The Big House in Macon, Georgia

Allman Brothers Band Museum at The Big House in Macon, Georgia

Macon: Where Music is Like No Other

Macon, the centrally located heart of Georgia, has pumped out some of the most original, preternaturally talented icons in the state. The "Macon sound" isn’t limited to one genre; here, it’s all about the blending of elements – gospel and funk, soul and rock ‘n roll, country and blues.

Famous Musicians from Macon

Otis Redding statue in Macon, Georgia
Otis Redding statue in Macon, Georgia

Otis Redding sang heartrending soul music that left listeners’ jaws on the floor. Before his untimely death at 26, he blew hippies’ minds with his quintessential performance at the Monterey Pop Festival.

Little Richard cut his teeth powering through gospel tunes in church, only to later become the wild, exuberant, rule-breaking Architect of Rock ‘n Roll.

The Allman Brothers threw a little bit of all these genres together and mixed them with a hefty dose of swagger to create what we now consider Southern Rock.

Other noteworthy Maconites: Bill Berry and Mike Mills, half of legendary alt-rockers R.E.M.; Young Jeezy, one of the defining voices of trap music; and Jason Aldean, country’s generation-defining powerhouse.

Can't-miss Sites in Macon for Music Fans

Allman Brothers Band Museum in Macon, Georgia
Allman Brothers Band Museum in Macon, Georgia

The Big House

The Big House Museum, a lovingly curated and authentic-as-it-gets tribute to the Allman Brothers Band and their many musical offshoots, is located in the three-story Tudor beauty that the brothers and friends called home in the 1970s. Featuring a dizzying array of memorabilia and spot-on recreations of some of the home's upstairs rooms, visiting The Big House is like stepping back to a groovier time.

H&H Restaurant

Keep the groove going with lunch at H&H Restaurant, where Mama Louise famously fed her stick-to-your-ribs soul food to the scrawny Allman Brothers Band for free, back in the days before they could afford to pay for a plate.

Macon Music Trail

New on the scene in central Georgia is the Macon Music Trail, an online directory of local history and tourism opportunities that serves as a perfect starting point for anyone looking to see Macon through a musical lens.

Rock Candy Tours in Macon
Rock Candy Tours in Macon

Rock Candy Tours

Rock Candy Tours offers some of the most innovative ways to experience Macon’s fascinating history. Helmed by Jessica Walden (daughter of famed music exec Alan Walden) and her husband Jamie Weatherford, these tours – which can be public or private, on foot or via van; customized to your group’s liking – are chock-full of insider info, colorful stories and little known facts, all delivered with humor, love and respectful adoration.

Rose Hill Cemetery

Rose Hill Cemetery, where The Allman Brothers found inspiration for many of their songs, is also the final resting place for Duane, Gregg and bandmate Berry Oakley. The cemetery was designed to do double duty as a park, and the scenery is captivatingly beautiful and well worth an afternoon stroll.

Otis Redding statue & Little Richard's boyhood home

There’s also a life-sized statue of Otis Redding in Gateway Park on the banks of the Ocmulgee River, guitar on his knee. And the modest shotgun house where Little Richard grew up is open to visitors by appointment.

Otis Redding Foundation in Macon, Georgia
Otis Redding Foundation in Macon, Georgia

Otis Redding Foundation

Reddings’ presence is felt throughout Macon, the place he proudly called home. In addition to the statue, pay tribute to him at the Otis Redding Foundation, operated by his family and dedicated to promoting Redding’s lasting dream to give back to the community, education and access to music education for school-aged youth. The foundation serves as Redding’s official merchandise headquarters, as well as the Center for Creative Arts, and proceeds from merchandise sales and music lessons are returned to the Foundation’s outreach. If you plan accordingly, you can catch one of several heart-singing performances of the Otis Music Camp students or the Otis Redding Dream Choir held throughout the year.

Historic Douglass Theatre in Macon, Georgia
Historic Douglass Theatre in Macon, Georgia

Historic Douglass Theatre

In Macon’s vibrant downtown, you’ll find the Historic Douglass Theatre, constructed in 1921 by Macon’s first Black millionaire, Charles H. Douglass. Its stage has seen the likes of James Brown, Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, and is still home to a number of musical and theatrical performances today.

Hargray Capitol Theatre

Hargray Capitol Theatre keeps talent coming through its historic doors, too – Drivin ‘n Cryin, Drive-by Truckers and Lucinda Williams all have taken to the stage there.

Fresh Produce Records

While downtown, stop by Fresh Produce Records for all things vinyl, as well as tons of cool t-shirts, books, and other Macon music memorabilia.

Grants Lounge in Macon, Georgia
Grants Lounge in Macon, Georgia

Grants Lounge

Grab a drink and explore the walls full of history at the legendary Grants Lounge, where the Allman Brothers, Wet Willie, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Charlie Daniels – among countless others – once jammed.

Mercer Music at Capricorn

Mercer Music at Capricorn opened in December 2019. In the 1970s, Capricorn Studios was synonymous with Southern Rock. History was made in that building, and, for its 50th birthday, thanks to a partnership with Mercer University, it’s receiving the revitalization it deserves, returning to its place as a living, breathing part of Macon’s thriving musical scene once again.

Artist rendering of Mercer Music at Capricorn in Macon. Set to open December 2019.
Artist rendering of Mercer Music at Capricorn in Macon. Open December 2019.

Among the features are two recording studios; a music incubator for artists to rehearse, record and store their equipment; office space and a museum dedicated to Capricorn's historic, groundbreaking, American music-defining significance – all which happened here, in Macon, Georgia.

Published: December 2019