A City Without Music Is a City Without a Soul [OPINION]
You are more likely to hear music pulsating from car speakers on the Avenue than from any club within the city's borders. The pandemic notwithstanding, the Greater New Bedford area has by and large become a music-free zone. A city without music is a place without a soul.
Now, before anyone gets offended, some tremendous musicians are still practicing their craft in our area. The problem is few places book live entertainment locally anymore. If you find it, it is usually a dude doing a solo act with a guitar. Again, this was true before the pandemic put our social lives on ice.
Gone too are drive-in movie theaters. There was one each in Wareham, Fairhaven, Dartmouth, Westport, and Tiverton. They are long gone now, too.
Many still lament the loss of Lincoln Park, if they are old enough to remember it at all. Lincoln Park was a great source of live entertainment of all types. The Ballroom, the Tap Room, and the Clam Cake Pavilion featured live music regularly.
Not that long ago, the sound of music could be heard all over the region, especially on the weekends. Whether your thing was rock and roll, disco, country, jazz, Irish, Portuguese, Cape Verdean, or Polish polkas, it was all happening.
Smuggler's Den was the place to be for live rock and roll. There was great live jazz at Billy Wood's upstairs from Smuggler's and The Main Event on Union Street. And Fiddler's Green, Bunraddy's, and The Irish Immigrant presented live Irish music.
Live Top 40 bands rocked VFW halls from Wareham to Fall River, as did an assortment of clubs throughout the area, with names such as The Circus Lounge, The Chez Rene, and The Fisherman Lounge. Cuzzin Dave's had your country covered. Disco drew mobs to places such as Marco's Pub, Chippy's, The Hangars, and Alhambra's (which also featured rock), and more.
There were many more exciting clubs in the Greater New Bedford area over the years. The above is just a sampling from my salad years. What were some of your favorite places to listen to live music or to dance on the weekends in Greater New Bedford? Do you miss them?
Even though I am now an older guy and less likely to spend time at clubs, it is sad that there are so few entertainment options and so little live music in our area these days.
A city without music is a city without a soul.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.