Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Robert Johnson, why not a museum for him?

Listen up. Today, the daddy is feeling a piece written by the Blues Historian on the great blues guitarist and stylist Robert Johnson. It's about Dallas getting ready to tear down the building where Johnson made those wonderful recordings. This is just one more indication that, even in 2009, many leaders, especially leaders in southern government, don't give a damn about black people and their gifts to this country and the world, even when they can
make tourist money from it for years. Here's the story:

Site Of Robert Johnson's Dallas Recordings To Be Demolished

Got a tip from the Dallas Observer that the famous site of Robert Johnson's recording sessions in Dallas is slated to be demolished.

For the article from the Dallas Observer HERE.

As an historian it is sad to see historic places go under the wrecking ball. It seems especially sad when it is blues related. Many of the great musical sites of the past have fell victim to urban renewal. No doubt the city of Dallas wants to rejuvenate the area, but at the same time why not a museum dedicated to African American music?? I really hope that they don't get it too late like they did in Kansas City. Barely anything was left of the Vine area before Kansas City realized its tourist potential. Of course most of you may also think of what happened with Maxwell Street in Chicago. The University of Illinois in Chicago tore out the street a few years ago. Many unsung areas like Des Moines Center Street, met the wrecking ball decades ago.

There are people trying to save these great spots from disappearing but they need your help. there really isn't a contact person to write too that I know of, but there is a website put up by the city of Dallas for the Harwood Street Historic District HERE. Or you can contact the mayor of Dallas HERE. It might be too late, but still contact these people and let them know about the importance of the blues and the tourism possibilities that the building has. Yes, the homeless may live there now, but even if you tear it down, you will need to find a place for them anyway. That should never be a reason to rip down a building. Also if you have a blues blog, please spread the story around and be sure to link to the Dallas Observer. they have another post from October HERE.

Help keep the blues alive in Dallas!
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Thanks, bluesman.

8 comments: said...

Hi there MacDaddy!

Thank you for blowing the trumpet!

We often lament the disappearance of these important historical sites after they are targeted for demolition but we don't take proactive steps to keep them from being targeted...

Good lookin' out!!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!

Anonymous said...

MacDaddy, tell ya what, right now everybody is just trying to survive. Nobody thinking about museums.

rainywalker said...

The comments on the Dallas Observer for October are quite interesting. From the standpoint of visitors it would appear a wide range of blues music would serve the country and blues lovers more than just for Robert Johnson. That is not my opinion, it is just the way of the world. Most developers follow the money. Having the homeless and soup kitchen next door has kind of put the city between a rock and a hard place on this issue. Retired from engineering it is hard to believe the owners would put 1M into code upgrade in a building worth 375K. For Robert Johnson? It sounds good, but never happened.

Revvy Rev said...

To me, the things we let live compared to the things we allow to die are moral statements. I would like to know what other properties in Dallas were refurbished or revitalized compared to those that are torn down and thrown out with the garbage.

Empty Suit said...

nothing is in that building, its falling down anyway. no one has put an interest in this for years. Bring it to the ground. Johnson's music will not be effected by this.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Daddy, you remind me of an old piece of vinyl I had BD (before divorce). It was Robert Johnson playing with a couple other singers. I distinctly remember a woman, but don't recall the name. . . that woman didn't even like the blues, she just grabbed all the albums on her way out.
Empty Suit has a point. Mr. Johnson's music isn't defined by any physical structure or momento and he certainly won't be forgotten even if they tore down every joint he ever walked into. But yea, if someone were interested, it would be a fitting place to honor him.
Sometimes I think we place more value on material things that the true essence of what we are honoring. We often build monuments to people whose essence and ideas are abused and neglected.
Stay warm my friend.

Mad Hatter said...

I have to echo empty suit and SagaciousHillbilly on this one. The same happened to the STAX building in Memphis, a museum was built in the space. the same could happen here if the monies are right.

SjP said...

I'm feeling you Mac! The unfortunate thing is that progress all too often means that with progress history is lost.