This is the fourth part of a series of interviews I was fortunate enough to do with Dan Morgenstern on March 3, 2017: here are the ones already posted, with first-hand commentary on everyone from Lester Young to Tommy Benford, soul food, and more.
The interview that follows began with my asking Dan about the irreplaceable pianist and singer Jimmy Rowles, but it soon moves away from a remembrance of Rowles to larger matters: jazz as a place “where the dark and the light folks” could meet in safety and love, and Dan’s own experiences with race relations during his military service in Columbus, Georgia, and a record shop he remembers as “Dr. Jive.” I found this article on the founder of that record shop, eventually four record shops, and various record labels — Ed Mendel, a man wholly exemplifying the blessed color-blindness we are still striving towards, eighty years later.
Dan mentions Sherman’s BBQ — which closed about five years ago — and remembers their potato salad as the best he’d ever eaten. In memoriam, I offer this photograph:
More interviews to come, of course. For potato salad, you’re on your own.
May your happiness increase!