The Unforgettable Lynyrd Skynyrd Concert - And Response

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I would like to say thanks to John Shearer and the editors at the Mountain Mirror and www.chattanoogan.com for running the article detailing Lynyrd Skynyrd's appearance at Baylor in 1973.  I was a student attending that evening, my junior year, and it was one I will never forget.

Those were the days of change, for better or worse, when Vietnam, the first televised war, was coming to its unglamorous end, and rock and roll, with its anti-establishment message was challenging our parents' notions and morals.  I will never forget the look of utter shock on some of the faculty faces when they saw the "hippies" that comprised the band, with their long, long hair, tattoos and ragged bell-bottom jeans.  They might as well have been Hell's Angels bikers as far as the teachers were concerned. 

I remember that after they had played a couple of songs, and no one was dancing yet, Van Zandt stepped up to the mic and admonished the students for not dancing, saying that the band would play a song that maybe we could relate to.  They broke into "Chattanooga Choo Choo," which got a laugh, but it broke the ice and everyone started dancing after that.

I was very impressed with the music, and during their first break I approached the band, told them as much.  I told them they should really consider recording an album, not knowing they had already recorded "Pronounced."  The reaction was underwhelming.  They didn't even bother to tell this preppie school kid that they already had an album, they just mumbled like, "Yeah, great. Thanks kid." 

Ever since that day, whenever I meet a Skynyrd fan, I always brag that they played at my high school dance, and I count myself among the very few present that special night who have ever heard their rendition of "Chattanooga Choo Choo."  Thanks Joe (Martin)!

Mark Robinson
Georgetown, S.C. 

* * * 

I would like to say thanks to the Chattanoogan.com and Mark Robinson for posting the story about Skynyrd playing at Baylor. I pride myself on rock trivia and also Chattanooga trivia and I'm humbled to admit I've never heard this story. I think it's cool. Thanks for sharing some Chatt-town cultural history.  

Chris Wilson


My Brother’s Keeper Program May Have Lofty Goal, But Makes Faux Pas

A federal president known for misuse of the Christian scriptures has done it again, but this time with Chattanooga city government following him into a program whose name falls from the lips of humankind’s first murderer.  The query “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is from a slab of dialogue in which Cain is defiant to his creator, who is asking the whereabouts of his missing ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Scrooge’ Of The Year

As we move into the last weekend before Christmas, the “Scrooge of the Year” has just appeared in Aurora, Ill. Actually Connie Ley has just died. She passed away on Nov. 25, but in her wake left the worst will many around the country have ever heard – her last wishes included that her nine-year-old dog should be put to death, cremated, and buried with her. Bela, a beautiful German ... (click for more)

2 Suspects Sought In Armed Robbery At Highway 153 Long John Silver's

Police are searching for two suspects in an armed robbery that happened Friday morning. At approximately  8:10  a.m. the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 5317 Highway 153 for a robbery at the Long John Silver's.  Officers discovered that two black men, wearing hoodies and masks, entered the Long John Silver's and forced the assistant manager ... (click for more)

Pair Charged With Beating Man With Stick, Taking His Wallet

Two men are charged with beating a man with a large stick while he slept on the steps of a downtown church, then taking his wallet. Jerry Quincy Allen, 45, and James Leo Boas, 40, both of 727 E. 11th St., are charged with aggravated robbery. In the incident on Wednesday, Bradley Casehart said he and a friend were asleep at Tompkin Chapel Church on Palmetto Street. He ... (click for more)

McCallie Claims Own Mat Title with Depth

  With no champions, yet good depth, host McCallie won the 34 th annual McCallie Wrestling Invitational Tournament Saturday with 223 points followed by runner-up Union Grove (196) and third place Cleveland (186.5) in the 27-team field. In winning a record eighth team title, McCallie had runners-up in James Westbrooks (126) and Brock Herring (132), plus three thirds and ... (click for more)

Hawks Defeat Riverdale, 55-43, For Rhea Title

EVENSVILLE, Tenn. – Hamilton Heights had a chance to win the boys and girls title in the Rhea County Holiday Hoops tournament Saturday night. The Hawks delivered. The Lady Hawks came up short. Once-beaten Hamilton Heights, getting pivotal back-to-back 3-pointers by Silas Adheke and Joan Duran in the final two minutes and sterling efforts by Ezekiel Balogun and Abdulhakim ... (click for more)