Thursday, September 22, 2016


One of the first garage bands that I played in went by the name of The Brooks Exchange Band. We all lived in Hamptonville North Carolina and the name came from the local telephone company Yadkin Valley Telephone because we all lived in the 468 phone prefix. The first time we got together we practiced upstairs at Reid Lowder's home who was the principal of our High School Starmount High School. The members were Rod Lowder, Chris Shore, Dick Steelman, Keith Hall, Randy Long, and Tim Sizemore. Rod, Randy, and Tim played guitars, I played the bass, Dick Steelman played the keyboard, and Chris Shore played the drums. The group later was condensed to Rod, Chris, myself and Dick Steelman. We began practicing at Dick Steelman's house in the garage not knowing at the time bands were given the name Garage Bands. This would have been around 1968 and 1969. I would have been 13 and 14 years old. My first bass guitar was a Kent Newport Bass. The reason I bought a Kent was because Don Houser who performed in my brother's band played a Kent Bass. My first amp was a homemade amp which came out of a Wurlitzer Juke Box and it housed a fifteen in speaker. The amp belonged to Ronnie Wall who was the bass player for my brother's earlier band called The Invaders.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

TEXTILE TOWN, (song) by Keith Hall

I wrote the song TEXTILE TOWN (Ghosts Cry Out From the Looms) because it comes from my experiences of living in the small town of Elkin North Carolina.
It is about Chatham Manufacturing Company and my grandfather George Robert Hall who retired from there. My grandfather had eight brothers and sisters and were farmers in Patrick County Virginia. My grandfather was the eldest of the family and left his home in Patrick County and moved to Draper North Carolina where he met my grandmother Nannie Hopper Hall and he worked in the Draper Mills. Later my grandfather's siblings and his dad John Curtis Hall all left the farm in Patrick County Virginia to work in the mills at Draper North Carolina. All of my grandfather's family and my grandmother's family were textile people and retired from what was called Fieldcrest Cannon. When the depression came my grandfather had moved to the town of  Swannanoa North Carolina close to Asheville and worked for Beacon Manufacturing Company. I have been there and the factory has been leveled where it once stood. The Chatham family gave my grandfather the opportunity to come to their factory in Elkin North Carolina in 1934 and placed him over the Weave Room because he had the great ability of fixing looms where he also patented some looms for them and standardized the looms for them. He educated the other men to do the same where they could all work on the looms.

The second World War came and men were enlisting to go fight in the war an act of patriotism that we don't see in this day and time and my Uncle George Curtis Hall enlisted and left home where he too worked at Chatham Manufacturing Company. He was in the 80th General Hospital and never made it to the Philippines where he was to be deployed but died of a kidney disease in California and was transported back home to my grandfather and grandmother and they were devastated. He is buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Elkin and there is a plaque at the Elkin Municipal Park with his name on it along with all the others who died in the War for the Chatham Employees and their families. Chatham Manufacturing did real well during the war effort because they supplied the blankets for the war.
Since 1988 the Company has been sold and has changed ownersip several times currently being owned by a company today called True Textiles and only a small portion of the facility is being used.
Most of the buildings where people spent their livelihood are standing empty compared to the giant it was back before 1988.

Textile Town (Ghost Cry Out From the Looms)

Eight brothers and sisters grew up on a farm
We worked in the fields each day
Then the mills came and gave us a job
To weave and spin was our way

The Depression came and the mill didn't fall
We new how to live from our past
As farmers before we knew how to plow
How long would this Depression last

Textile town where have you
The mill that blessed us with food
Greed sent all of our jobs to
a foreign land
And the ghosts cry out from the looms

The Second War came our sons went away
Their mothers grieved their loss
Some never came home but the
blankets were made
The war and their lives was the cost


One day I came home and our mill
was sold
Our jobs was sent overseas
Now I drive a hundred miles
to feed my family

