What follows is a piece full of rhymes and couplets. It’s a rolling tribute to just some of the many cultural legends, icons, people’s heroes and sheroes, spaces, places and events upon which modern Kansas City is built. They’re all bedrock parts of our most authentic cultural identity our past, our present and our future.

What Go head on “in the spirit” of the legends and the deep well of unsung heroes and role players who carried their weight. This is for Charlie Parker, Charlie, Mary, Memo Lona and Captain Tate. Lester Young, Thomas Hart Benton, Tom Bass, Tom Pendergast, who tried to make it last, Big Joe Turner, the Sign, the Ram and Saber Jets, Mrs. Meeks, Chuck Moore, Town Hall Ballroom, Cowtown Ballroom, Milton’s Lounge, the Inferno, Freedom Palace, Buck O’Neal, Ida McBeth, Satchel Paige, Owen Bush, Orrin Murray, Mattie Rhodes, Mike Ross, Milt Morris, Buck Buchanon, Larry Sells, Walt Wells, John L. Frasier, Eddie Baker, Otis Taylor, Roger Nabor, Johnnie Taylor, the McMurrays and Chucky Draper.

In the spirit of Dale Eldred, Steve Harvey, Dr. Bob, Dr. Bob Farnsworth, Mamie Isler, Michael Charles, Ed Charles, Eddie Griffin, Frank White, the Vanguard, Ed Asner, Martin Chisholm, C.A. Franklin, Roy Wilkins, SDS, ASYC, and the SLP, Melody Lanes, the Twilight Zone, the long way home, and SAC-20. Alvin Sykes, Teddy Grover and Joy, Brewer and Shipley. Do Do Martin’s jabs, Consolidated and Palace cabs, Everette DeVan, Nhuong Tran, breakfast jams on Thanksgiving Day, Harlow’s and Martha’s Café.

In the spirit of Manny’s, Mooney’s, the Mardi Gras, Brush Creek Charlie, MT Productions, Vaughn McCormick, Todd Storz, Groovy Grant, Kelly’s, Bobby Del Greco, the McFadden Brothers, the Metheny Brothers, the Smith Sisters, Great India, the Hitching Post, John Wyatt, Dave Hutton, the Beatles atMunicipal Stadium, James Brown at Municipal Auditorium, Horace Washington, Alonzo Washington, Coleman Hawkins, Danny Cox, Donald Cox, and Islamic Force. Charlie Finley, Ron Finley, Ronnie Brown, Norman Brown, Ralph Brown, the Signatures of Sound, Christine Eason, the Atomic Pool Hall, and Flanker’s Lounge.

In the spirit of Garozzo’s, Horace Peterson, Dr. Edward Beasley, packin’ house killin’ floors, Ralph Gaines, Rhythm Lanes, Chris Carter, Vincent Carter, Jay McShann, the Mutual Musicians Foundation, Niecie’s, Olivia Dorsey, Henry Winston, Sonny Gibson, and Leon Dixon.

OG’s, Valdore, Matt and Juggy, Rosie’s Bar & Grill, Niles Home, Lawrence A. Jones, D.A. Holmes, Fairyland for the thrill and both Mack Lee and Watermelon Hill, Louis Neal, Thomas Hart Benton, then over on Benton, Dennis Rucker asked, “What issss the deal?”

In the spirit of the Party House, Lena Rivers Smith, Bill Leeds, Chuck Haddix, Bishop Cunningham, Maxine’s, the Landmark, Off Broadway, Bryant’s, Kamau Agyei (Carroll Jenkins), Campy Campaneris, Sonny Kenner, the Sunset Club, Bobby’s Hangout, Off Broadway, Nate Robinson, Buck Clayton,Herman Oates, Kevin Mahogany, the Reno Club, Dahoud Muhammad, Dell Rice, and Bubble Klice.

In the spirit of Lee Vogel, Lee Bohannon, Dwight Frizzell, the Salazars, Chico, Byond Davis, Bernard Powell, Lawrence Barry (King Spinner), Claude Williams, Chi Chi Williams, Dahoud Williams, Herschel Connor, Jay Byrd, Calvin Whitmore, the Midwestern Free School, Madam Lovejoy’s, Freddie Bell, The Hub, Tony DiPardo, Kai Aiyetoro, Don St. Clair, Deborah Johnson, Tony Johnson, Bobby Watson, Hoover Dodson and Chick “Stoop Down” Willis.

