Just one week of reviewing books for the onset of summer and in the midst of the covid-19 virus pandemic lock-down, just isn't enough as the list of good reads continues this week.
The topper of the list has to be a giant tome, an exhaustive book, titled: Good Times: A History of Night Spots and Live Music in Fayetteville, by Denele Campbell of West Fork.
Be not deceived readers, this book goes back to the earliest recorded taverns, inns, roadside bars and clubs in Washington County and Northwest Arkansas.
If you are a former UA student, grew up in the area or moved here no matter when and like the live music scene, this is the book for you. The early taverns are detailed, the early clubs, such as the Huddle Club, the Rockwood Club, Frank's Tavern, George's Majestic Longue, the Bubble Club, Sherman's Tavern, and the evolution of Bill's Recreation Club to Roger's Rec as we know it today on Dickson Street.
Do you recall the Red Pig Café & Tavern in Springdale, or how about the Lone Wolf Tavern in Winslow? And bands and musicians, my goodness, she has a 10-page index at the rear of the volume with names, names and more names of people, places and musical venues, many now long gone.
Campbell weaves a historical story with such chapters broken down by decades, the 1930s-1950s, the 1960s, the 1970s and so on. She also has chronicled area recording studios, record shops, music stores, festivals and more on the music scene.
This book, 552 pages, with at least 100 vintage photographs, is available for $25 at the Washington County Historical Society, 118 East Dickson Street, Fayetteville, Tuesday-Thursday from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. To arrange for a book, call 479-521-2970 and leave a message.
The book can also be ordered from Campbell at her website.
Another regional book of note, is Weary Road: Based on The True Story of a Dog and his Soldiers, by James Babb.
This work of fiction about a stray dog becoming the mascot of a unit in the War Between the States in the Arkansas wilderness is also the 2020 Susannah DeBlack Award winner for Juvenile historical fiction from the Arkansas Historical Society.
It is a great chapter book for a teenager interested in dogs, boys, war and historical settings. The book by Babb can be ordered at Silver Ink Books.com.
A rather serious but informative historical book about Arkansas' economic fortunes comes from Ronald R. Switzer, a former native of Arkansas who now lives in Enid, Okla. The book, Arkansas, Forgotten Land of Plenty: Settlement and Economic Development, 1540-1900.
This is a very compact and informative look at the state's economic growth and development. It is a very well researched and informative book. It can be ordered from McFarland & Company Publishers, Jefferson, N.C.
Just out is also the 2nd in a set of three books about the Ozarks from Dr. Brooks Blevins of Missouri State University. The middle-book, A History of the Ozarks: Vol. 2, the Conflicted Ozarks, is available from the University of Illinois Press and is $34.95 for a 297 page volume. The first book in the series, A History of the Ozarks, Vol. 1, The Old Ozarks, is also available from the University of Illinois Press.
As always I will recommend a $20 membership in the Arkansas Historical Association and its four issues of the "Arkansas Historical Quarterly" each season during the year.
Locally, a $25 basic membership in the Washington County Historical Society delivers four issues of the "Flashback," the historical quarterly about the county's history to one's mail box for excellent summer reading.
Next Week: Back to politics and such in the pandemic.
--MAYLON RICE IS A FORMER JOURNALIST WHO WORKED FOR SEVERAL NORTHWEST ARKANSAS PUBLICATIONS. HE CAN BE REACHED VIA EMAIL AT [email protected] THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR.Editorial on 06/03/2020
Print Headline: 'Good Times,' A History Of Music Scenes In NWA Leads Book List