Studio owner looks to get young people involved in Jefferson Str - WSMV News 4

Studio owner looks to get young people involved in Jefferson Street music revival

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One man is working to restore the history of clubs where legendary black artists played in the 50s, 60s and 70s. (WSMV) One man is working to restore the history of clubs where legendary black artists played in the 50s, 60s and 70s. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

You may have seen the murals going up around Jefferson Street or heard about the historic overlay recently placed on the former Club Baron site.

Jefferson Street was once the site of the clubs where legendary black artists played during the 50s, 60s and 70s. Now, one man believes the wheels are turning to restore that history, and he wants area young people to get in on the movement.

"This street has so much history we don't want to lose," said Lorenzo Washington of Jefferson Street Sound.

Washington said his studio's been playing home recently to the first new recordings on Jefferson Street in years.

You never know who you'll find hanging around the museum below his studio.

"You have to have a reason to practice," laughed former James Brown trumpet player Joe Davis. "It ain't no fun! You decide how important it is in your life."

"I started playing trumpet when I was seven-years-old, so it's been a lifetime for me," he continued, sitting across from Washington. "I wouldn't take anything for it."

Washington and Davis remember a time when Jefferson Street was lined with clubs playing host to the likes of Jimi Hendrix.

"It's just too close to being lost, overlooked," said Davis. "I want to see it memorialized. Our story is the foundation for all those other stories."

Washington has a plan.

"We can start out here," he said, leading a group of children and parents up to the front door of Jefferson Street Sound. "These are some of the pictures of the older artists from back in the 30s."

Washington welcomed in children from the Tony Sudekum Apartments Monday morning to hear the stories of the black musicians that played the area.

"That's Little Richard up there on the wall," he said, pointing to an autographed picture.

"Ironing Board Sam got his name from when he came to the club one night, and they didn't have his keyboard stand," Washington continued, pointing to another picture. "He went back in the back and got his ironing board and set his keyboard on that ironing board. He became known as Ironing Board Sam."

"I could just see the smiles on their faces, the glow in their eyes," said Washington, after letting several kids play the drums in a rehearsal space.

Washington said he hopes he can restore the sound of Jefferson Street by helping foster the same love and appreciation of music that once set a young Joe Davis on his way.

"As a kid, I found out what I love, and what I want to do," said Davis. "I didn't have to go past Jefferson Street. I got all the reinforcements I needed in terms of what I wanted to do."

"We are doing all we can do to keep this music alive in Nashville on Jefferson Street," said Washington.

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