The Matheson presents “The Gainesville Music Scene in the 1970s”

Press release from Matheson History Museum

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Matheson History Museum presents “The Gainesville Music Scene in the 1970s: Featuring the Great Southern Music Hall and the Photography of John Moran” with Jim Forsman, Jeffrey Meldon, John Moran, and Albert Teebagy on Friday, February 24, at 7 p.m.

Free Registration – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-gainesville-music-scene-in-the-1970s- tickets-523098149647

Zoom Registration – https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_PFz-JuiISDy8azM9sTa3_w

Between 1974 and 1978, the top concert venue in Gainesville was the Great Southern Music Hall, located inside the historic Florida Theatre at 233 West University Avenue. Jeffrey Meldon and Jim Forsman purchased the venue and transformed it into a state-of-the-art concert hall spotlighting national artists of legendary status, those who had cult followings – and others they just plain liked.

The Matheson’s current exhibition “Return to Forever: Gainesville’s Great Southern Music Hall,” presented by Meldon Law, showcases dozens of John Moran‘s performance photos from his two years as the Great Southern Music Hall house photographer.

On February 24, Jim Forsman, Jeffrey Meldon, John Moran, and Albert Teebagy, with moderator Bill DeYoung, will share their stories about the Great Southern Music Hall. Attendees will have the opportunity to share their memories and stories, as well as view the piano played by Ray Charles at the Great Southern Music Hall.

This event is sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville/Alachua County, FL and by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of the Arts and Culture, and the State of Florida.

Bill DeYoung
A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, Bill DeYoung was Arts and Entertainment Editor of the Gainesville Sun for 20 years before moving on to publications in South Florida and Savannah, Georgia. He is the author of Skyway: The True Story of Tampa Bay’s Signature Bridge and the Man Who Brought It Down; Phil Gernhard, Record Man; I Need to Know: The Lost Music Interviews; and Vintage St. Pete: The Golden Age of Tourism – and More. He now serves as senior writer and editor for the St. Pete Catalyst.

Jim Forsman
Jim Forsman was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and moved to Gainesville as a child in 1955. A graduate of Gainesville High School (class of 1967), he opened his first business – Young American Shop – in 1971. He opened the second location in 1973 in the Millhopper Shopping Center. Jim served the Gainesville community through positions on the Downtown Redevelopment Advisory Board and Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce.

In 1974 he purchased the lease of the Florida Theatre from ABC Theatres and joined forces with Jeffrey Meldon and Peter Laird to create the Great Southern Music Hall, which operated from 1974 to 1981. In 1981 he converted the Young American Shop on W. University Avenue to Richenbachers Lounge.

Beginning in the 1990s Jim began working in emergency satellite communications. He worked for a variety of customers, including hospitals and emergency services. In 2006 he assisted his son, Burt, in creating Skybase Communications in Tallahassee. Jim moved back to Gainesville in 2008 and began playing with the Jimmy Young and Passion Band while building the Passion Recording Studio. Today he continues providing a consulting service for small businesses and managing his rental homes.

Jeffrey Meldon
Jeffrey Meldon was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He moved to Gainesville in 1970 after graduating law school at Case-Western Reserve University. He passed the Florida Bar and opened his practice in downtown Gainesville in 1971. As a Trial Attorney, he concentrates in accident and wrongful death cases. He enjoys helping people get their lives back together after a serious accident or an arrest.

Throughout my years in Gainesville, I have enjoyed giving back to the community through numerous community service activities. My recent public service contributions include my three Consumer Guide Books. I am very proud of these books which are a culmination of my 50 years of legal experience and insights. It is my intention that these books help the people of Florida from making mistakes that can negatively affect their lives for many years.

John Moran
Before he was a celebrated nature photographer, and before he was an award-winning newspaper photographer, he was John Moran, teenage rock’n’roll photographer. In 1974, then 19, John became the Great Southern Music Hall’s first house photographer, serving in the role for two years.

Dubbed “Florida’s Photographer Laureate” by historian Gary Mormino, John is renowned for his extraordinary images of natural Florida. His portfolio of landscape and wildlife photography ranges from the Gulf to the Atlantic with an emphasis on Florida waters: our springs, rivers, lakes, swamps, and coasts and the creatures that inhabit them.

A University of Florida graduate, Moran has been named Photographer of the Year for the Southeastern U.S. by the National Press Photographers Association. Following a 23-year career as a newspaper photographer and writer, Moran left the world of daily journalism in 2003 to concentrate full-time on photographing the best of natural Florida. His photography has appeared in numerous books and magazines including National Geographic, Life, Time, Smithsonian, The New York Times Magazine, and on the cover of the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Florida. He is the author of Journal of Light: The Visual Diary of a Florida Nature Photographer.

Albert Teebagy
Albert Teebagy’s background in talent acquisition, production, and overall event coordination spans over 35 years. He has actively provided services to more than 5,000 entertainment events ranging from small clubs in theaters, arenas, amphitheaters, and outdoor venues drawing upwards of 50,000 to 60,000 people. Albert has continually maintained good relationships with key talent agents handling the distribution of nationally known A-list talent in the southeast. He has remained a successful talent buyer for specific venues in semi-retirement.

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