Mar 11, 2011

SING FOR YOUR DINNER: Bobby J-Bird Williams



If you're ever in Greensboro, North Carolina... perhaps after checking out the International Civil Rights Museum, walk across Elm Street to Fincastles Diner. The food is o.k. (burgers, fried pickles, soda, etc), but there you will find one of the most sunny sirens around for miles, Bobby "J-Bird" Williams. He only went to jail for a few minutes and it wasn't his fault. He played gigs at Princeton University for years, and recals the time he danced and got kissy with then-graduate Brooke Shields. He works at Fincastles, sings classic soul around and out of town, and recollects his rich life to anyone willing to listen...

Somehow he managed to get the jukebox rigged with soul instrumentals and recordings of his own soul band, Soul Central. This means Bobby is singing throughout his shift, either as Karaoke to instrumentals, or as a double to his own recorded voice with Soul Central. Bobby doesn't stop singing.



It's not uncommon, especially when the place is packed, to hear all the diners joining in chorus with Bobby. His singing is infectious and highly participatory. Here he is getting my parents to sing along...



and here with some local army folk...



And here are some fried pickle droblets...



And here a portrait in the diner... with a Lisa Simpson doll... Bobby said we'd have to ask someone else about this story...

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I work for WUNC radio. W recorded an interview with Jaybird Williams. We've quoted your blog post, and link to you in our story. It should publish tonight, Tuesday Dec. 17 at 6:30 on wunc.org

    ReplyDelete