Music

Throughout Roswell one will find an abundance of music.  The popular Riverside Sounds Concert Series is free on the first Saturday of each Month from May – October at Riverside Park.  Roswell Cultural Arts Center hosts a variety of musical performances throughout the year. The award-winning Georgia Ensemble Theatre hosts musicals as part of their annual performances.  Chattahoochee Nature Center offers opportunities to hear music outside in a natural setting. Many restaurants offer performances of live music.

Roswell has been captured in songs by native son Barry Etris who wrote a ballad about Lum Crowe, a native to North Fulton County (Lum was often featured in Celestine Sibley’s writings).

As stated by Terry Krugman:  Time and time again, these marginalized and forgotten people, who lived and died in Barry’s beloved Roswell, would serve as his muses.  Often, he would tell a tale of some misbegotten misfit and I knew that I was hearing Barry thinking aloud.  That he was consciously or sub-consciously working the story into a potential song.

In Champion of Lavender Street, Barry tells the story of an old Black man who in the 1940s danced for coins on the streets of Roswell.  He had worked in the local cotton mill but on the weekends he was a boxer, to earn extra pay.

One night he was beaten badly and suffered problems thereafter, left to dance on the streets and endure the taunts of the passing public.

They used him and abused him
Like a raw piece of meat
They got rich off his fists
And his fast dancing feet
They stood in his corner
As he rose round by round
Then they left him to his beatings
On his lonely way down.

Barry states:  A lot of my work comes from what is gone.  When the past has sifted through your thought process, it becomes more poignant and colorful.  This is true of remembrances of Guy Tolbert, a Roswell man who often took Barry fox hunting when he was a boy.  Those memories of Guy and his buzzard-winged blue tick hound named Big Ben would inspire Barry’s song Go Home.

Go Home Lyrics

The Ballad of Lum Crowe Lyrics

Barry Etris

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