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Keith "Jughead" Johnson on what make Jacksonville's music scene so special

Memory Riffs: Welcome


Memory Riffs: Testimonials
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"First of all, I miss the music industry, every single day of my life. The ability to bring joy to somebody, the ability to play a new tune to somebody that they've never heard of, that just lights them up, and they just, makes them happy. It's a real business. But it's one that just brings joy...I think it's all about bringing joy to people. Music is just, it ties us all together."

Jeff Cohen

Executive Producer Miami Bass

Owner of Jeff Cohen Music Publishing


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"Well, I have to quote Abbey Lincoln, she said the truth is like a balloon, which you’re trying to hold under water, you can't do it. You know, it will always rise. And, the truth is the truth and it will always rise. You can try to hold it down, but it won't work." (answering the question of why music by Black artists seems to flourish at times of suffering)

John Betsch

Jazz Drummer


"I seen we only had a couple of seconds before we hit the ground - I grabbed Ronnie [Van Zant] up off the floor, shoved him between Allan and Gary, and he was fighting with me. I strapped him in and he was saying "what're you doing man I need to get some sleep." He's fighting with me, fighting with the seatbelt. And I slapped him I said "Man, the plane is crashing, I'm not messing with you!" Then somebody said "Trees" and we hit the trees. I tried to turn to run back to my seat but I didn't realize I was running uphill at a 52 degree angle."

Gene Odom

Security Guard for Lynyrd Skynyrd

Lifelong Friend of Ronnie Van Zant

Memory Riffs: Testimonials


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"I could not believe that I was in his (Gary Rossington) presence. Okay, I mean, I just couldn't believe it. And like Heartbreak Hotel. He had to work on that one because it didn't come naturally to him. And so you'd walk around the house and pick in Heartbreak Hotel. And so, a friend of mine was served was helping them scout locations for the album shoot the cover. He wanted to do it here in St Augustine, and did that."

Vanessa "Van" Baker
Experienced Tour Guide

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(Recalling Charles Singleton's "Strangers in the Night")

"I know Frank Sinatra heard that song 'Strangers in the Night'. It was on something else. It was part of something else, 'the Words' or something. And then he decided 'I want to use that song.'"

Pam Singleton
Vice President of Durkeeville Historical Society,
Granddaughter of Charles Singleton

Memory Riffs: Testimonials


Memory Riffs: Testimonials
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"Huh? What's this? A Christian rock band of sorts. Playing in a church, huh? That's cool. And [Mike Missouri] asked me to help with their sound which was part of my day job. And it Music City all of us sold guitars and amps and bases. But we had a department had a drum department keyboard department. Yeah, I was had the sound department. So boom, that plugs me into that at a perfect time in my life. So as I'm facing out a rock and roll, I'm engaged to get married and phasing into Christian music."

Chip Jaynes

Owner of Chip’s Music, Guitarist for The Toys


"I guess you could say I tell people all the time, if you have to tell a person: 'Are you saved? Are you are a Christian?' I see you, so I try to live that type of life that people know who I am and what I represent. So I guess more than that, I just love God, and I just tried to support Christ. I mean, I won’t represent Christ. I'm saying it like that." (when asked about Gospel music's importance)

Jerry "DJ" West

Owner of Dj's Record Store


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"Jacksonville has this really great mixture of great gospel music, great rock music, great all around music. Now you got a lot of rappers and hip hop culture, you know, it's just a great melting pot of a lot of good music. So I think if people are going to study me, they need to then study the sound of Jacksonville."

Ulysses Owens Jr.

Jazz drummer and percussionist


 "I would say there was something in the old heritage of Jacksonville. It was definitely...unique would be too strong a word, but let's say unusual. It was a certain center, it was one of the centers for blues and what became gospel. So is this because of that soulful thing, that swamp thing that Florida sound? And do you know that there was a time when Jacksonville was known as the Harlem of the South?"

Dr. Longineu Parsons

Jazz, Blues trumpeter

Professor of Music at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University

Memory Riffs: Testimonials
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