" + $site_name + " logo

A Chapel Hill Christmas Story

by Charly Mann


Full content including photographs now available on a subscription basis.

See Subscribe button in upper right corner.



Sebastian Palmer      2:30 AM Thu 9/15/2011

What a lovely story. And the music to accompany it is lovely. I especially like Taylor's version of 'River'. I am, like yourself, totally in awe of Joni's amazing talent, and it's very rare to hear versions of her music by other people that one thinks stand up on their own merits, because they usually pale in comparison with Joni's own versions. But this is a rare and beautiful exception. Great!

Ron Smith      9:09 PM Sat 5/14/2011

A followup to the Christmas Carol story...<br \>A friend, who played basketball at UNC, tells the story about someone knocking on Coach Smith&#39;s door one Christmas. It was James, Joni and (he said) Carole King, singing Christmas carols. Apparently, the Taylors lived across the street from the Smith&#39;s in those days.

Steve Lafreniere      7:05 AM Sat 9/25/2010

I just came upon this site, looking for a pic of Joni. Your story has absolutely made my day. I&#39;ve met my share of celebrities and have also said a couple of really bizarre things to one or two myself. I wonder if there&#39;s a medical term for that!

Susie Hill      1:54 AM Fri 2/5/2010

Great story about James and Joni. What happened to the Record Bar?<br \>I lived in CH from 1962 through 1969. I can&#39;t remember what year, but I waited in line to meet and get Dionne Warwick&#39;s autograph. Went to the Bar a lot.<br \>Enjoyed your story.

Dr. Laura from JMDL      6:59 AM Wed 1/13/2010

What a fun time at the record store! The painting is really cool. James&#39; face looks 3d.

Trish Neubert      10:16 PM Tue 1/12/2010

Charly, I had this posted on Facebook 19 Dec 2009.. some more comments...<br \><br \>-Susan Barnett Norton<br \>I remember that year! They came caroling with the rest of the Taylor boys down Morgan Creek Rd., and stopped at our house. Came in and had a drink with my folks. <br \>December 19, 2009 at 7:12pm · <br \><br \>-Susan Prothro Worley <br \>I remember it too! I was working at the Dairy Bar at Glen Lennox then and they came in during my scheduled shift but I had taken the day off and missed the excitement. They must have made quite a splash during that visit, considering how many of us remember it.<br \>December 19, 2009 at 9:33pm <br \><br \>-Pam Kennedy <br \>The rest of us were probably on Franklin St. shopping since there was no mall....and walked right by them!<br \>December 20, 2009 at 9:23am ·<br \><br \>-Bruce Holsten <br \>I saw them as well, Susan...too incredible!!<br \>December 20, 2009 at 12:49pm <br \><br \>-David Robert Perlmutt <br \>Just saw this. I was part of the caroling group. We spent the evening at the Taylors by a fire and then caroled around Morgan Creek circle -- there were some amazing harmonies going on. Susan, I remember going into your house that night. The next day, I watched Joni paint that portrait of JT. She was very nice and obviously amazingly talented.<br \>December 22, 2009 at 10:25pm · <br \>

Ken      8:14 AM Tue 1/12/2010

A great site, very well produced, and especially interesting Joni &amp; James content for this fan of their music.

Bobby      7:25 PM Mon 1/11/2010

Cool! Did you take the photo of them outside the record store?

Martha Vine      11:15 AM Mon 12/21/2009

Do things like this ever happen anymore?

Mick Crawford      3:08 PM Sun 12/20/2009

Thanks so much for this wonderful recollection. I would have loved it if Joni and James had done an album together.

Sandy M      8:50 PM Sat 12/19/2009

I love the way you are preserving Chapel Hill history. I especially like your pieces that include music. I bet James Taylor and Joni Mitchell will enjoy reading this article too.

sue whitaker      3:28 PM Fri 12/18/2009

Charly,<br \><br \>Just got around to playing the tape. I like the wayt that they were singing each others songs. What a time it was!!

Ken Fogel      12:44 PM Fri 12/18/2009

I am always on the lookout for stories on Joni Mitchell and enjoyed your piece, as well as seeing this rare painting by her. Like you, I spent many years in the music business. Recently Joni had some rather astute comments about the music world today calling it a &quot;corrupt cess-pool&quot;, and saying, &quot;artists don&#39;t have to play anything anymore - they can cheat and buy songs and then put their name on them, so they can build the illusion that they are creative.&quot;

Michael Scott      9:29 AM Fri 12/18/2009

You have a Christmas story that will be hard to top. I especially liked that even after your misstatement Joni probably suggested to James or James&#39;s mom that they lend you her painting of James to display in your store. What an incredible Christmas gift that must have been for you.

sue w      9:55 PM Thu 12/17/2009

Great story Charly,<br \><br \>James &amp; Joni were probably at the height of their creativity. Sweet Baby James &amp; Ladies of the Canyon are two of my favorite albums. Sometimes I&#39;d like to beam myself back to Chapel Hill for the Christmas holidays.<br \><br \>Thanks for all the great memories. Happy Holidays.

Barbara Caine      9:30 PM Thu 12/17/2009

I love your story and would have loved to have heard Joni and James singing Christmas Carols together.

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