Macon’s connection to music history is known by many, but a new project is aimed at spreading that awareness.
Officially announced Wednesday at The Creek radio station in downtown Macon that the Historic Macon Music Registry will call attention to landmarks like the Douglass Theatre, Capricorn Studio and Grant’s Lounge through a series of plaques.
“Telling the stories of the past can be a powerful tool,” said Ethiel Garlington, director of the Historic Macon Foundation.
The first set of 12 plaques was announced just after what would have been Otis Redding’s 75th birthday and the renovation of the Capricorn building. Regardless of timing, Garlington said it was “imperative” to make sure visitors and residents alike know the history of Macon’s music scene.
“We can’t think of a better time to launch this program,” he said, noting another round of plaques would be going up later this year.
Karla Redding-Andrews, Redding’s daughter, said that she was always looking for ways to bring attention to history as a way to educate future musicians. Through the Otis Redding foundation, Redding-Andrews was part of a group recently approved for a state-funded music and arts charter school, the DREAM Academy.
“Now we get to bring it to life in a whole new way,” she said of the registry.
The program was funded through a donation by Macon attorney Charlie Cox and his wife, Claire. Cox said that the idea was sparked through a music tour in London, where he saw plaques honoring visits by Redding and James Brown, another Georgia native.
“We thought, ‘Wait a minute, these are our people,’ ” he said.
As a result, Cox began to have conversations with Jessica Walden, co-owner of Rock Candy Tours. From there, the registry and its plaques came to life, which Walden said will allow tourists and residents alike to educate themselves about Macon’s musical legacy.
“If our walls could talk, they would sing,” she said.
Cox said that it was important to he and his wife that people be able to discover that history in passing the way he did in London.
“There’s a tremendous amount of musical history in Macon that you miss if you don’t know where it is,” he said.
Where are the plaques?
- Capricorn Studio — 50 MLK Jr. Blvd.
- Douglass Theatre — 355 MLK Jr. Blvd.
- City Auditorium — 415 First St.
- Tic Toc — 409 MLK Jr. Blvd.
- Le Bistro — 562 Mulberry St. Lane
- Grant’s Lounge — 576 Poplar St.
- H&H Restaurant — 807 Forsyth St.
- Robert McDuffie Center for Strings — 315 College St.
- Professional Building — 830 Mulberry St.
- Reverend Pearly Brown — Intersection of Third and Cherry streets
- Andersen’s Jewelers — 361 Second St.
- Rookery — 543 Cherry St.