Macon's Music Today
Macon continues to inspire new music legends today from country, to rock, to soul, and more. Moving to Macon in 1970, Chuck Leavell quickly fell into the music scene, touring with Dr. John, Kitty Wells, and The Marshall Tucker Band. In 1972, Leavell was asked to join The Allman Brothers Band (ABB) and recorded on the album hit, Brothers and Sisters. He recorded several albums with ABB until 1976. In 1982, Leavell was asked to take on the role of keyboardist/vocalist/musical director for The Rolling Stones, who he still tours with today.
Another artist who’s made a name for himself is Grammy-nominated violinist, Robert McDuffie. Born in Macon, Georgia, he’s appeared as a soloist in most of the major orchestras of the world. In 2004, Mercer University opened the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings, a distinguished institute that offers a conservatory experience in a university setting. Most recently in 2016, he released and toured the album Concerto for Violin, Rock Band with his childhood friend Mike Mills of R.E.M.
Mike Mills, who moved to Macon, Georgia when he was 10 years old, is one of the founding members of R.E.M. Playing the bass guitar, Mills remained with the band until they broke up in 2011. During their 30 year career, R.E.M. released hits like Losing My Religion, Everybody Hurts, and It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine). They won a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for Losing My Religion in 1992.
Another artist born in Macon, Jason Aldean, has been taking the country music world by storm since his first Billboard country Top 10 hit, Hicktown, in 2005. Since then, he’s released several other hits like Why, She’s Country, Dirt Road Anthem, and Tonight Looks Good on You. In 2015, Aldean filmed his music video for Gonna Know We Were Here in Downtown Macon.
Another country artist whose career is starting to take off is Betty Cantrell, who was crowned Miss America 2016. Since her reign, Cantrell has released her first album, Nicotine and hosted her album release party at Hargray Capitol Theatre.
Macon’s music history lives in every corner of the city. Take a Rock Candy Tour and learn about Macon’s legendary and notorious music history. From homes, offices, and crash pads of some of southern music’s most famous artists, this tour is a must. Opening in 1971, Grant’s Lounge is known as the ‘Original Home of Southern Rock.’ Music greats like Tom Petty, Marshall Tucker Band, The Allman Brothers Band, and Lynyrd Skynyrd played there. Capricorn Records, where The Allman Brothers Band, Marshall Tucker, Otis Redding, and more recorded, is being returned to its former glory thanks to Mercer University.
For places to listen to local music, click here.