Digging in | The Mighty Soul Night brings Howard Street to the party at Uncorked
by Isaac Kelley
Howard Street Tribute (FREE)
The Mighty Soul Night
April 18 at 8 pm-12:30 am
Uncorked Wine Bar
22 N. High St, Akron
Every month at Uncorked, The Mighty Soul Night DJs throw an all-vinyl event showcasing rare music. While any show could produce an eclectic mix of soul, jazz, Latin, disco, funk, and Afrobeat LPs and 45s, you’ll be in for a special treat when you go April 18.
That’s because April’s event is a tribute to Howard Street, a celebration of the Akron jazz culture of the 50’s and 60’s. The tribute was inspired by percussionist Dennis Oliver, a veteran drummer who performed with many Howard Street legends, and the show will feature a short presentation of Todd Volkmer’s documentary “Legends of Howard Street.” Many musicians who performed during that era are expected to be present.
Of course, this means DJs El Prezidente (WJCU’s Soul Elixir Radio), Ben Crazy (Illstyle Rockers) and Forrest Getem Gump (Illstyle Rockers) will spin some special tracks from that legendary Howard Street era, like Soul Tornadoes’ “Go For Yourself” and Alias Soul & Funk’s “Well Good” as well as tracks from groups such as The JBs, The Meters and Donald Byrd.
The three DJs have been collecting records for over 15 years and have amassed a treasure trove of rare vinyl, which they showcase alongside percussionist Dennis Oliver on congas.
El Prezidente says, “We saw other cities had vibrant record communities and we wanted to share that vibe in northeast Ohio.”
Forrest “Getem Gump” Webb took his devotion to vinyl—and Akron history—another step further, opening a full-scale record store in Firestone Park and naming it Calhoun Record Shop after the one his grandfather owned in the 1960s and 70s on Wooster Road.
The Mighty Soul Night’s Howard Street Tribute will be held April 18 from 8 pm to 12:30 am at Uncorked Wine Bar and Galleries. It’s a free event.