Rock Candy Tours came on the Macon tourism scene in June 2011 to help fill the void of the now closed Georgia Music Hall of Fame. Prior to thesis research, I was pretty unfamiliar with Macon’s music history, other than some Allman Brothers knowledge. Today I got a two hour crash course packed full of sites and stories related to Macon’s music legacy.
The tour guides (pictured above), Jaime and Jessica, are Macon natives. He was born into a legacy of candy as the grandson of the founder of Crown Candy Corporation in Macon, and she is the daughter of Alan Walden, legendary co-founder of Capricorn Records. Having been on my fair share of generic downtown historic tours, I knew this one was different, as they started us off with Lynard Skynard’s classic, Sweet Home Alabama blasting from the trolley speakers. Their passion for Macon and knowledge of its music allowed them to provide a spunky history lesson filled with anecdotal stories that helped bring the sites to life. It was rainy most of the day but I managed to get a few photos after the tour.
The Douglass Theatre hosted early jazz and blues greats such as Otis Redding, Bessie Smith, James Brown, Ma Rainey and Little Richard while running the feature length films and serials popular throughout the country at the time.
Former home of Anne’s Tic Toc where Little Richard had some of his earliest gigs.
The Red Lamp Lounge was located on the bottom floor of the hotel; The Allman Brothers played here frequently.
This building is currently owned by New Town Macon, a non-profit organization dedicated to implementing the community’s vision of a comprehensive, coordinated, and continuous plan for revitalizing downtown Macon, Georgia. They hope to continue the building’s rehabilitation and reopen it as a recording studio and museum.
Jamie and Jessica were a blast; I got excellent info and saw sites I probably would have never found on my own. I would recommend this tour to anyone interested in music history, Southern history, architecture, or Georgia locals wanting to try something new!
Rock Candy Tours offers the trolley tour once a month as well as a walking tour seasonally. To find out more about their company check out their facebook page.