Right here in Lil’ ole Columbus, we have a music venue that is making waves in the regional music world! Grammy Award winners and blues legends have frequented the place in the past few years. And soon, a member of the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame could be performing there for an evening.
Where is this place? Just head east on Main Street (Hwy 182) out of Columbus about a mile or so past the intersection with Lehmberg Road and look for the little green metal building on the left at the intersection of 182 and Phillips Hill Road.
Yes…I’m talking about the little music house called The Junction. Owned by Don and Gloria Taylor, the facility is both smoke and alcohol free…and has become a fav of young and older alike. You’ve seen me offer up stories from there before. Just recently, in fact, because Grammy Award winner Billy Earheart (Amazing Rhythm Aces, Hank Williams Jr. Bama Band) played there just two weeks ago. It was his second performance this year at the venue.
In addition to Earheart, the late blues legend Willie King performed there in 2008. King was brought in by his friend, Joe Young, who is the rhythm guitarist for the houseband, Footloose. His performance was memorable for those who attended that evening. One of those attending that evening was ‘Uncle’ Bunky Williams. The two icons were in awe of each other. Bunky told me that while he was trying to get King’s autograph, King was asking for his along with one of his famous ‘cartoon’ drawings. It was mutual admiration from two people who have made huge impacts on many lives!
Later this year, talk of an appearance by Rock-n-Roll Hall of Famer Spooner Oldham is in the works. Dewey Lindon ‘Spooner’ Oldham is from Center Star, Alabama and currently resides in Rogersville, Alabama. Oldham grew up writing and performing around the Muscle Shoals recording industry. As a keyboardist, it is his keyboard playing you’re hearing on such classic’s as Percy Sledge’s ‘When A Man Loves A Woman’, Wilson Pickett’s ‘Mustang Sally’ and Aretha Franklin’s ‘I Never Loved A Man’.
Oldham wrote, along with his writing partner – Vernon, Alabama native Dan Penn – such classic tunes as ‘Cry Like A Baby (The Box Tops), ‘I’m Your Puppet’ (James and Bobby Purify) and ‘A Woman Left Lonely’ and ‘It Tears Me Up’ (Percy Sledge). In 1967, Oldham teamed up as a writer with Penn at American Studios in Memphis. Frequently a backing musician for Neil Young, Oldham played on Young’s critically acclaimed 1992 album, ‘Harvest Moon’. Oldham also accompanied Young on his concert film documentary ‘Neil Young: Heart of Gold’. If that’s not enough, Oldham backed up Crosby Stills Nash & Young on their 2006 ‘Freedom of Speech’ tour. He currently tours with Pegi Young & The Survivors. (Pegi is the wife of Neil Young. RW).
On April 4, 2009, Spooner Oldham was inducted into the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame. If he makes the appearance at The Junction, he’ll likely come along with guitarist Kelvin Holly. Holly has quite an impressive musical background himself. In addition to playing guitar in Pegi Young’s band, Holly is a member of the Muscle Shoals area band ‘The Decoys‘ (which also has as a member, Muscle Shoals ‘Swamper’ David Hood on bass. RW) The Decoys regularly back Percy Sledge in his appearances. Holly is also the guitarist for the Amazing Rhythm Aces (playing alongside Billy Earheart. RW). Not enough? Holly is the regular touring guitarist for Rock-n-Roll legend Little Richard! How about that for a musical resume?
And to top it all off, local singing legend Charlie Burgin makes an appearance every other Saturday night at The Junction. Other ‘Footloose’ members include Gloria Taylor, Don Taylor, Joe Young, Bill Bailey, David Taylor, Rufus Mason, Ted Leonard and Mike McCoy. (The writer also sings there. RW) Occasional musical guest include Mike Chain, Bobby Shannon, Bruce ‘Bird’ Crain, Dean Swartz, Billy Martin, Paul Hebert, Faye Brock, Keith Shaddix and Doug Wooten.
Even ‘Elvis’ himself has been sighted there on many occasions. What more could you ask for?
The Junction is open on Thursday (for karaoke), Friday and Saturday nights starting at 7:30 each night. It’s located at 4982 Hwy 182 East at the corner with Phillips Hill Road.