NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
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SOUNDS OF SOUL

SOUNDS OF SOUL

Phillips musician recalls Black music scene of his youth Alfred Johnson By Tesha M. Christensen Sitting on the front porch one summer day, painting in the sweltering heat, Alfred Johnson reminisced about his early days in music and the burgeoning Twin Cities Black music scene of the 1970s and 80s. He”™s even found his way into a book capturing the scenes from that time, “Sights, Sounds, Soul: The Twin Cities Through the Lens of Charles Chamblis” (published by the Minnesota Historical Society in 2017), although he”™s misidentified in the book on page 33 as Raymond Parker.  Paging though the book brings Johnson, now age 66, back to those days when the city”™s 50,000 African Americans, who were denied access to downtown club stages and radio airwaves, were playing at clubs like Cozy Bar and Lounge up north on Plymouth Ave. and Riverview Supper Club in south Minneapolis (now Broadway Pizza). About Chamblis, “We used to call him ”˜Picture Man,”™” recalled Al. Photos courtesy of the Minnesota Historical SocietyPhillips man Al Johnson (back row, left) has found his way into “Sights, Sounds, Soul: The Twin Cities Through the Lens of Charles Chamblis” (at right) that was published by the Minnesota Historical Society in 2017, although he”™s misidentified in the book on page 33 as Raymond Parker. BLACK MUSIC AT CHURCH AND THE CLUB A 1972 South High School graduate, Al has lived both on the Southside and Northside of Minneapolis since moving here with his family as a kid in the early 1960s. His kinfolk hail from Springfield, Ill. At the time, in North, “there weren”™t hardly any Blacks who lived there. You could count them on your finger,” Al said. “Most Blacks lived in Central neighborhood or Phillips.” He loves the Southside for its different cultures ”“ Blacks, whites, Hispanics ”“ and has lived here [...]

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