" + $site_name + " logo

Almost Everybody in Chapel Hill is a Star

by Charly Mann

In my mind, almost everyone I knew in Chapel Hill was a star. I have recently compiled brief bios on 223 people I knew in town who I not only admired but who also inspired me. I was fortunate to keep a fairly detailed diary from an early age, and used it as my primary source for these profiles. Over the decades most of these characters also made numerous appearances in the journals I wrote, which have helped me describe the personality and remarkable attributes of these individuals. I also had dozens of personal letters from many of these people that were often a better source than my diaries for capturing their spirit.


Full content including photographs now available on a subscription basis.

See Subscribe button in upper right corner.



Doug Blanton      8:05 PM Tue 8/23/2011

Chapel Hill is my favorite town, and Skynryd is my favorite band. Your article really made my day. I never imagined there could have been a connection between the two.

Bill A      2:31 PM Tue 8/23/2011

The layers just keep peeling away, Charly. What an interesting life you have led! You have made previous comments about who and what celebrities are; from what I can tell, you tend to separate those who have gained recognition in the music business from others who may be known because of what they have achieved via, for instance, science or politics. To me, if a significant degree of talent was involved in the recognition given - vs., say, fortunate timing or a connection important to the process - the prominence is deserved. How each person wears such a mantle can differ significantly. Good to note that there is infrequently a solid connection between the fame one may achieve and his/her true quality as a human being.

Tom Bishop      10:22 AM Mon 8/22/2011

This article is very interesting. I would love it if you would do a piece on Terry Sanford. I know he was a UNC grad, and I recall him even coming to speak at CHHS in the early 60s.

Bob Herrin      8:48 AM Mon 8/22/2011

Interesting read Charly... Rory and I both have often talked about what a hell of a book we could write about the old Rock n' Roll Daze !

Álvaro Miranda Neto      10:04 PM Sun 8/21/2011

I live in Brazil and am trying to get a complete set of all the albums issued on your label. The album mentioned in your article, and one called DOLLARS IN DRAG are the only two I have not been able to find. Do you know where I can buy good quality versions of these two records?<br \><br \>I have also heard there was a 45 and Picture Disc album of Robert, Rory, and Ricky on Cream of the Crop Records. Is that correct?

Rory Knapton      9:11 PM Sun 8/21/2011

Wow, life&#39;s mysteries .. I never knew.. I would love a copy of the check for &quot;my&quot; wall.. for memories.. along with the article.. I am shocked and I do not know why???? Love ya bro&#39;

William Andrews      7:53 PM Sun 8/21/2011

I want to hear more about you music business friends. I also look forward to other people from Chapel Hill writing in about the interesting and well-known people they knew.

To comment using your account, simply login or sign up above

Bite Sized Facts Link for Useful facts, financial success, universal truths, and great health info

Chapel Hill is located on a hill whose only distinguishing feature in the 18th century was a small chapel on top called New Hope Chapel. This church was built in 1752 and is currently the location of The Carolina Inn. The town was founded in 1819, and chartered in 1851.



What is it that binds us to this place as to no other? It is not the well or the bell or the stone walls. or the crisp October nights. No, our love for this place is based upon the fact that it is as it was meant to be, The University of the People.

-- Charles Kuralt



Dark Side of the Hill -- Pink Floyd, the creators of the most popular album in history, Dark Side of the Moon, took the second half of their name from Floyd Council, a Chapel Hill native, and great blues singer and guitarist. He once belonged to a group called "The Chapel Hillbillies".



Check out Charly Mann's other website:
Oklahoma Birds and Butterflies


We need your help. Send your submissions, ideas, photos, and questions to CHMemories@gmail.com.





There would probably be no Chapel Hill if the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees in 1793 had not chosen land across from New Hope Chapel for the location of the university. By 1800 there were about 100 people living in thirty houses surrounding the campus.



The University North Carolina's first student was Hinton James, who enrolled in February, 1795. There is now a dormitory on the campus named in his honor.





The University of North Carolina was closed from 1870 to 1875 because of lack of state funding.





William Ackland left his art collection and $1.25 million to Duke University in 1940 on the condition that he would be buried in the art museum that the University was to build with his bequest. Duke rejected this condition even though members of the Duke Family are buried in Duke Chapel. What followed was a long and acrimonious legal battle between Ackland relatives who now wanted the inheritance, Rollins College, and the University of North Carolina, each attempting to receive the funds. The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, and in 1949 UNC was awarded the money for the museum. Ackland is buried near the museum's entrance. When the museum first opened, in the early sixties, there were rumors that his remains were leaking out of the mausoleum.



The official name of the Arboretum on the University of North Carolina campus is the Coker Arboretum. It is named after Dr. William Cocker, the University's first botany professor. It occupies a little more than five acres. It was founded in 1903.



Chapel Hill's main street has always been called Franklin Street. It was named after Benjamin Franklin in the early 1790s.



We need your help. Send your submissions, ideas, photos, and questions to CHMemories@gmail.com.



Chapel Hill High School and Chapel Hill Junior High were on Franklin Street in the same location as University Square until the mid 1960s.



The Colonial Drug Store at 450 West Franklin Street was owned and operated by John Carswell. It was famous for a fresh-squeezed carbonated orange beverage called a "Big O". In the early 1970s, I managed the Record and Tape Center next door, and must have had over 100 of those drinks. The Colonial Drug Store closed in 1996.



Sutton's Drugstore, which opened in 1923, has one of the last soda fountains in the South. It is one of the few businesses remaining on Franklin Street that was in operation when I was growing up in the 1950s.



Future President Gerald Ford lived in Chapel Hill twice. First when he was 24, in 1938, he took a law couse in summer school at UNC. He lived in the Carr Building, which was a law school dormitory. At the same time, Richard Nixon, the man he served under as Vice President, was attending law school at Duke. In 1942, Ford returned to Chapel Hill to attend the U.S. Navy's Pre-Flight School training program. He lived in a rental house on Hidden Hills Drive.



All rights reserved on Chapel Hill Memories photography and content

Contact us