Article & Photos by John Charles Griffin
The annual Allman Brother's Big House Museum Benefit was a rock'n'roll home run with near-capacity crowd at Macon's Armory Ballroom on Saturday, January 19th despite weather forecasts earlier that day for potential snow with ice on bridges.
Doors opened at 6:00 p.m. with an excellent buffet dinner catered by Macon Independent Restaurant Association with precision planning by hip restauranteers Tina Dickson, Saralyn Harvey, and John McCord. A versatile menu of great food included Grey Goose Burgers, Ingleside Pizza Slices, Good to Go Restaurant's down home vittles, and Satterfield's famous Barbecue.
Musical entertainment began with vibrant accoustic guitar and vocals by Caroline Aiken who serenaded Macon's "First Lady of Soul Food" with an Aiken classic "Mama Louise at The H&H."
Later Tommy Talton and Caroline did a wonderful rendition of an Allman Brothers selection, "Not My Cross to Bear." Talton's Band followed in superb Capricorn music style playing several favorites from Cowboy, his legendary seventies group.
Up next rising 17 -year-old star Will Marshall (Hudson & Marshall) followed with Live Auction bid calling to generate big bucks for such unique items as signed Allman Bros guitars, Celebrity Fishing with Alan Walden, and an all inclusive A.B.B. Concert trip to New York's Beacon Theatre with round trip transportation, hotel reservations, and V.I.P. seating. Based on excitement levels generated in the audience, one might safely assume that young Will could be the Number One teen-age auctioneer on the planet.
Last but not least the entire house literally rocked out when Wet Willie's
Jimmy Hall took the stage with soulful vocals, harmonica, and saxaphone alongside guitar sensation Jack Pearson, veteran of several Allman Brothers tours and recordings. As the set progressed many of the audience danced like they were back in college to lively songs such as "Keep on Smiling," "Red Hot Chicken," "Grits Ain't Groceries, and "Macon Hambone Blues."
Newly elected Mayor Robert Reichert provided a nice perspective of the
evening with a few comments onstage between sets, "Thanks to The Big
House Foundation for what you are doing for this city, supporting Macon's place in music history. It's a great night and a fine group of people in this room. Just a wonderful time to get out and boogie," stated Reichert.
Carolina Aiken with Kerri, Brian and Diana Blair.
Cheryl Grant and Alan Walden.
Jack Pearson and Jimmy Hall.
John Charles Griffin with Macon Mayor Bob Riechert.
Paul Doell, Tommy Talton, Jimmy Hall, Barbara Doell, & Bob Johnson