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AfriGeneas States Research Forum

[NC] Musicians Flourished in Asheville

African-American musicians flourished in Asheville neighborhoods
published December 24, 2005 12:29 pm
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Every Christmas in the late 1950s, Jerome “J.C.” Martin, a celebrated bass player, had asked his parents for a guitar that improved on the one he’d gotten the year before. At age 9, he’d sit on his porch and, with a plastic instrument and amp, accompany the soul brothers whose sound emanated from the Owls Lounge nearby.

The Owls Lounge had been a landmark nightspot in Southside, an African-American neighborhood cleared away in Asheville’s urban renewal program in the 1970s. Such changes weakened a music scene in which performers were nurtured by church spirituals, school programs, and a lively marketplace of gospel, soul, and jazz.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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