Saturday, April 16, 2016

Florence 2

Alabama Music Hall of Fame
Who knew there were so many musicians with connections to Alabama? I've already toured the Hank Williams and W.C. Handy museums here in Alabama, but how about Nat “King” Cole or Emmylou Harris or Tammy Wynette or the Commodores? How about Louvin Brothers or the Delmore Brothers or even Jim Nabors? The list goes on and on. There are so many, in fact , that there is very little space allocated to each musician, songwriter or producer. The ones that make the grade generally have a picture, a small info placard saying who they are and what they did and maybe an instrument they played or an outfit that they wore. When I talked to an employee, they said that they have so many artifacts and so little room and funding that they cannot do anything more than a superficial treatment of each artist. They did have the band Alabama's tour bus on display which was interesting in a shabby sort of way. Let's just say that life on the road is perhaps not as glittery as we may think.

Front area of tour bus
Look at where the poor guy in the left bottom bunk had to sleep.  No turning over in your sleep in that bunk

I found the section of the museum that dealt with the Muscle Shoals history compelling as I had just watched a documentary (“The Wrecking Crew”) about this part of the country and the fabulous music that was created in the seventies. I also found it puzzling that there was no mention (that I saw) of the Blind Boys of Alabama.

Look at this crazy four sided guitar

Helen Keller Birthplace

Helen was born at Ivy Green in 1880. I remember hearing about her and also seeing pictures of her with Eleanor Roosevelt. What I really remember though is the movie “The Miracle Worker” with Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke. This house was built in the 1820s and remained in the Keller family until the 1950s-60s. It was interesting to walk on the same ground where Helen Keller walked and had her monster tantrums. Ok, ok, sorry – I meant to say that she overcame her unfortunate start in life and became a beacon for sight challenged people everywhere.
This was a middle class plantation house in the 1820s

This was the cottage where Anne Sullivan taught Helen
We had a little rain the other night - this guy ended up sitting in the middle of a lake

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