© 2016 Keith Hall

Friday, December 20, 2013


The Weekly Bath by Keith Hall
As I was taking my morning shower the other day like I normally do daily I thought how blessed we are just to have warm water and a shower. I began to go through the process in my head of how the water pump, pumps the water out of the ground and how the water fills up in a hot water heater and it is heated and stored for use at our convenience. I began to think how our grandfather's would have accomplished this a hundred years ago.
There was no pump or electricity to pump the water and the water was carried from a spring in mulltiple buckets. Can you imagine how many buckets it would have taken to fill up a tub? Families today consist of four to five people. Families a hundred years ago usually had on an average of ten to twelve people. This would involve ten to twelve people having to take a bath. A hundred years ago people had large families to help farm, raise food, cut wood, (with a saw or axe) so they could stay warm and not freeze to death.
Families had one large tub and everyone would pitch that was ten or an older to bring water from the spring in as many buckets that they owned to fill the tub. Buckets were an important commodity but today we take no thought in owning one.  The water of course would have been so cold that it was heated on a wood stove and then poured into the tub. It could have been decided one of two ways who would get to go first. The eldest to the youngest or the youngest to the eldest. There was no changing the water after each bath but everyone used the same bath water. This is why I titled this the weekly bath. People usually bathed once a week and a shower was unheard of at this time. There wasn’t any running water, hot water heaters, or showers. That is why you see in the old western movies men going into town to a public bath.
The next time you get into the shower and think how good the warm water feels then realize how blessed you are to have something as nice as a shower. Many parts of the world today still bathe just the way I described because they are living a hundred years behind modern times. A major catastrophe could happen someday and take away what we take for granted. People now have to worry about how dry their skin gets in the winter time when the heat is on and the hot showering everyday also removes the oil from

their skin. Maybe you should just take a weekly bath and allow the natural oils of the skin to lubricate your skin but instead we have to buy oils, lotions and moisturizing soaps to keep our skin from getting so dry.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Marketing Strategies, Using your Company Vehicle for a new Business Concept

Your company vehicle is one of the best marketing strategies that you can use especially for a new business concept. It is very important that you choose the best colors for your logo so that when people see it they automatically know that it is your company or brand. You need to keep it simple and not try to place too much in the logo so one may read it while the vehicle is moving. It needs to be precise and to the point so that when one sees it they know what kind of business that it is. If it doesn't do this, then you need to go back and plan some more. Question yourself, does this logo tell what type of business we have? If I were an outsider going down the road, would I know what you were offering or selling? If you have trouble branding yourself and planning your logo look at other companies’ vehicles and see how they have marketed their product and an idea may come to you on how you may do yours. Once you obtain the logo that you want and have it put on your vehicle then you can park your vehicle as close to the road as possible so passing cars can see your business and your brand will be implanted in their minds. Be sure and put a phone number, address and website address on the vehicle so people can contact you. Take an old vehicle whether it is in running condition or not and park it close to the road with your logo on it too. This will save you money on paying for billboard space and some municipalities will not allow signs to be put up in the city limits and usually they have not passed laws on signage on company vehicles.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Jones Grocery Store, Lewisville NC, Forsyth County

This is Jones Grocery Store (1875) just outside of Clemmons NC on the  Shallowford Road. It was originally in the Little Yadkin Township also known as the West Bend named after the West Bend of the Yadkin River. This store was built after 1926 because of a disastrous robbery. It was built by Will Jones and also had a residence inside the store.

Photography by Keith Hall

Thursday, October 4, 2012

PICKLED EGGS, a Form of Survival

One day I was in the local grocery store and I began to look for a hard to find item. It was pickled eggs preserved in beet juice and vinegar. Most grocery stores here in the south still have them but they stick them in unusual places so that you really have to look hard for them. As a young boy when you would visit a bar, tavern or pool hall, (beer joint) you would find these for sell in big jars on the counter along with a big jar of large pickled cucumbers. I could find small jars of them in the produce sections but they were pickled in a clear vinegar unlike the ones in the beet juice and vinegar which gives the egg white a purple color. I thought these would be easy to fix. You just need a large empty jar and lid, then boil some eggs, a can of beets from the store, and apple cider vinegar or clear distilled vinegar, enough to fill the jar and cover up the eggs. Be sure to peel the shells from the eggs after you boil them. Place all of this in the jar and seal tightly. Whenever you need one just go and eat one for a snack because eggs are very healthy especially the boiled ones. The real reason I wanted to blog this was because back in our forefathers days people had large families to help them farm and one would be blessed to have a lot of children. In order to feed them they needed to store up food and preserve it. They would have a few barn yard hens and the hens would lay eggs and they would gather them to feed their families. If they have many hens the eggs would get old before they could cook them all and would have to throw them away. The refrigerator hadn't been invented at this time. They could take these eggs and fix them just as I described above and they would store a long time in the vinegar. If you owned a lot of hens you could do this and sell them to your neighbor or barter for something that they had. If your children had grown up and were married and had their own kids, then you could give some to them. This was a matter of survival. The next time you are in a bar, tavern,pool hall, (beer joint) or even the grocery store look for this unusual delicacy and try one. If you are inventive make you own.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Davis Arcade, Mt Airy NC, 1971-72, Surry County

