Ash Grove concert flier. Courtesy Ed Pearl.
For 15 years starting in 1958, Ash Grove on Melrose Ave. was the place to go in Los Angeles for live folk and blues music. Bluesman Lightnin' Hopkins played there. So did Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson and Muddy Waters.
But Ash Grove was more than just a meeting place for music fans. It was a cultural hub.
From a February 1985 Los Angeles Magazine piece by Rebecca Kuzins:
"In the early '60s, it was a departure point for buses taking Freedom Riders to the South; in the late '60s, it was a meeting place for the Black Panthers."
It all started with Ash Grove founder Ed Pearl. A guitar player and music enthusiast, Pearl earned the respect of the artists who played at his club -- they loved Ash Grove not only for its music, but its devoted community of musicians and music lovers too.
This Saturday, Oct. 12, Pearl will be honored with the FAR-West Folk Music
Association's "Best of The West" Award in a "long-overdue but well-deserved recognition of his contributions."
The FAR-West Festival and Conference takes place October 10 - 13 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Irvine. Visit their website for information on performances and tickets.