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The Record Bar - Henderson Street

by Norman Hunter

I had the great good fortune of managing the Chapel Hill Record Bar on Henderson Street for approximately 2 ½ years between 1972 and 1974. Not only that, I lived less than a block from the store in a totally cool third floor apartment situated above the import store / head shop run by the legendary Kemp B. Nye. Just writing these words brings back a flood of memories.

My strongest memories of living above Kemp's are waking to the sounds of Indian music and the fragrance of incense burning in the court yard outside his shop. Kemp was truly a unique individual with a zest for life, and the ladies, that was a pleasure to behold. I have no idea how old he was, probably in his 50's, but I remember thinking of him as living proof that one can age without getting old.

It's been over five years since I've been back to "The Village", but I'm confident it has continued to drift away from those elements that made that nickname so appropriate. Back in the day before parking garages, strip centers, malls, and big box stores came to town, Chapel Hill was a small town oasis still reflecting the atmosphere and vibes of the 1960's.

Norman Hunter

By the way, my personal prejudices have always considered the 60's to be more about a state of mind and outlook than simply a decade with years numbered from 1960 – 1969. As a I contend that the 60's began with the Beatles first performance on The Ed Sullivan Show (February 9,1964) and ended with Richard Nixon's resignation (August 8,1974). For me this was the beginning and end of an incredibly optimistic time when anything seemed possible.

The music of this era was new and exciting, with vitality, creativity, and culture changing impact. This was a time when buying records (vinyl long players, 8-track tapes, and cassettes) was a central part of most college students' lives. There was no competition from video games, DVD's, or computer software to capture their attention, imagination, and disposable income.

As a , many of the store's regular visitors / customers were people who simply wanted to experience the pleasures of hanging out in a record store, listening to the latest releases, and visiting with like minded friends or strangers. And to this day, nothing has ever equaled the pleasure I felt when I was able to turn someone on to a new release or new artist, knowing I had provided some enjoyment for their lives.

At this point I feel compelled to mention the "Cosmic Goodies Rack" we had positioned at the front of the store that featured employee picks. It had twelve slots which contained a mix of new releases and overlooked "must haves". Nearly 35 years later it’s difficult to remember all the records that made the rack, but here are some of the ones that come to mind.

The Who Sell Out
David Bowie – Hunky Dory, Space Oddity, and Ziggy Stardust
Blue Oyster Cult – first album
Grin – first album and 1+1
Kinks – Muswell Hillbillies and Everybody’s In Showbiz
Asylum Choir 1 –featuring Leon Russell
Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks – first album
Neil Young – Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere

Running the Record Bar gave me a fairly high profile around town which was nearly always a pleasant experience. However I do remember one time when it was a bit of a drag. It had to do with the pending, and long delayed, release of "Harvest", the follow-up to Neil Young's break through solo release "After The Gold Rush". People wanted this record!!

It got to the point where I couldn't take two steps out on the street without being stopped and asked when the album was coming out. With even this minor taste of public recognition I can certainly sympathize with real celebrities and the price they often pay in privacy lost. By the way, I still remember to this day that we sold 149 copies of the album on its first day of release.

Barrie Bergman - first Manager of the Chapel Hill Record Bar (His Dad started the company) 

Music has always played a central role in my life, and managing the Henderson Street Record Bar will always hold a special place in my heart; not only for the incredible music of that era but also for the people who frequented the store and shared their love of music with me.


The Glory Of Carolina's 1950 Football Team

by Charly Mann

I was not yet one, but already a Tarheel born, when Carolina played its1950 football season. That year UNC won three games, and tied one. The other games had unsuccessful outcomes. I know that year's team practiced as hard as any other, but did not receive the glory it would have liked. I have created a tribute to that team with a little photo magic.


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Lily Pad Waterbeds and Larry Carswell

by Charly Mann

Lily Pad Waterbeds was a phenomena. It was the first waterbed store in Chapel Hill when it opened in 1971, and was an instant success. It started in the basement of the Record and Tape Center, and soon moved next door to a separate location. It was owned and operated by Larry Carswell, a lifelong Chapel Hill resident whose father owned Colonial Drug Store for more than half a century.


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Some Things Never Change

                    March 14th 2009, Florida State 73 - UNC 70


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WKIX - The Station that Made Chapel Hill Rock

by Charly Mann

We almost all love the music of the sixties. In fact it still seems to have replaced Muzak as our dominant background music. In Chapel Hill, to hear the music of the sixties usually meant listening to WKIX in Raleigh, because Chapel Hill's only station, WCHL, played only easy listening.

I have several recordings of "KIX" shows from 1961 through 1968, and in hindsight I am amazed by the high percentage of mediocre songs and long commercial breaks we had to endure before we got to hear a worthy song. (Thank you Steve Jobs for the iPod, where we can listen to thousands of great songs without a single commercial.) I’ve included a segment from  a WKIX broadcast in August 1964 with dee-jay Gary Edens. He went to UNC and worked weekends during college at WSSB in Durham. WSSB also played some rock, but was not as hip as WKIX, and its signal was not as easy to pick up on our AM radios. Edens went to work at WKIX after graduating in 1964. This was a pivotal year in rock history, as the British Invasion had started in February with The Beatles appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.  After this, British acts began to supplant American artists on the airwaves, and more and more acts also began writing their own songs.

Gary Edens at WKIX 1964

Charlie Brown was one of the original WKIX disc jockeys. His show was usually on from 6 to 9 PM weekdays evenings. The legendary, and still thriving, Nomads band from Chapel Hill did the theme song for his program. It precedes the excerpt of the Gary Edens show on our player.

                               WKIX's Charlie Brown - Then and Now

As a brief history lesson, you can study the charts of the top played songs on WKIX from 1961 to 1969 to see how much changed, but also see how much disposable music was still popular. Note particularly the top two songs in 1969, which many consider the pinnacle year of great rock music.


The Man Who Made the Southern Part of Heaven

by Charly Mann

There are many reasons I love Chapel Hill, but the primary reason is its beauty. Much of what we consider beautiful about Chapel Hill is because of one man, William Chambers Coker. He came to UNC in 1902 to teach biology, but his love for natural beauty, and his wise decision to marry the then President of the University's daughter, Louise Venable, gave him the eye and the power to transform a rather bland campus into the southern part of heaven. At the beginning of the 20th century there were few trees, shrubs, or paths on the campus, and more than five acres of it were nothing but swamp.


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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.



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