not live in your house or stay there.’”
The College of William & Mary history professor and his accompanying team of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation historians are so seasoned and battle-tested that not only can they tell you whether Ol’ George stayed in your crib but also the likely room where he ate his supper.

The piece can be found in Coastal Virginia's Nov.-Dec. edition, which is the first issue since its name-change  from Hampton Roads Magazine.

The issue is on the shelves now, wherever fine magazines are sold. You can also read it by clicking right here.

(Photo: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation)