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Monday, May 12, 2014 - 2:31am

GPB Launches 'Songs On Site' Project With The Allman Brothers Band's 'Little Martha'

Updated: 7 months ago.
McDuffie Center for Strings students (left to right) Leah Latorraca, Cara Schlecker, Jessica Pickersgill, and Taylor Yasui performed Duane Allman's composition "Little Martha" at the foot of Martha Ellis' grave in Macon's historic Rose Hill Cemetery. (Photo: Burgess Brown / GPB)

Georgia can claim an incomparably rich musical heritage, with artists from R.E.M. to Ray Charles having originated in the state.

GPB is launching a new project aimed at showcasing that heritage. It's called Songs on Site, and it's starting in Macon, though there are hopes to expand it to other Georgia cities.

"The idea is to bring artists to Macon and have them perform a cover of a song that has Macon connection," said Songs on Site project coordinator Burgess Brown. "And we will have them perform that cover in a location that is historically relevant to that song or artist."

In the first video of the series, a string quartet from Mercer University's McDuffie Center for Strings performs the Allman Brothers Band instrumental "Little Martha" in Macon's historic Rose Hill Cemetery, "where Martha Ellis' grave is, which is [ostensibly] the namesake of that song," Brown said.

For future videos, Brown hopes to take on songs by the "big three" of famous musicians who hail from Macon — Allman Brothers, Otis Redding, and Little Richard.

"I've got my sites set on [Atlanta neo-soul singer] Janelle Monáe to cover Little Richard ... it just seems too perfect not to pursue," he said.

In terms of locations, Brown hopes to film an Otis Redding song at Redding's Big O Ranch just north of Macon, and a Little Richard Song in Macon's Tic Toc Room, where "the architect of rock n' roll" cut his teeth live.

GPB needs your help to make Songs on Site possible! If you have ideas for contemporary artists, local or national, who might like to cover a song by an artist with a Macon connection in a historically relevant location, get in touch with us. Project coordinator Burgess Brown can be reached at burgessbrown91@gmail.com. We especially need your help if you have any pull with the artist.

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