It was back in 1971-72 I played in a band called The Caboose Show and Dance Band. We were all from Yadkin County which is the next county over from Surry. What a thrill it was for a young teen to play at a place that was packed with young teens. Our manager Roy Crissman of Crissman Talent Agency met us in Mt Airy with all of our band equipment and we met in the ally behind The Davis Arcade. What a neat place! We loaded all of our band equipment on a big freight elevator which was on the outside of the building and we rode up to the top floor to the back stage area. It seemed like we were in the big time and in a big city, Mt Airy to perform. We set up our equipment and performed for a packed house. In the Caboose Show and Dance Band was Robbie Hall on guitar, Chris Shore on drums, Kim Pardue lead vocals, Kathy Fleming lead vocals, Keith Hall on bass guitar, and Dick Steelman on keyboards. We had a couple of other vocalist Bobbie Jane Moxley and Diane Graham but I am not sure if they were there that night. One event that stands out in my mind was that a fight broke out between two girls fighting over a guy. It seems there was a lot of fighting going on the farther north that we went. We performed at places like Fairview Ruritan outside of Galax Va and Hillsville VFW in Hillsville Va during that time period. Maybe you can remember going there. What a neat place for kids to go. It is a shame there is not anything like that today.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Richard Petty, Level Cross NC, Shotgun Band, Governor Jim Martin 1984

It was the summer of 84 and The Shotgun Band was booked to play at Level Cross NC, south of Greensboro at the home the famous race car driver Richard Petty. Richard Petty was the winner of over 200 races in his career. We were performing for a political fundraiser for Jim Martin for governor. In 1985 Jim actually won the gubernatorial race in North Carolina. North Carolina with its long line of Democratic governors and Jim Martin was a Republican was one of the first republican to win in a while. We arrived at Richard Petty’s home in the mid afternoon and what a nice peaceable place to live. It wasn’t a real large home like some that you see today but was real nice. There were tennis courts and of course a large garage connected to the house. Richard greeted us as we arrived and showed us where the band was to set up and perform. We went behind the house next to the pool where a nice tent was set up for a shade. The event was to take place in his back yard and there were bales of hay scattered all over the yard for people to sit on and eat their barbecue. It was of course a fundraiser and kind of like an outdoor pig picking. The plates were catered with barbecue, baked beans, slaw and rolls. Richard’s #43 car was in the yard and he was available for people to have their picture made with him. Once we set up the band equipment Richard invited us into his house and he told us to make ourselves at home while he showered and got dressed for the fundraiser. Making ourselves at home is exactly what we did. We made pictures all over and around the house. Some of the details that I remember were Richard’s game room. There was a pool table with a stained glass lamp hanging over it with his race car #43 embedded in the lamp, a photo of Richard and Ronald Reagan shaking hands, an old antique showcase with his #43 car from various toy manufacturers and all types of memorably. One of the bedrooms had a porcelain doll collection on the bed leaning them up against the pillow shams. His wife is a real nice person too. Her kitchen was decorated with everything strawberries. There was strawberry wallpaper, strawberry canisters, and I remember in the middle of the table was a strawberry pedestal cake plate. When the people arrived for the dinner they stayed outside and sat on the bales of hay while they enjoyed their meal. Richard’s patio had a bathroom open to the public outside so there was not any reason to go in his house. The Shotgun Band performed and the party was a success and as a result Jim Martin became governor thanks to his supporters and people like Richard Petty. Richard and his wife Lynda are really down to earth people and made us feel at home while we had the opportunity to perform at his home in Level Cross. Thanks for the memory Richard.