April 4

6:30pm Doors Open

7:00pm Program

Tickets: $40-$45

Tables: $200, Seats 6 Guests

Includes: Dinner & DJ

Something in the Water: A History of Music In Macon

Macon, Georgia’s history has an exceptional soundtrack, and Something in the Water provides a lively narrative of the city’s musical past from its founding in 1823 to 1980. For generations, talented musicians have been born in or passed through Macon. Some lived and died in obscurity, while others achieved international stardom. From its pioneer origins to the modern era, the city has produced waves of talent with amazing consistency, representing a wide range of musical genres—country, classical, jazz, blues, big band, soul, and rock. As a result, the city’s influence stretches beyond the borders of Georgia, and its musical imprint on the United States and the world is significant. The story of music in Macon includes a vast, eclectic cast of characters, such as the city’s first music “celebrity” Sidney Lanier, entertainment entrepreneur Charles Douglass, jazz age divas Lucille Hegamin and Lula Whidby, big band singers Betty Barclay and the Pickens Sisters, rock and roll founding father Little Richard Penniman, rhythm and blues icons James Brown and Otis Redding, local country star Eugene “Uncle Ned” Stripling, Capricorn Records founders Phil Walden and Frank Fenter, and the Allman Brothers Band, one of the most popular groups of the rock era. The book also offers a treatment of Macon’s leading entertainment venues, both past and present, like Ralston Hall, the Grand Opera House, and the Douglass Theater, along with local institutions such as Wesleyan College and the Georgia Institute for the Blind, both of which trained generations of music students.

Ben Wynne is a native of Florence, Mississippi and serves as professor of history at the University of North Georgia in Gainesville, Georgia. He specializes in antebellum American studies, the American South, and the Civil War era. He is the author of multiple books related to southern history and culture, including: Something in the Water: A History of Music in Macon, Georgia, 1823-1980 (Mercer University Press, 2021),  The Man Who Punched Jefferson Davis: The Political Life of Henry Stuart Foote, Southern Unionist (LSU Press 2018), In Tune, Charley Patton, Jimmie Rodgers and the Roots of American Music (LSU Press 2014), Mississippi’s Civil War: A Narrative History (Mercer University Press, 2006), and  A Hard Trip: A History of the 15th Mississippi Infantry, CSA (Mercer University Press, 2003). Dr. Wynne has also contributed entries to more than twenty encyclopedias, reviewed books for numerous national and regional periodicals, and written introductions for historical reprints published by Barnes and Noble.

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