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.

Chester Martin Remembers UFOs

Yes, I've seen at least three or four UFO's, but they were totally un-dramatic and low-key. I was alive and in my early teens when, in 1947, the big (and now famed) “Roswell incident” occurred in New Mexico. Some kind of alien spacecraft had crashed there, and bodies had been removed; the U.S. Air Force knew all about it and refused to release details. Already an amateur astronomer ... (click for more)

Historic Boarding House Preserved At Portland, Tn.

The Tennessee Preservation Trust (TPT) celebrated the exceptional preservation efforts of the city of Portland, Tn.,  for the restoration of the historic Moye Green House as part of their Preservation50 in Tennessee campaign.   Preservation50 in Tennessee is part of a nationwide effort to commemorate the 50th  anniversary of the National Historic Preservation ... (click for more)

Darrel Eric Chapman, 49, Dies In Red Bank Home Destroyed By Fire; Case Ruled Arson/Suicide

Darrel Eric Chapman, 49,  died in a house fire in Red Bank early Friday morning after the homeowner said he was awakened by popping sounds. Red Bank Police Chief Tim Christol said the case is being considered an arson/suicide. He said, " At approximately 12:30 a.m., the Red Bank Fire and Police departments responded to a residential fire at 604 Bitsy Lane where they discovered ... (click for more)

Attorney Gets Misdemeanor Plea In 2nd Case Involving Sexually Harassing Waitress

A Chattanooga attorney who was charged for the second time with sexually harassing a waitress has pleaded guilty in General Sessions Court to a reduced charge. In the latest case, Charles D. Lawson had been charged with aggravated sexual battery after an incident at a local restaurant involving a waitress. Prosecutor Jason Demastus said Lawson pleaded guilty to the B misdemeanor ... (click for more)

Save Coolidge Park - And Response (2)

Last Monday morning while at work a good friend messaged me concerning a matter that I had not heard anything about dealing with Coolidge Park and its future. Apparently that night the City Council was to read an ordinance that would allow the mayor to start negotiations with the relocation of the Medal of Honor Museum. This ordinance would enable the city to lease approximately ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Tipping The Preacher

I got an unusual telephone call the other day from someone I love who asked my help in solving one of life’s delicate mysteries. It is a tough question: “How do you tip a preacher?” In the first place, you never tip a preacher. It’s the preacher who gives out the tips, helping to keep you on the straight-and-narrow in your quest to waltz through the Pearly Gates. But there are ... (click for more)