Since Hart Ward penned his classic "Dallas Blues" in 1912, the city has established a proud tradition in the blues genre with its performers, venues and documentarians. Today, Dallas' blues legacy remains in the hands of a smaller number of people than it has in years past. But some, like Wanda King ... More >>
Last night, Eric Clapton and Dallas-born guitarist Doyle Bramhall II set fire to their Stratocasters' fretboards. Their fingers slid across the neck, bending strings until they bled the blues. Feeding off a musical energy straight from the Crossroads, the talented guitarists empowered some of Clapto ... More >>
The Virgin Wolves recently took time out to discuss their backgrounds with the blues, their first shows, and The Song Remains the Same. Catch them Friday at Andy's Bar and Saturday at City Tavern. Which came first for you: hearing a blues pioneer play the blues, or a band interpreting the blues? C ... More >>
Drew Gaines snapped some fantastic shots from last night's 75th anniversary celebration of Robert Johnson's 508 Park recording sessions. Here are a few of our favorites.
If you've been following the saga of 508 Park Avenue, the building where famed bluesman Robert Johnson recorded between June 19 and 20 in 1937, you'll remember it was pulled back from the edge of demolition, a few ideas for its renovation were tossed around, and its future finally sits in the hands ... More >>
If you regularly go to LaGrange, Single Wide or Double Wide, you've seen a member of the quintet Dead Flowers. Earlier in the year, frontman Corey Howe was the opening act for The Revival Tour's stop at Trees, playing alongside Hot Water Music's Chuck Ragan, Alkaline Trio's Dan Andriano, and Against ... More >>
Back in the mid-'80s, Big Head Todd and the Monsters was the band even your college sweetheart could like. Todd Park Mohr and crew blended a touch of jazz into their blues-based pop and became a sizable concert draw. Over the years, Park Mohr has gathered the guys together sporadically for live sh ... More >>
On top of 508 Park Avenue, from left: Alan Govenar, Carol J. Adams, Pat Bywaters and Buddy JordanThursday afternoon I met historian Alan Govenar at 508 Park Avenue, future site of the Museum of Street Culture. He was not alone: Joining him were developer Buddy Jordan, chair of the 508 Park Commit ... More >>
We were reminded just last week: First Presbyterian Church plans not only to install a recording studio inside 508 Park Avenue, a nod to the building's storied history as one of only two spots where bluesman and myth Robert Johnson recorded the music that serves as rock-and-roll's backbone, but t ... More >>
Via Baylor Lodge 1235For some -- local preservationists, say, or music fans -- one of the biggest stories of 2011 was First Presbyterian Church's purchase of 508 Park Avenue; at last, the long-ago Brunswick Records regional office in which Robert Johnson, Bob Wills and possibly Charlie Parker rec ... More >>
Some of Dallas' most successful musicians recount the rebirth of its most storied entertainment district: Deep Ellum.
No date has yet been announced -- just a "Coming Soon!" promise -- for the stateside release of the new Rolling Stones concert film, The Rolling Stones: Some Girls -- Live in Texas. But, starting early next month, the United Kingdom and Ireland (followed shortly by Denmark, South Africa, Cro ... More >>
Click to embiggenLate last summer we caught wind of First Presbyterian's plans to purchase 508 Park Avenue, the former Brunswick Records regional office near Dallas City Hall in which Robert Johnson, Bob Wills and others once recorded. Yesterday, after myriad stops in front of the Landmark Commis ... More >>
Photos courtesy David DennardThe makeshift studio in which Robert Johnson, Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys and the Light Crust Doughboys, among others, recorded in the mid-1930sIt would seem 508 Park Avenue's been heavy on my mind of late, even more than usual, what with Robert Johnson's just-pa ... More >>
So. Funny thing. A couple of weeks back, while writing about 508 Park Ave. and Robert Johnson's 100th, I pulled down a few blues histories-of to dig a little deeper. Among the stacks: Elijah Wald's essential Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues, published in 2004, whe ... More >>
What First Presby expects 508 Park Avenue to look like within, say, two yearsThe marble-and-concrete building at 508 Park Avenue, once the Warner Bros. Film Exchange and Brunswick Records's regional office, will get a much needed face lift after all, now that the Landmark Commission unanimously a ... More >>
Click to embiggen for a better look at First Presby's plans to freshen up 508 Park Avenue, should it get Landmark's OK to tear down 1900 Young next door.The timing, if nothing else, is remarkable. May 8 marks the 100th birthday of Robert Johnson, the Mississippi bluesman who cut half his influent ... More >>
