If You Dig Blues, Funk, Soul, and the Roots of Rock… we’re talking Clapton, Zeppelin, Jimi, or SRV… fact of the matter is, as Chuck D eloquently put it when Public Enemy was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, “We all come from the damn Blues…”
Prior to receiving their induction in 2012, Chuck told Rolling Stone, “I’m very fortunate to be acknowledged by my peers,” he says. “I take this very seriously. I grew up as a sports fan, and I know that a hall of fame is very different than an award for being the best of the year. It’s a nod to the longevity of our accomplishment. When it comes to Public Enemy, we did this on our own terms. I imagine this as a trophy made out of crystal. I’d like to smash it into 10,000 pieces and hand each piece to a contributor.”
This is a good testament as to exactly why the acclaimed Kinston Music Park is likely one of the most significant attractions in Eastern North Carolina.
Located at the corner of King Street & Springhill Street, the Kinston Music Park conjures up images of the musicians that shaped what we know as the origins of Blues, but what ultimately became the grass roots of what most of us think of when we say ‘Rock & Roll.’
People like Kinston’s very own Melvin Parker. As a drummer, he and his brother saxophonist Maceo Parker, were key musicians in James Brown’s band… Or Harold Vick, born in Rocky Mount. He played Jaz sax and flute, and served as a side man for Aretha Franklin and Dizzy Gillespie. He also appeared in the movies, “School Days,” “Stardust Memories,” and “Cotton Club.” And lest we not forget Billy Taylor, a jazz pianist who was born in Greenville, raised in D.C. from the age of five, and returned to his hometown to teach at ECU.
There’s also plenty of music related art on display at the Kinston Music Park. It is impeccably maintained making it a can’t-miss stop if you’re passing through Lenoir County.