While rummaging through family keepsakes recently, I discovered a Winston-Salem Journal dated Aug. 2, 1966.
Page 21, which dealt with movies and entertainment, got my attention.
My eyes were immediately drawn to an ad with names and pictures of black singers. Not too far removed from the days of segregation, I was caught off guard as to their appearance at the Winston-Salem Coliseum. I hadn’t personally experienced what I would call “integration” or “equality” in 1966.
My mind started to trip down memory lane and “the good old days.” The black singers mentioned were just a few of the many who sang songs dealing with puppy love, breaking up, getting back together, crying, smiling, hurt, pain, cheating, being truthful and marrying your true love.
That’s why we bought their records, danced to their music, and paid to see them perform.
The concert was to start at 8:30 that night. Advance Admission $2.50 or $3 at the door.
The ad featured the entertainers’ pictures and names.
First was a picture of a spotlight shinning on a likeness of Otis Redding probably singing “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay.” Redding was probably the headliner for this show because at the very bottom it mentions the Otis Redding Orchestra. Right off, I learned something because I never knew he had a band.
Here are the artists from that August show and some of their songs:
- Otis Redding: “The Dock of the Bay,” “Can’t Turn You Loose,” “Try a little Tenderness,” “These Arms of Mine,” “A Change is Going to Come,” “Love Man”
- Garnet Mimms: “Cry Baby,” “As Long As I Have You,” “Anytime You Need Me,” “Tell Me Baby”
- Sam & Dave: “Soul Man,” “Soothe Me,” “I Thank You,” “Soul Sister”
- Percy Sledge: “When a Man Loves a Woman,” “Take Time to Know Her,” “My Special Prayer,” “Warm and Tender Love,” “Take Time to Know Her”
- Mitty Collier: “I had a Talk with My Man Last Night,” “No Faith, No Love,” “Sharing You,” “I’m Your Part Time Love”
- James Carr: “The Dark End of the Street,” “Pouring Water on a Drowning Man,” “You’ve Got My Mind Messed Up”
- Patti LaBelle and the Blue Belles: “I Sold My Heart to the Junk Man,” “Down the Aisle,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” “I’m Still Waiting,” “Take Me for a Little While”
- The Ovations: “Pretty Little Angel,” “I’m Living Good,” “I Need a Lot of Loving,” “I Believe I’ll Go Back Home,” “Me and My Imagination”
- Sad Sam: There is a picture of him in the ad, but, I could find nothing ever recorded by a black singer with this name.
Also on page 21 was an ad for a night club called Downtown A-Go-Go.
The ad says A-Go-Go was an air conditioned, non-alcoholic night club. It didn’t list a location, so I searched the club’s name online and found it was located at 409 N. Spruce St., above the Woolworth store that faced West Fourth Street.
This Downtown A-Go-Go ad announced the appearance of the original Drifters on Aug. 3 at the club, singing songs like “Lonely Winds,” “Drip Drop,” “Some Kind of Wonderful,” “Under the Boardwalk,” “On Broadway” and “Up on the Roof.”
A local white band, the Vee Jays, was also appearing. Admission was $2.50 at the door and advance tickets were $2. Tickets were on sale at Reznicks Royal Green and Northside locations.
Since I like finding old things and sharing them, there were other things on page 21:
- TV lineup had NBC signing off at 1 a.m. and CBS and ABC signing off at 12:30.
- Admission to the Winston Theater was $1.25 for adults, 50 cents for children .
- Carolina Theater offered a summer vacation Wednesday morning movie party, 9 a.m. to noon. (Stage show at 9 a.m., film 10 a.m. to noon). They also offered the Dutchie Dance Contest, Limbo and Talent Show. Cost 35 cents.
- Drive-in theaters such as Pilot Drive-In, Bel-Air
- Drive-In, Robinhood Drive-In, Flamingo Drive-In, Skyview Drive-In and the Winston-Salem Drive-In, offered a night of entertainment under the stars.
Even though High Point theaters didn’t advertise in the Journal, we did have two drive-in theaters: Pointer Drive-in (later renamed the Thunderbird), on the Greensboro Road, and the Tar Heel Drive-in on South Main Street.
Since these drive-ins were segregated when I moved to Washington, I never thought of pursing them when I returned in 1975.
What a wonderful feeling being able to put a little pep in my step and smile while the world around me seems to be falling apart.
The names and pictures brought back memories of growing up, not in Winston-Salem, but about 15 miles away in High Point.
Now that I have reached the age 79, I really miss the puppy-love days.