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The Chatter

Civil Rights Historian Taylor Branch Releases Country Album

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author reunites with college buddies to form Off Our Rocker.

By Jess Mayhugh | June 29, 2017, 10:55 am

-Off Our Rocker
The Chatter

Civil Rights Historian Taylor Branch Releases Country Album

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author reunites with college buddies to form Off Our Rocker.

By Jess Mayhugh | June 29, 2017, 10:55 am

-Off Our Rocker

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We can officially file this one under the "who knew?" category. 

Civil rights activist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch reunited with his college buddies and they are releasing a country album tomorrow called Children at Play

The bandmates—Branch along with Bill Guy and John Yelverton—met in 1966 while students at UNC-Chapel Hill. More than 40 years later, they reunited to form the country band Off Our Rocker.


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"On a lark, at a reunion, we stayed up all night recording covers from the golden era of crossover soul and British invasion," the band's website says. "Off Our Rocker rolls again—we are still demented, decked out, and delirious."

The band's latest album, Children at Play, debuts June 30 and features covers from the Beatles, Kinks, and Conway Twitty, as well as a few original songs. 

Branch went on Facebook and acknowledged that his country music debut is a bit of a curveball from his usual fodder about charged politics and race relations.

"Allow a quick chance to relieve regular work and dreary national news with surprising fun," he wrote.

Cover tracks include Conway Twitty's "It's Only Make Believe," the Beatles' "And Your Bird Can Sing," and a particularly harmonious version of "Please Mr. Postman" by The Marvelettes. 

"Please circulate the link," Branch wrote on Facebook, "especially if you think one of the four original songs has potential to be crazy good instead of just odd."

He signed the message, appropriately, "all you need is love."




Meet The Author

Jess Mayhugh is the digital editor for Baltimore, where she covers nightlife, sports, food, and events.



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