• "Jane DeNeefe, coauthor of Alabama's Civil Rights Trail: An Illustrated Guide to the Cradle of Freedom, lives in Huntsville, AL. A former bookseller and community columnist for the Huntsville Times, she has contributed to WLRH public radio program Writer's corner, the web magazine Swampland: Cultures of the South, Encyclopedia of Alabama and other publications. DeNeefe earned a BA in history from the University of Alabama in Huntsville." - Civil Rights Trail
• Book Description for Ms. Defeefe's book Rocket City Rock and Soul: "In a state widely considered ground zero for civil rights struggles, Huntsville became an unlikely venue for racial reconciliation. Huntsville's recently formed NASA station drew new residents from throughout the country, and across the world, to the Rocket City. This influx of fresh perspectives informed the city's youth. Soon, dozens of vibrant rock bands and soul groups, characteristic of the era but unique in Alabama, were formed. Set against the bitter backdrop of segregation, Huntsville musicians black and white found common ground in rock and soul music. Whether playing to desegregated audiences, in desegregated bands or both, Huntsville musicians were boldly moving forward, ushering in a new era. Through interviews with these musicians, local author Jane DeNeefe recounts this unique and important chapter in Huntsville's history." - Amazon
• Comment from Val Ginter, Jazz muscian, NYC : "Last March--out of the blue--I received a Facebook request from a Jane DeNeefe, who had heard about me through fellow musicians. She told me she had been writing a book about Huntsville, Alabama musicians during the 1960s, and how they helped promote racial harmony in a former southern cotton town that had become "The Rocket City." I responded positively, and let her interview me. As a jazz accordion player, I earned part of my living in Huntsville, Alabama (from 1963 until 1968) by playing in hotels and nightclubs, on radio and television, and at jazz festivals.
Happy to accommodate her, I even sent her some photographs from my collection--photographs of me and fellow musicians, street scenes, and some photographs of membership cards from entertainment venues of the era. Well, the book has been published; I've read it a few times, and am very pleased with the results. I must say, I learned more from reading this book than I had learned during the sixties when I lived in Huntsville wearing the hats of soldier, musician, and television director.
Jane DeNeefe is an oral historian, and through interviews and historical background material gleaned from an enlightening bibliography, she weaves an extremely interesting, and fast reading, narrative about the climate of the times and the musicians who were part of it. This informative book could be the seed for a video documentary. Although I was in the middle of this story over forty years ago, I did not realize exactly what I was in the middle of--until reading "Rocket City Rock & Soul."Rocket City Rock and Soul: Huntsville Musicians Remember the Sixties This book puts things into perspective." - Amazon
• Comment from George Vail, drummer, TN: "Thanks to Jane DeNeefe on a great commentary on Huntsville's local bands of the nineteen sixties. I happen to be close to the the subject in the book having being a member of a local garage band 'The IN'. I played drums most of my working career and this brought me back to my roots in my personal musical history. Helped me connect some of the dots. Thanks again Jane. A great read." - Amazon
• Photos from the "Albama's Civil Rights Trail" book release. - FacebookRelated Links:
• al.com - Photos from the "Albama's Civil Rights Trail" book release. (Originally found at http://topics.al.com/tag/ivy%20joe%20milan/photos.html.)
• Amazon - Book Description, Purchase, and Reader's Comments,
• Civil Rights Trail - "Rocket City, Rock & Soul: Huntsville Musicians Remember the 1960's", by Jane DeNeefe, © 2011.
• HHC - Sample the book: Rocket City Rock and Soul
• Left In Alabama - Huntsville Story From the "Civil Rights Era: Ivy Joe & the Snowballs" by country cat, March 19, 2010. (Originally found at http://www.leftinalabama.com/diary/5937/open-thread-and-huntsville-story-from-the-civil-rights-era-ivy-joe-the-snowballs.)
• Purchase: AL Civil Rights Trail - Amazon
• Sound Cloud - Audio of Jane Deneefe from various sources
• Swampland - Article about "Rocket City Rock and Soul" by Jane DeNeefe, November 2, 2011.
• The Commons - Article titled "Evolution of a Writer" about Jane DeNeefe by Richard Kenke, (Originally found at http://www.commonsnews.org/site/site04/story.php?articleno=4505&page=1.)
• UAH History - Article about Jane and "The Alabama Civil Rights Trail", Posted by Stephen Waring
• World Press - Collection of Jane DeNeefe's work