Fun Music Recalled in the Sounds of Jimmy Tawater and the River City Showcase

Saturday, September 14, 2013 - by Harmon Jolley
Collage of Jimmy's previous venues
Collage of Jimmy's previous venues

I grew up loving to read the local newspapers.  Part of my interest was due to the regular features.  There were the Junior Editor’s Quiz, Peanuts and other comics, the weekly TV section, and the local entertainment articles and advertisements.

A local entertainer was often featured in the latter: Jimmy Tawater.  For years, the newspapers promoted his appearances at local night spots including the Castaways, Dino’s, and the Wooden Nickel.  Often, there was a photo of him airborne during a jump from the stage.

In addition to being a local performer, Jimmy Tawater has toured extensively.  He did tours with Goose Creek Symphony, Little Richard, and Leon Russell.  He is a member of the Chattanooga Music Hall of Fame.

I had never been to a Jimmy Tawater show until this year.  The high point of my Riverbend experience was being in the crowd to hear the River City Showcase featuring Jimmy on vocals and guitar.  The group plays a mix of musical styles, from classic rock to jazz-rock to the rhythm-and-blues tunes of Stax Records in Memphis.   High-energy horns and rhythm section accompany Jimmy and other vocalists.

I caught the group again the following month at a North River Civic Center concert.  The room was packed with music fans of all ages.  Jimmy leapt from the stage to the floor, and then climbed up on a chair to end the show with “Johnny B. Goode.” 

These days, Jimmy has a day job at a local title company, while continuing his musical career.  I stopped by his office to pick up some photographs, and spoke briefly with him.  Among his portfolio were pictures of his days with The Greaseball Band, a group that played music and looked the part of the 1950’s.

The River City Showcase featuring Jimmy Tawater will be in concert on Sunday, September 29 at 3:15pm at the Hamilton County Fair.  They will precede another favorite group you may remember – the Amazing Rhythm Aces (“Third-Rate Romance” and “Amazing Grace Used to be Her Favorite Song”).

If you have memories of hearing Jimmy Tawater at a local venue, please send me an e-mail at jolleyh@bellsouth.net.

 

- Photo2 by The River City Showcase has impressive credentials.

Copies Of Chattanooga Photo Book Collection Still Available At Zarzour's, By Mail

Copies of books in the Historic Chattanooga Photos series by Chattanoogan.com are still available at Zarzour's Restaurant and by mail. A fourth, and perhaps final, volume, Old Chattanooga Photos, is planned to be issued later this year. Railroads In And Around Chattanooga , featuring Chattanooga's intriguing railroad history, has 69 chapters and covers rail history here and ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Families By John Wilson: The Adams Family Went With The Union

When the Civil War broke out, members of the Adams family in Hamilton County went with the Union. Hamilton Adams joined the Sixth Mounted Infantry that was organized in Chattanooga, and his son, James M. Adams, became a sergeant in the same unit. McKinney Adams, a brother of Hamilton Adams, was in the Sixth Infantry as was a younger McKinney Adams, who was the eldest son of Hamilton ... (click for more)

Finley Stadium Board Members Step In After Paul Smith, Staff Depart

Members of the board of directors of the Finley Stadium Corporation have been filling in and dividing tasks related to running the facility since Paul Smith, past executive director, and his staff resigned at the end of February. Mr. Smith has been credited for the financial turn-around of Finley Stadium, which at one time had to be subsidized by the city of Chattanooga and Hamilton ... (click for more)

Man Seriously Injured in Apartment Fire On Hickory Valley Road

A Chattanooga man was seriously injured in an apartment fire Tuesday  night . The Chattanooga Fire Department received the alarm around  7:15 p.m.  and responded to Evergreen Apartments at 1507 Hickory Valley Road with six fire companies. Captain Terri Roshell with Quint 8 said light smoke was showing from the two-story apartment building when her fire ... (click for more)

Slaxxon Regret - And Response

Back in the seventies my three oldest brothers had a buddy named Steve Slack. “Slack” was a star soccer player at Baylor and he grew up on Lookout Mountain, which is where I grew up. He and Jimmy, Henry and Bill went to the University of Virginia where they were roommates in an old, beat up house that was painted pink. Naturally, the place became known as the “Pink Palace” but lest ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: OK, Sis, Off You Go

I’ve got to do something to adjust my sense of humor but fear there is not a big enough wrench. Rasmea Yousef Odeh, who is a naturalized American citizen from Jordan, was one of the principal figures in January’s Women’s March on Washington and had an equal starring role in the most recent “Day Without Women” protests in America. I’m all for equal rights for women yet I was appalled ... (click for more)