The latest look at plans to redo the block that includes 508 Park Avenue, complete with amphitheaterIt's been, what, four whole months since last we visited 508 Park Avenue and the surrounding properties, which remain in limbo at this late date. (Though better that than a heap of bricks.) First P ... More >>
If only grandma's apple preserves came bathed in moonshineUnless your grandpa is fermenting batches of white lightning in his backyard, you're going to be hard pressed to find authentic moonshine in this neck of the woods. The moonshining, bootlegging culture of Appalachia and the South has ... More >>
Robert JohnsonIt's kind of tough to wrap your head around the fact that, next year, legendary bluesman Robert Johnson would have turned 100 years old. Given the gravitas that surrounds his mystique, you'd think he'd be older, no? Sure enough, though: May 8, 1911 was his birthday. And, to celebrat ... More >>
Justin TerveenThis morning, First Presbyterian Church of Dallas's senior pastor, the Rev. Dr. Joseph J. Clifford, left a comment in Monday's item concerning the church's pending purchase of 508 Park Avenue, the beleaguered downtown site in which Robert Johnson, Bob Willis and, legend has it, Char ... More >>
Ellen Von UnwerthCyndi Lauper still has fun.At 57, Cyndi Lauper is as feisty today as she was when her debut album, She's So Unusual, was released back in 1983. Still performing in those outlandish outfits with an ever-changing array of multi-colored wigs, Lauper has always been a new wave pop an ... More >>
Justin TerveenOn Thursday, the owners of 508 Park Avenue will ask the City Plan Commission for permission to demolish the building in which Robert Johnson, Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, and Charlie Parker once recorded. Two months ago, the Landmark Commission denied the application, upholding ... More >>
Photos by Dan FinnellThe third-floor recording studio at 508 Park Avenue in which Robert Johnson recordedAt this late date you're surely aware of the plight of 508 Park Avenue, the site of the makeshift studio in which Robert Johnson, Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys and perhaps even Charlie Parker ... More >>
I see on John Mellencamp's Web site that the ex Mr. Cougar is headed out on the road this summer, and during the tour he's looking to get his bud and Fort Worth's own T Bone Burnett to produce a new record "as American folk as I've ever been," as Mellencamp puts it. Which isn't the part that got me ... More >>
Pig's head tamales?Well, yes. Robb Walsh notes in his Tex-Mex cookbook that traditional emporiums use pig's heads as their base meat when making their husky creations. The head is boiled until the meat and lard cook away, then the broth is used to moisten the masa harina (corn meal infused with lime ... More >>
City of DallasFirst Presbyterian Church on S. Harwood StreetThe Texas Historical Commission sends word that the Dallas Downtown Historic District is now a little bit bigger than when first established in 2006 by the National Register of Historic Places. Says the THC, the district -- which encompass ... More >>
Dogwood Folk ArtSteven Johnson, grandson of Robert Johnson, contacted Unfair Park today after reading this week's cover story concerning the fate of 508 Park Ave. downtown, where the Mississippi bluesman recorded in June 1937. Says Johnson -- vice president of the Robert Johnson Blues Foundation in ... More >>
In 1961, while compiling the Robert Johnson collection King of the Delta Blues Singers, producer Frank Driggs sent Don Law a letter with a few questions concerning the bluesman and his sessions in San Antonio and in Dallas in November 1936 and June 1937, respectively. Law -- who worked for Brunswick ... More >>
The city's effort to clean up downtown could cost us important parts of history.
Last week, while working on this week's cover story in the paper version of Unfair Park, I discovered that the owners of 508 Park Ave. have filed with the city a permit to tear down the former Warner Brothers Film Exchange, built in the late 1920s. Long story, available soonish in a rack or on a com ... More >>
508 Park Avenue, the building in which legendary blues man Robert Johnson recorded 13 tracks in June of 1937, could be on the verge of getting demolished. Glazer's Distributors, owners of the property, have filed a permit to tear the building down. At this very moment, though, preservationists, who ... More >>
Included: Freddie Mercury, Hank Williams and Patsy Cline
It's getting hot up in this piece
Eels still reel from one of history's best double albums, but history isn't so kind to others
More music biopics? Good. Bad musicians starring in them? Not so much.
Plus: No More Mega-Mayors, Fading Fast, Mean Shtick
Why does Dallas write its musical history with an eraser?
Centro-matic's Will Johnson chases the ghosts of Mississippi
For the North Mississippi Allstars, the blues ain't nothing but dance music
Keb' Mo' makes the fat ladies get up and dance