Noted music writer Lee Hildebrand will speak on Richmond Blues, Gospel and South of the 1940s to the1970s, Saturday, Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. at the Visitor Center of the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond.
The mass World War II migration of African Americans, many from such states as Texas and Louisiana, to Richmond and North Richmond, led to vibrant blues and gospel music scenes during and after the war.
Hildebrand will discuss venues like the Club Savoy, Tapper’s Inn, Minnie Lue’s, the Mekesmo, and Tommy’s 250 and play recorded examples of music of singers and groups who lived in and or performed in Richmond, including Lowell Fulson, Jimmy McCracklin, Roy Hawkins, Willie B. Huff, Little Joe Blue, the Golden West Gospel Singers, the Jackson Brothers, Dorothy Morrison, Joe Simon, Jesse James, the Two Things in One, and YBS.
Hildebrand has been writing about blues, jazz, soul and gospel music since 1968, with a focus on the East Bay. He has contributed to the San Francisco Chronicle since 1974 and served as an editor of the East Bay Express from 1978 to 2001. His work appears regularly in the Oakland Post and Living Blues.
The presentation is the first in speaker series on the legacy of the American World War II Home Front, hosted by the National Park Service. The second event will take place on Saturday, March 9, “A League of Their Own – Female Archetypes on the Diamond and on the WWII Home Front,” presented by Doc Stull.
The Rosie the Riveter Visitor Education Center is open 7 days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located at 1414 Harbour Way South, suite 3000, Richmond. For more information and directions to the Visitor Education Center, call (510) 232-3108 or go to www.nps.gov/rori/planyourvisit/directions.htm. There is no charge for admission to the Visitor Center.