LATIMORE: Bringing musical vibrancy back to Macon

November 1, 2013 

Nowadays, Atlanta, New York, Miami and Los Angeles are the hot spots for the film and music recording industries. Often times, I imagine the times when Macon had this reputation on a consistent basis. Although the music industry has overshadowed the film industry in Macon, the last five years have shown a tremendous impact in the film industry with major productions such as “42” and “Need for Speed” filming some of their footage here.

However, we don’t have that super climax of recording artists stopping through Macon to build on the music production side, as we did back in the day. This was during the times when you had to wipe the dust off the album to make sure it didn’t get caught in the needle. And speaking of needles, you had to keep some on deck, just in case of an emergency. Back then, record players were hot commodities. And if they needed any repairs, Sears and Radio Shack were the equivalent of today’s Wal-Mart and Best Buy.

Friday marks 58 years since James Brown and the Famous Flames recorded a demo of “Please Please Please” at WIBB in Macon. The date was Nov. 1, 1955. Little Richard inspired this song by giving it a title. He is also the one who hooked up the group with his manager, Clint Brantley, who actually set up the recording session at WIBB.

Macon has had many R&B, soul and Southern rock music recording artists from all over the globe come to grace local studios and stages. We have the power of creating the rebirth of such a legacy in many categories beyond music.

Get out and enjoy the live acts that come to town, and think about Macon’s music history as you do so. Promoters work hard and take many risks to please the people. We have so many venues and causes that bring performers of all types to our city. The development and revitalization of our neighborhoods will give us the needed inspiration to create more concerts and festivals.

We owe ourselves the culture and diversity through the form of art.

As a community, we have a responsibility to create events we would like to see take place in our city. We can bring the vibrancy of music back to the Mactown. It’s slowly taking place. I can feel it.

Yolanda “Y-O” Latimore is founder of Poetic Peace Arts, Macon’s representative on the Knight National Arts Advisory Board and director of Like Water Publicity, a media and booking agency. Contact her at

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