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Over the years Lou and I tossed around the idea of turning the magazine series into some kind of documentary. We began shooting and interviewing around Springfield in the summer of 2013, about 9 months before Lou passed away. Sometimes the music “business” shakes down to whats inside and whats outside. That’s why I fell in love with the Springfield vibe.Lou had taken a fall on the Saturday morning of one shoot and showed up with a gash on his head. Almost all of the characters we encountered lived on the periphery of convention. We thank them for sharing their time and their stories.Robbie Fulks appears May 19 in a songwriter session and his performance will be streamed live at countrymusichalloffame.org/streaming. “The Center of Nowhere” is based on a saying from the late Springfield musician-producer Lou Whitney.A panel discussion follows with Eric Ambel (Del-Lords, Joan Jett), Fulks, Grammy-winning record producer Vance Powell, Music Row artist manager Scott Siman and Springfield singer-songwriter Abbey Waterworth. Nestled outside of hills and lakes like a penny in a blue jean pocket, Springfield is difficult to get to.Blackie had threatened Tail Dragger with a knife and according to 1993 court records, Tail Dragger testified that he shot Blackie in self defense. He served 17 months and three days of a four-year sentence. The highlight of the hour-long set was when Tail Dragger removed his trademark cowboy hat and sang his hit “My Head is Bald.” The bald and lean blues singer walked towards inmates who sat on bleachers.Tail Dragger first went to Cook County Jail for processing before being dispatched to a minimum security prison in downstate Lincoln. King recorded the hit “Live in Cook County Jail” in 1970. The gig was recorded for a Tail Dragger documentary. Tail Dragger eyed a female prison guard and and serenaded her eye to eye.
Springfield music is a very big story from the center of nowhere.
Lou scrawled out important phone numbers on a white sheet of notebook paper and handed it over to me.