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Alabama in July

Posted: Jul 13, 2008

The Fourth of July is over and along with it Willie Nelson’s annual Fourth of July picnic near San Antonio featuring Merle Haggard, Pat Green, Ray Price, and Los Lonely Boys among others. Summer is on the wane, and that is good news for those of us who look forward for the golden days of autumn. But here is some good news for all of us. Willie Nelson has teamed up with jazz great Wynton Marsalis to produce a fabulous new album called Two Men With The Blues. Check out Calamine's review on Swampland and my feature Wynton and Willie and the Blues.

Regarding endings and beginning, this weekend marked the final performance of The Miracle Worker (a play about the early life of Helen Keller) that is produced every summer during the months of June and July in Tuscumbia, Alabama, at Keller’s birthplace Ivy Green. Friends who attended the performance on Friday, July 12, came back raving about the play and, in particular, the amazing young actress who played the role of the child Helen. The weeklong Helen Keller Festival is held yearly during the last week of June in the Shoals.

If you missed the Helen Keller Festival this year, you still have an opportunity to attend the W.C. Handy Festival beginning on July 18 and continuing through July 26 in the Shoals. W.C. Handy, known as the “Father of the Blues” was born in a tiny log cabin in Florence, Alabama, on November 16, 1873 and lived there until he was nineteen years old. Handy composed the famous tunes “St. Louis Blues,” “Memphis Blues,” “Yellow Dog Blues,” and “Beale Street Blues”. The W.C. Handy Music Festival was selected as a "Must See" event on the Year of Arts Destination Roster for 2007. If you are in the Shoals area, be sure to make reservations at the Shoals Marriott Hotel and Spa and enjoy a gourmet dinner following a round of golf on one of the fabulous Robert Trent Jones golf courses.

Although I discovered early in my career that I had no talent for golf (or bowling for that matter or almost any sport involving a ball), nothing has been able to prevent me from trying to pass myself off as a jock. The continuing saga of my life as a would-be athlete is featured this week in Resurrection.

---Penne J. Laubenthal

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alligatorgrl says...

I adore both these artists and was excited to learn of their new collaborative album. At first I was a bit hesitant to rush out and buy the album, but after reading your blog I felt inspired to do so. Thanks!

michaelbuffalo says...

Enjoying your writings Penne! I am coming your way next week. Please drop me an e-mai!! :-)

CAFIELD says...

After reading this article, I can't wait to get the CD. Thanks Penne for another fine piece of writing.

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