GETTING TO KNOW US
The Jacksonville Historical Society is creating a museum that brings the community together across racial, economic, and generational divides by showing how the city’s incredible musical history comes from a fusion of musical influences that have all influenced each other.
Jacksonville is best known as the birthplace of the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, .38 Special, and other bands often lumped together under the heading of “Southern Rock.” However, Jacksonville was also where the Blues was performed and recorded for the first time, according to some historians. Jazz pioneers such as Jelly Roll Morton and Ray Charles launched their careers in Jacksonville. James Weldon Johnson, a Jacksonville native and scholar, diplomat, and artist of national renown wrote Lift Every Voice and Sing, considered to be the Black National Anthem (and sung at this year’s Super Bowl by Alicia Keys.) And 12-yr old Keedron Bryant was signed to Warner Brothers Records, featured in Harper’s Bazaar, and name-checked by President Obama in 2020 for his music about social justice.