A City With Soul

A City With Soul

The roots of American music run deep in Macon, Georgia

 Words by Paige Townley

Macon, Georgia, is a city rooted in culture, cuisine, and family-friendly attractions, but the Macon, Georgia is a city rooted in culture, cuisine, and family-friendly attractions. But the history to be found within the Festival Capital of Georgia doesn’t end there. The city’s musical roots run deep. 

Icons called Macon home for many years. Music legends like Little Richard, known as the Architect of Rock ‘N’ Roll was born in Macon in 1932. The King of Soul, Otis Redding called the city home, since he was just five years old. Southern Rock pioneers, the Allman Brothers Band, lived and worked, finding inspiration in Rose Hill Cemetery, and nourishing their bodies and souls at H&H Soul Food. Then there’s also artists like James Brown, who recorded his first demo for his breakthrough hit “Please, Please, Please” in the city.   

Thanks to these major musicians, Macon became a mecca for all things rock ‘n’ roll and soul, inspiring numerous other trailblazers. It even inspired two local high schoolers, Mike Mills and Bill Berry, founding members of the rock band R.E.M. 

Jazz and R&B singer Randy Crawford, classical bass-baritone Allan Evans, and Grammy-nominated violinist Robert McDuffie, who were all born in Macon as well. Even more recently there’s country music superstar Jason Aldean, a Macon native who even named an album after his hometown. 

The heart and soul of these Macon musicians can still be found throughout the city today.  H&H Soul Food is still serving its legendary biscuits, visitors can enjoy a meal where the Allman Brothers Band ate many years ago. Capricorn Studios, the famous recording studio that where legendary artists recorded their greatest hits—the Allman Brothers Band, the Marshall Tucker Band, the Charlie Daniels Band, Percy Sledge, Otis Redding III and so many more—has been fully restored as Mercer Music at Capricorn, tells the story of Macon’s musical heritage, and new hits are being recorded there today. Grant’s Lounge, has served as host to more than 100 rock bands over the last several decades, and is still bringing in some of music’s best today. See more music heritage at spots like the Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House (where the band and members of their family lived in the early 1970s), The Otis Redding “Mini” Museum (which offers a peek into the life of the famous musician), The Little Richard House (the childhood home of the Macon legend), and Rose Hill Cemetery, which serves as for many members of the Allman Brothers, and many United States senators, governors, and Civil War soldiers.    

Ready to see and explore when it comes to Macon’s sacred spot in American music history? Plan your visit to Macon now at www.maconga.org