B.B. King, Ed Shane and the
by Pam Shane
In 1969 Atlanta, Ed Shane was in
great demand to emcee concerts of all kinds because he was the
program director of the exciting progressive rock station WPLO-FM.
While the station was not a ratings giant, it was a big deal to
the people it served and it was on FM, which was quite new and
clearly better quality than the AMs that ruled the market.
Ed Shane, Bottom of
the Barrel, Atlanta
Ed played everything that he thought
would interest his listeners, so ‘PLO ran the gamut from Jerry
Lee Lewis to the blues to Donovan to new bands like The Allman
Brothers. During his time, Ed interviewed Duane Allman and had
him on the radio as a guest deejay, resulting in two of the few
recordings available of Duane Allman.
One night Ed was the emcee for r&b
singer Bobby “Blue” Bland at the Atlanta Municipal auditorium.
Both Duane and Gregg Allman went to the concert with Ed because
they were fans of Bobby Bland’s. Afterward, they all went
backstage to meet Bobby, who already knew Ed and was delighted
to meet these young white blues men.
Bobby suddenly said to Ed that B.B.
King was playing at the Royal Peacock that night. This was an
all-black nightclub in downtown Atlanta. Bobby said he’d like
to take them to the show and introduce them to B.B. Ed and the
Allmans were delighted but wondered if they’d be able to get
in. Bobby Bland said that as his guests it would happen.
They went, they got in, and loved
the experience of hearing B.B. King play to a highly
appreciative crowd. After the music, Bobby Bland introduced
them to the great blues guitarist. Ed always said this was one
of the most memorable concert events of his life, to see Duane
and Gregg in awe of B.B. King and then to see them all talking
together and enjoying each other’s company.
I heard an interview with B.B. King
this morning where he said he wanted to be remembered for loving
people and hoped people would have loved him. As far as Ed and
the Allman Brothers go, B.B. King’s wish came true.