The Local Brief: July 2019

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TODAY! July 8: Founding, surviving Allman Brothers drummer Jai Johanny Johanson, who the world knows as Jaimoe, was born in 1944. Also born this day but in 1917, the late Geraldine Alice (Robbins) Allman, also known as "Mama A," the mother of Duane and Gregg Allman.

July 9 : Shares of James Brown's Golden Platter were offered publicly in 1969. This restaurant franchise, based in Macon with two locations, featured several prominent Macon business leaders on the original board of directors.

July 10: Alice Cooper's "King of the Silver Screen" Tour came to the Macon Coliseum in 1977.

July 11: Hank Williams, Red Foley, Les Paul & Mary Ford, & Minnie Pearl performed at the Grand Opera House (called the Grand Theatre in advertisements) in 1952.

July 12: In 1986, newly formed band Widespread Panic played in Washington Park for one of their first Macon shows. The connection was then-Mercer Law student, Philip Walden, Jr.

[Macon music trivia courtesy of Rock Candy Tours!]

Upcoming Tours:

Taste of Macon Music History Food Tour: Van tour THIS Saturday, 3 p.m
** I'm leading this one and there are only a few seats left! **
(Reservations Required by July 11)

Behind the Beer Brewery Tour: Van tour on Saturday, July 20, 3 p.m.
(Reservations Required)

Free Birds & Night Owls Walking Tour: Walking tour every Friday, 7:30 p.m.
(Reservations Required)

Rock n' Soul Riding Tour: Van tour every Saturday, 10 a.m.
(Reservations Suggested but Walk-Ups Welcome)

Thank you to our partners Visit Macon for providing transportation!

>> THE BIG STORY: Spend Three Days Exploring Macon Music

Got guests in town? Want to plan a staycation or make the most of your Macon experience? I'm proud to contribute music tourism content for and recently wrote this article, detailing a jam-packed travel itinerary that makes the most out of Macon's music scene, just in time for Bragg Jam. To read the full article, click HERE!

>> CURRENT CLIENTS: Milestones, Mentions and More

The Peyton Anderson Foundation: In honor of their first 30 years as the preeminent place-based foundation in Central Georgia, the Peyton Anderson Foundation is challenging the community to do 30 good deeds in 30 days, now through the end of July. Three winners will be selected to win $3,000 for their charity of choice. Full details can be found at You may also email me or the Foundation at for further information.

River Edge Behavioral Health: Our local behavioral health system is being applauded for their work with the Opioid Epidemic (which is very much in proportion with the national crisis). River Edge has been providing medication-assisted treatment resources. This newly released community assessment report from the Opioid Response Network for both Macon-Bibb and Baldwin Counties states: “The clinic is a model that should be replicated…. River Edge… has created a positive culture of unconditional support, understanding and the highest standard of clinical rigor unrivaled by any other facility …. River Edge has been protecting and enriching the lives of the local community with few resources at its disposal… Including River Edge in a more comprehensive way, especially to address the rural areas of Central Georgia, could be a way for the state to reach more of its citizens and communities ravaged by substance use disorder.” For more on this (and the work ahead), contact River Edge CEO, Dr. Shannon Gordon: 478-803-7646 //

First Choice Primary Care: This local, non-profit community health center is moving from its Walnut Street headquarters to 400 Poplar Street. The building will be renovated to include a comprehensive medical clinic, behavioral health services, meeting spaces, a laboratory and an on-site, public pharmacy. Future plans include the addition of vision and dental hygiene services. First Choice is seeking philanthropic support from local foundations to support the renovations and equipment needed for these and other potential new services that can improve the health of patients and offer services to downtown residents as well. It is also exploring a grocery store tenant that can serve as a neighborhood grocery store and sell fresh foods, which the in-house medical staff will be able to prescribe to patients. Prospect donors and grocer tenants can contact CEO Katherine McLeod at 478-254-7204 or

Middle Georgia Community Food Bank: Our local hunger resource center, a nonprofit organization that provides food for people at risk of hunger in 24 counties throughout Central Georgia and is currently serving a network of nearly 200 partner agencies (such as soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and programs for children and adults) from its headquarters in Macon, has now collaborated with Central Georgia C.A.R.E.S to assist pet owners who are financially challenged and hungry. A pet food campaign was implemented earlier this summer because it has been often observed that senior citizens and families cannot decide if they should purchase food for themselves or their pets. In fact, according to Middle Georgia Food Bank officials, many senior citizens have been observed purchasing and consuming pet food. The affordability of cat food has made it an appealing food purchase for seniors that do have sufficient household incomes to maintain a proper daily intake of nutritious food. The animal food drive will provide pet food for citizens struggling to feed themselves and their animals.The campaign is collecting hundreds of pounds of pet food that will be offered to seniors and families struggling to feed their animals. For the latest updates on this initiative, contact Middle Georgia Community Food Bank's Chief Development Officer Rodney Mullins: // (202) 549-2051


  • On July 17, Visit Macon is going live with a special Macon music website project, where I am proud to have served as the main content writer.

