Saturday To-Do: Sonny Burgess and the Pacers | Rock Candy

Friday, December 11, 2009

Saturday To-Do: Sonny Burgess and the Pacers

Posted By on Fri, Dec 11, 2009 at 2:55 PM

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8 p.m., Legion Event Center. $6.

Maybe they'll put it on the web sometime, or you could just pick one up. In the new Oxford American, our Hogs columnist, Derek Jenkins, has a peach of an article about the roots of Sonny Burgess and the Pacers. The best part is his description of Charlie's in Swifton, just one of a long line of little clubs on the Northeast Arkansas boogie circuit in the '50s. It was, Jenkins writes, “little more than a pile of blocks divided in half by a concrete wall with a hole in the center. Every time folks got out of hand, the proprietor lodged a teargas gun in that hole and fired off a canister … .” How's that for the roots of rock 'n' roll? More than 50 years later, Burgess and the Pacers keep on keeping on. They give those seminal sides cut for Sun Records (“Red Headed Woman,” “We Wanna Boogie”) a live workout more than 100 times a year, all across the world (Australia, Spain and Sweden got a taste of Newport this year). Catch them at the Event Center, at 315 E. Capitol, for next to nothing and, on Saturday, Jan. 16, at a multi-venue concert in Argenta, in celebration of OA's Arkansas-focused music issue, that also features Larry Donn, Sleepy LaBeef and Jim Mize (tickets at

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