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The chitlin circuit


The chitlin circuit


Everything was loud but the entertainment. The only way to establish communication was by telling a story that would lead into the song, that would catch people's attention.

It was the live album that really hit a mass audience. Accessibility links Skip to main content Keyboard shortcuts for audio player. NPR Shop. But what did chitlins have to do with it?

Evers himself still hosts a political talk show on most week nights. And it's hard to assess the delicate balance between gospel, talk and blues the station purveys, and how much and how firmly Mr. Evers influences the Southern Soul music the deejays have so carefully nurtured.

My wife was fascinated with the yellowing sign, signed "Mr. Evers," on the wall above the deejay's chair forbidding the playing of any Carl Sims music--the result of a disastrous alcoholic-induced visit by Sims to the studio a few years ago. But one senses such strictures are rare. It's obvious that the station is still the number-one source for shaping Southern Soul in the Delta. And yet, Mr. Evers' very health, vigor and vision made me uneasy later, as I mused over what will happen to the station when Charles Evers finally passes.

The piece reaffirms my belief that some of the best writing gets done in little, isolated locales of this country. DBN Barnesville-Lamar County was a radically different place back in when, late at night, a group of musicians just about to rocket to worldwide fame stopped for gas and soft drinks at a station after doing a show in Griffin.

One of the musicians left the truck stop without paying the three cent deposit on the bottle that was required at that time if a Coke was not consumed on the premises. The irate station owner called the law and the musicians were pulled over just down the road in Barnesville. They were traveling in a van and a station wagon. On the side of the van were emblazoned the words "The Otis Redding Show". September 20, February 3, The New Yorker. The Commercial Appeal. July 24, — via PressReader.

New York: W. ISBN Denver D Ferguson. He continued, "They'd be set up on the side of the road performing while the cops are looking for drugs, which, of course, they didn't find. There were those types of humiliations. The South would desegregate after years of marches, sit-ins and sacrifices by civil rights leaders, but echoes of the Circuit — known now to some as the "Southern Soul Circuit" — remain present in communities today. Urban renewal plans in the s and '70s led to demolition of many landmark Black venues.

Those that survived, plus some new spaces, host a rotating cast of artists preserving the blues, rock 'n' roll and soul music. Actor, writer and producer Tyler Perry may be the most famous contemporary entertainer to cut his teeth on a 21st century urban theater circuit.

You had all these people who could not perform in white establishments so they went on the road in all these small juke joints with chicken fries and chitlins and they traveled the country and they became so famous among their own people that they were able to support themselves and and live well.

They have made me so famous within my own culture that I couldn't walk down the street without getting recognized. Today, a few labels release Southern soul records and some radio stations spin the songs. Today's Circuit exists as a place for artists such as Rush or blues singer Benny Latimore to perform for those with a hunger for the sounds of decades past.

Facebook Twitter Email. Bobby Rush plays music on his front porch in Jackson, Miss. Friday, Oct. Reddit Share this article on Reddit. Email Email this story. Share Share this story. That's Still My Love. Wilson Meadows. Walking the Back Streets and Crying. Sandy Jones. There's a Rat Loose in My House. Billy Ray Charles. Let's Straighten It Out. Benny Latimore. I'm Trapped. Carl Sims. Stuck in the Middle. Marvin Sease. Tonight Is the Night, Pt.



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  1. The "Chitlin' Circuit," like "Tin Pan Alley" and "Motown" and other legendary music locations, is both a real and symbolic term for the on-and-off-again venues--shoebox-sized bars, clubs, cafes and increasingly in the 21st century, casinos-- that support traditional rhythm and blues in a tenuous but tenacious thread through America's mostly rural (or low-profile urban) Bible Belt.
  2. The Chitlin Circuit referred to the grand tour of ever changing southern bars, taverns, holes in the wall, barbeque joints, and makeshift venues for dancing or simply those to showcase new black artists, while turning a substantial buck on the booze sold. The era described extended from about to Cited by:
  3. Feb 24,  · Much like the dish, “The Chitlin’ Circuit” has its origins in American racism and segregation. In the Jim Crow era, practically all of the prominent clubs and music venues were “whites only” thanks to segregation. Because of this, black artists and performers did not have a means to perform and get paid.
  4. Feb 13,  · The name Chitlin’ Circuit came from the soul food known as chitlins’ (chitterlings) actually stewed pig intestines. This was standard fare in many a southern diet. The name also is a take on the “Borscht Belt,” a series of venues in New York’s Catskill Mountains where popular Jewish performers worked during the s, 50s and 60s.
  5. “For many, the Chitlin’ Circuit is a literal reference to America’s underbelly; dirty, funky and filthy In its most shadowy forms, the Chitlin’ Circuit found (bookmakers), bootleggers and racketeers managing artists and promoting shows. Gates, Henry Louis. The Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Reader p
  6. Dec 20,  · Of course, the chitlin' circuit offered a platform for people who became famous, too, and one of them, Little Willie John, is the subject of a fine recent biography. Little Willie John really did Author: Ed Ward.
  7. Feb 17,  · The "Chitlin' Circuit," however, was a group of performance venues located mostly in the South that were safe and acceptable places for African Author: Tanya Ballard Brown.
  8. Jan 25,  · The Chitlin’ Circuit grew out of a time when black people were not allowed to perform at white establishments. From the s until the s, the Chitlin’ Circuit had its heyday. The network Author: Fran Jeffries.