  • Macon Magazine's Women in Business Work Session: The first session held this summer at Society Garden was a hit! The next session will take place on Friday, August 2 at Mary Pinson's floral studio. This event was created as a way for women to connect, collaborate and get work done. Bring your laptop, to-do list, idea book -- whatever you need to get to work in a supportive, inspiring environment. It's that simple, but the impact is so much more. The day's schedule and more details will be announced soon!

  • Save the date for Tuesday, December 3, 2019. This will be the grand re-opening of Mercer Music at Capricorn. Expect details of the celebration announced soon! For the latest updates on this historic renaissance, follow the official Facebook page.

  • Keep an eye out for details on Historic Macon's Scenic Preservation Index. This exciting project is in development and will need the community's input through a series of input sessions where Macon's cultural and natural landscape is documented like never before.

>> WORTH MENTIONING: Small Business Shout-Out

Summers are slow for all of our local businesses -- my tour company included! It's hot. We're on vacation. We're simply trying to survive the summer haul with kids home from school and schedules out of order. So, now is no better time than ever to show your support and frequent our small businesses so they are still there for us when life gets back to "normal" -- whatever that may mean!

Shout-out to Downtown Macon's Harp & Bowl Bistro. This photo may have come from cooler months, when I was making sure we had all the goods to survive cold and flu season. But it also demonstrates the true love you can't find anywhere else but a small, local business. My son adores owner "Ms. Charlotte." He'll forever remember our many times we find ourselves in her bistro, where she can talk him into eating vegetables, trying a new smoothie or drinking a shot of kefir better than anyone! Harp & Bowl is a healthy place to eat breakfast or lunch or grab smoothies, juices and healthy resources to-go. They also offer catering. But more than anything, Ms. Charlotte offers incredible wisdom, local kindness (she's got the best southern accent!) and has a heck of a story to tell. Just ask her what got her into nutrition in the first place.

My recommendation: Have her take a machete to a fresh-cut coconut! It's one of the best sources of summer hydration and full of nutrients. And I bet you can even talk her into putting a paper umbrella in it.

Harp and Bowl

The Brief: January 2019



TODAY! January 28: It's National Kazoo Day, recognizing nearly 200 years of kazoo music in the U.S. It all started when Alabama Vest of Macon, Georgia made the first kazoo in the 1840s. It was originally called the "Down South Submarine."

January 29, 1979 : Boston played the Macon Coliseum.

January 31, 1929: Edward Grant, Sr. was born, who would later take his career from Idle Hour bartender to proprietor of the legendary Grant's Lounge.

February 2, 1900: Emmett Miller, the Macon native known for influential yodel that shaped country music, was born. 

[Macon music trivia courtesy of Rock Candy Tours!]


Rock Candy Tours Launches Music + Food Tour

Thanks to our official sponsor Macon Magazine, who partnered with us on this exciting new tour during the release of their heart-thumping, beat-dropping February/March “Food for Your Soul” issue — on stands soon!

We also want to give a huge thanks to our partners Visit Macon for working with us to develop and grow our tourism product and providing transportation on this tour, as well as our weekly Rock n’ Soul riding tour.

This special edition Rock Candy Tour takes you on a culinary ride around Downtown with the tastes and tales of Macon’s legendary and notorious music history. All stops on this tour are landmarks in Macon’s music history, who also happen to serve food!

Stops will be made at H&H Soul Food, Rookery, Dovetail, Downtown Grill, Fatty’s Pizza and Tic Toc Room.

The tour launches THIS Saturday, Feb. 2. Other dates are Feburary 9 (currently sold-out!), March 2 and March 9. All tours take from place from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. All tours start and end at the Visit Macon Welcome Center, 450 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Free parking is available on site.

Tickets are $50 per person. Reservations are made through

Because this is a van tour, there are a limited amount of only 13 tickets per tour. Reservations will also close 24 hours before each tour. There will be light walking and boarding on and off the van. The tasting menu is set by restaurants and will not be able to accommodate dietary restrictions or food allergies.

Questions? Email us at We look forward to tasting and sharing Macon music history with you!


Macon: Proud Headquarters of Pilot International

The globally acclaimed service organization originated in Macon nearly 100 years ago, where our city still remains home to the Pilot International Headquarters. 

It was a true honor to work with Pilot International and their executive committee, who arrived from all over the world in January for strategic planning at their Macon-based headquarters.

Not only did I have the opportunity to work as their facilitator, but I also served as their tour guide during a private Rock Candy Tour of Macon’s music history (which included two landmarks with Pilot International ties!).

What an inspiring group of global servant leaders! Thank you for trusting me with your international message of service and fellowship!


In the spirit of music and food, I agree with anyone who says we should all wait tables some time in our life! My time took place the summer after high school graduation at Macon's Whatapizza Cafe on Tom Hill, Sr. Blvd. My favorite nights were the ones with a live band on the deck. If you came to those shows during the summer of 1996, there is a good chance I was your server!