“The Great Speckled Bird was one of several underground newspapers that appeared in the United States in the 1960s. Published in Atlanta from 1968 to 1976, The Bird, as it was commonly known, stood out among the alternative press for the quality of its writing, its cover art and its fearless opinions and reporting on a range of topics—national and local politics, the counterculture, women’s issues, gay liberation, reproductive choice, music, art….The Bird was a new, radical voice from the South.”
The four panels displayed on the wall are part of a traveling exhibit from the Georgia State University Library and the Georgia Humanities Council to raise awareness of the digital collection. Visit http://library.gsu.edu/gsb/ to read and search the PDF or text versions of The Great Speckled Bird.
Browsing through the issues can be a real treat for anyone interested in Atlanta history from the 1960s and 1970s. I found a music review of Leonard Skinner playing in Atlanta at Funochio’s from July 31, 1972:
"LEONARD SKINNER from Jacksonville was the featured band last week, and a lot of people liked their solid, earthy style. They look and sound like a hard-core Southern band that fully enjoys performing. That characteristic was best displayed in those late-night jams that happen at Funochio's."
|The Great Speckled Bird v. 5 no. 30 (July 31, 1972) Page 19|
With a little digging in GALILEO, I found a Rolling Stone interview with record producer Al Kooper that helps explain the significance of that performance :
“In 1972, I heard Lynyrd Skynyrd making their Atlanta debut at a very dangerous club on Peachtree Street called Funocchio's. They were playing a weeklong engagement, and each night I'd hear another great original song from them and knew I'd found the band I was searching for.”
The next year the band would be known as Lynyrd Skynyrd, and released their first album, Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd. A cool bit of history for any fan of Southern rock.
Have fun browsing or searching The Great Speckled Bird!