In the spirit of Bettye Hughes Williams, Mary Lou Williams, Byther Williams, R.T. Coles, St. Andrews-Troost, St. James-Spruce and Phil Lawson, John Preciphs, Michael Charles, and Cecil Williams did Glide. Count Basie, James Tindall, Matlaws, Stan Banks, and 2-4-5. Bennie Moten, Ossco Bolton, Frank James, Big Russ, Jumoke, Ra, Ajene and Zookenstein, the Orchid and Blue Rooms, you sorta had to gotta be there, on 12th Street and 18th & Vine.

In the spirit of Vi’s, Ivy League, Foster’s, Cherry’s, Recycled Sounds, Bodyworks, the Black Contemporary Players, Bettye Miller & Milt Abel, Donna Stewart, Point Blank, Harold Pener, Guadalupe Center, the Ep, the group that’s Level with the Ground, the Universal and Flanker’s, Lounge. Crossroads, the Jerusalem and Broadway Cafés, City Market, Don Brake, La Fonda El Taquito, Bobby Scroggins, and Bobby Day.

The Green Duck, the Drum Room, Kenneth Mosley and These Are They, Cecelia White, Booker Wright, Oleta Adams, Carol Comer, and Marilyn Maye. In the spirit of leather coats, at the Field House, that got jacked, gangsters at Union Station and in River Quay, who got whacked, the Landmark, the North End, the South, the East and West sides that try to remained intact.

The Red Star Food Coop, the Hitching Post, Clemett Triplett, Fred Curls, Bruce Rodgers, the Zollars, and Tech N9ne, we pulled them all near and Miss Stevenson was fine. Then Earl Grant sang, “It was just a matter of time”.

Sam Johnson, Vernon Thompson, Bump & the Soul Stompers, and it took the Hobleys to raise a village. Pick up trucks and tattoos, the hot, slow Swope Park and the late night low rider Boulevard cruise, Stormy Weather, Luqman Hamza, and Mamie Hughes.

In the spirit of Gregg and Lucky Pratt, Al and Slick Surratt, the Foolkiller, R.C. Robinson, Cassandra Tomlinson, and Jennie Lee and Clifton Lloyd filled the void. Dan Diamond, Carmell Jones, D.A. Holmes, Dr. Marion Jones andMiriam Simon. Elliot Carmichael, Shiriki, Ed Lewis, Bo Jackson, Lenny Zeskind, the Blankenships, Horace Peterson, the Powells, the Panthers, the Medinas, Don Mocker, the Asiatic Shabazz Posse, the Brown Berets, Sauti, Alvin Brooks, Nick Civella, Tony Ferella, Bob Berdella, Walt Disney, Gene Richardson and Face. Temple Slug, 7th Heaven, Penny Lane, the Cains, the Gants, Big Mondaine and base. The Andersons and Jan. Dr. Jeremiah Cameron, Leon Jordan, the Teamsters, Locals 31 & 42, the El Cap, Chris King, Seldom Seen, and SEIU.

In the spirit of the Carver, Castle, Linwood, Lincoln, Isis, Gem, Starlight, Capri, Paramount, Empire, Midland and Uptown theaters, Walt Bodine, Maxine’s, Ahmad Alaadeen, Maurice Green, and of course the Beavers. Zelema Harris, Johnny Taylor, Lucille Bluford, Skip Carter, Manuel and Clara Reyes, boogie-woogie, Eulipion, swing, Pullman Porters, Euphrates, Rex Purefoy, steaks and cocktails at the Savoy, Vernon Vanoy, Pickles baby! The Inner City Riders, Mike Carter, Robert Altman, Denise Low, Brother Oscar, Joe Popper, Melvin Tolson, Rev. Charles Stith, J.J. Maloney, and Mbembe Milton Smith.

In the spirit of Ed and Psyche Pate, Tommy Neeley, Dr. Karen Curls, Joe Faus, and all the rest who did not wait. I’m talkin’ about the, Alexanders, Daniels, Smiths, Hills, Holidays, Hughes, Browns, Williams, Watkins, Wessons, Stewarts, Jordans, Jordons, Jacksons, Joneses, Johnsons, Guzmans, and Gates … in the people, in the hearts and minds, the true spirit of KC still lives and carries weight! 

 

Editor’s Note: Lloyd Daniel is a writer, educator and a former member
of the Missouri State Legislature. To read, watch and listen to more of
his work, logon to his website. The address http://www.lloyddaniel.info

 

 

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