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Here and now: Letters from the editors

What you want, honey you got it
What you need, baby you got it

Macon’s own Otis Redding wrote these words, and we’ve been rocking to his beat of R-E-S-P-E-C-T since its release from his third album, Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul, in 1965. Like the record spins on after the music ceases, we’re honored to present these pages of Macon Magazine’s first commemorative music edition. They tell the truth that our storied past has created the way forward. The truth is: We must continue our legacy and support Macon’s music now. May Macon’s music remain at the core of our focus as we sing the stories that create our history in Macon and Central Georgia.

A heartfelt thank you to our visionary guest editor, Jessica Walden, whose brilliant riff on Macon music gave us the opportunity to finally set in rotation our music edition. Look for it again and again in the same manner that a soulful song repeats the melody, making the song and dance of your one precious life.

Respect is what I want from you
Respect is what I need

With deep respect for Macon music, I pass the mic to Jessica.

Letter from the Guest Editor

When I hear others say Macon has so much potential, I am quick to correct: We are past potential. We’re here. We’ve tipped to the other side. And we’re ready for more.

This is Macon music 2022: We’ve got Jason Aldean at the top of music charts as this issue hits stands. We’ve got bands unloading their equipment for a live music show somewhere in Downtown Macon or plugging in their amps for rehearsal at the Capricorn music incubator. Artists like Torres, also a Macon native, with thousands of followers tracking her career as she travels the country on tour. Rapper 2Win just made his debut on BET Jams. 

Nowhere in the world has a story like ours. No one has a Little Richard AND an Otis Redding, who defied the odds and kicked down barrier doors with their voices, stage presence and international appeal.

We are leveraging this past for the present. What the Otis Redding Foundation is doing, in their plans for a centralized performing arts center in Downtown Macon, is nothing short of historic, especially with the vision and commitment from Karla Redding-Andrews and her mother, our music city’s queen, Zelma Redding.

As a daughter of Macon music, it burns deep, this desire to pay tribute. Macon music history can be complicated. No movie has as many twists and turns. But if we can’t connect the dots from the past to the present, then we lose what’s so special about this town, this soundtrack and our stories. We have to support today’s Macon music to create a history for the future.

That’s what we set out to accomplish with the first ever commemorative Macon music issue of Macon Magazine. 

Much of what you’ll find here comes out of my understanding of Macon music – from history we share with Rock Candy Tours to my husband Jamie insisting I take a moment to listen to his enormous Spotify playlists of local talent.

That’s how music works. We listen. We remember, relate or recognize. Then we share. It’s my hope that the tradition of this issue continues because it’s far from comprehensive, and there’s still so much to showcase.

By the time I came along, it was after the song. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s plane had crashed. The Allman Brothers had peaked. Capricorn had closed. And my dad Alan Walden was finding his own way through the aftermath. He was stubborn about his belief in not only Macon music but Downtown Macon, which he called home, living in the space that now holds the Capricorn Music Incubator. “Jessica, kids are going to grow up and ask their parents where they were in Macon when southern rock was invented. You’ll be able to answer.”

I hope you’ll find my answer here. Thank you to Team Macon Magazine for allowing me to serve as guest editor and create something special alongside you. And to our readers, thank you for believing in the power of Macon music – support the local music scene, hire local musicians, attend events, buy their work, open your minds to every genre and all the possibilities music can create and share this issue with others to hopefully inspire more.

Rock on.

Jessica Walden
Co-owner, Rock Candy Tours

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