Second Billing

A long time ago, around 1954 or ’55 I was working at a TV station in Winston-Salem, NC. I had the night shift, so my days were free. A slightly older, but far more energetic young man, who was a friend of mine, was also the promoter of live shows at the town’s auditorium. One day he came by and invited me to ride with him when he distributed what he called “splash boards.” They were posters advertising his next event. He came by in his little Volkswagen and we started out. The back seat was filled with these colorful posters that were about 2 X 3 feet which listed all the performers. We proceeded from power pole to power pole where my friend would hop out, and staple one of his posters securely to the post.

While he was doing that I took a closer look at one of the posters. We had, in town, a very popular local country & western singer with his own band. He was listed on top of the poster in large letters. Then there were lesser acts to follow. And right down at the bottom in small black print it read, “Also appearing, Elvis Pressley.”

I don’t remember the promoter’s name, the name of the “star” of that attraction, or any of the other acts that were to perform. But I do remember what happened to Elvis.

Moving forward to the early 1960’s and I was working at WSB-TV in Atlanta. I was ALWAYS on the night shift and when we signed off (stations didn’t stay on the air 24/7 like they do now) a bunch of us would go downtown for drinks and eats. At that time there were a lot of nice little restaurants and bars in downtown Atlanta. There were several strip joints where the strippers were not allowed to remove more than their bras and panties. (Times have changed!)

There was one country music club that was set way back from the street at Peachtree and 10th or Spring Street and 10th. I’m not a country music fan so I never entered that establishment. But I do remember the marquee out front that listed the artists who were performing. And much like my earlier experience in NC I remember that marquee listing several country music musicians and on the very bottom row the name Willie Nelson appeared one week. That club is long gone now, likely replaced by a high-rise condo. And I’m sure many of the performers at that small venue are now dead or retired. But, we all know what happened to Willie Nelson, don’t we? Second billing isn’t so bad, if one just keeps on working at his or her own passion.

About johnbeckmanbooks

John Beckman, a retired meteorologist, was known as “Johnny the Weatherman” in a career that spanned forty years. He forecasted the weather on WSJS-TV in Winston-Salem, NC, at WFGA-TV in Jacksonville, FL, and for thirty-three years in Atlanta at WSB-TV and WXIA-TV. Also a well published author Beckman now devotes full time to writing fiction. He currently has several eBooks on Amazon.com, "Tropical Knights," first in a series of adventure/mysteries about a sailor and his lovely CIA cohort on a mission to save America. Now available the sequel, and second in the series: "Tropical Daze." The third Jack & Amy adventure is "Tropical Rage" which became available on 30 April 2014. All of his books are highlighted on http://johnbeckmanbooks.com and available from Amazon.com. . .
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