Aug 26, 2022 - News

Macon is for music lovers

Little Richard
Musician Little Richard performs during the halftime show of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on December 31, 2004. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Detroit and Memphis are two cities that have made historic contributions to American music during the 20th century.

  • But for Scott Freeman, a journalist who began his career in Macon and authored biographies of Otis Redding and the Allman Brothers Band, Macon ranks just as high as its more well-known counterparts.

The big picture: Freeman calls Macon the "sleepy little town in the middle of Georgia" that gave birth to Little Richard, James Brown, the Allman Brothers Band and Redding — icons who defined music in the 50s, 60s and 70s.

  • "You go there, and you feel this sense of history," Freeman, the executive editor of ArtsATL.org, told Axios.
  • "There's something in the water," Redding's grandson, Justin Andrews, told Axios. "The music world definitely owes a lot to Macon."

The city is packed with places where you can learn more about this rich history, and here are Freeman's suggestions:

  • Rose Hill Cemetery is the resting place for members of the Allman Brothers Band.
  • Otis Redding Museum: Operated by the Otis Redding Foundation, the museum serves as a one-stop shop where you can learn about the musician whose influence stretches beyond his untimely death in 1967.
  • Douglass Theatre: Freeman suggests this spot, which was founded in 1921 by Charles Douglass, director of the Georgia Loan and Savings Company.
  • The Little Richard House: the musician's childhood home.
  • The Allman Brothers Band Museum at The Big House: A museum that was once home to The Allman Brothers Band's original members, their families and friends in the 1970s.

You can take a whole Macon music history tour with Rock Candy Tours and find other notable attractions on the Macon Music Trail website.

  • Bonus: The Museum at Capricorn pays tribute to Capricorn Records and Capricorn Sound Studios, an iconic independent Southern label, while hosting a contemporary music incubator run by Mercer University.
Gregg Allman
Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band performs at Shoreline Amphitheatre on October 6, 1991. Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Of note: if you're hungry, grab a bite to eat at the H&H Soul Food, a legendary restaurant that's fed Macon’s music legends.

Or the Downtown Grill, where Gregg Allman proposed to Cher.

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