“Stories In Rhyme” hits its mark
By Fran Thompson
Lynn Rabren and I both moved here in 1990. He was building boats. I was doing this. We met right away. Lynn didn’t necessarily strike me as the kind of guy who was quick with a cry. But I did notice his lack of cynicism. And that was cool.
He mentioned that I would have to be heartless, a zombie even, if I did not cry at the preview screening of his most recent documentary at Gulf State Park’s spectacular new campus.
Lynn utilizes footage he shot in 1992 as well as interviews he conducted last year for his new documentary: “Stories in Rhyme: The Songwriters of the Flora-Bama Lounge.’’ He told me he got all verklempt just listening to the playbacks of songs he featured in his film. I did not get dewey. But I did get nostalgic.
The film ends with beautiful songs written and performed by Ken Lambert, the ‘Bama’s first entertainer, and Larry T. Wilson.
Kenny sings with only Joe Gilchrist, Connie Blum and the camera as audience. It was filmed in 2018 in the Flora-Bama main room that John McInnis so painstakingly brought back to life.
Larry T.’s footage was from back 1992 in the same room. Singing through a Prince Valiant haircut, he nailed “No More Chasing Rainbows.’’ Chris Penise and John Joiner were on the same stage and, as always, they were in peak form. Other footage in the movie showed Lou Wamble playing with Mickey Newbury. There is also a great old shot of J Hawkins on the main room stage kissing Jim Hutcheson during “Pucker Up Dixie.’’ Most folks forget that Hutch co-wrote that with Rusty McHugh.
Some were just cameos. Others were featured prominently. But in the film, I saw Vic Saul, Leanne Creswell, Donna Slater, Gove Scrivenor, Chris Newbury, Larry Butler, Peggy Butler, Brittney Grimes, Alan Rhody, Beverly Jo Scott and Bo Roberts, Darrell Roberts. And those are just a few who know what it’s like to be in that main room at the right time. Listed as the documentary’s executive producer, Joe Gilchrist is portrayed as a man who has remained – for the 40 plus years supporting the craft – convinced that music makes the world a better place. Joe has never wavered. And this film captures that.
Screenings are scheduled in the Flora-Bama Main Room at 1 p.m. on Nov. 8 and Nov. 15. Jeff Etheridge edited the film.
• Artwork Studio & Gallery’ 13700 Perdido Key Dr.
• Bill-E’s Old 27 Grill; 19992 Highway 181; Fairhope.
• Buena Vista RV Resort; 23601 Perdido Beach Blvd.; Orange Beach.
• Coastal Arts Center; 26389 Canal Rd; Orange Beach
• Crab Trap at Perdido Key; 16495 Perdido Key Dr.
• Fin & Fork; 24131 Perdido Beach Blvd; Orange Beach.
• Flora-Bama Main Room
• Flora-Bama Dome Stage
• Flora-Bama Tent Stage
• Flora-Bama Ole River Grill
• Flora-Bama Yacht Club
• Flora-Bama Central Church
• The Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm; Silverhill.
• From the Ground Up Community Garden; 501 N Hayne Street; Pensacola.
• Ginny Lane Bar & Grill; The Wharf.
• Hub Stacy’s; 5851 Galvez Rd.; Innerarity.
• Island Time @ Wharf; Orange Beach.
• Legends Bar & Grill; 1 Doug Ford Dr.; Pensacola.
• Lillian’s Pizza; 14514 Perdido Key Dr.
• Lulu’s; 200 E 25th Ave.; Gulf Shores.
• The Oar House; 1000 S Pace Blvd.; Pensacola.
• Perdido Beach Resort; 27200 Perdido Beach Blvd.; Orange Beach.
• Purple Parrot Tiki Bar; 13555 Perdido Key • Sandshaker at the Wharf; Orange Beach.
• Seville Quarter; 130 E Government St.; Pensacola.
• Southwest Branch Library; 12248 Gulf Beach Hwy.; Pensacola.
• St. Andrew by the Sea; 17263 Ft. Morgan Rd.; Gulf Shores
• Sunset Cork Room; 225 E 16th Ave.; Gulf Shores.
• The Point Restaurant; 14340 Innerarity Point Road; Pensacola.
• Tacky Jacks; 240 E 24th Ave.; Gulf Shores.
• The Tin Top; 6232 County Rd. 10; Bon Secour.
• The Woodside Restaurant @ Gulf State Park; 20249 Ala State Hwy 135; Gulf Shores.
• YoHo Rum Tacos: The Wharf, Orange Beach.