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Miller Francis Jr.

Miller Francis Jr.

Miller Francis grew up in Anniston, Alabama. He attended high school when a Freedom Rider bus was attacked and burned just outside of town.

Inspired by Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, he studied fiction writing at the University of Alabama, and was present when George Wallace made his stand in the "schoolhouse door" for racial segregation.

Miller joined thousands at a rally in Montgomery to welcome those who had demonstrated against racial oppression in the Selma-to-Montgomery march. He moved to Atlanta in 1967 and was active in protests against segregation as well as the Vietnam War. As forces for radical change gained momentum in the late Sixties, Miller became more active politically, writing music and film reviews for The Great Speckled Bird, a weekly underground newspaper, some of which were reprinted by other underground newspapers. He also contributed briefly to Rolling Stone and Creem. He covered national music events such as the Woodstock Music Festival, the Memphis Blues Festival and the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival. His enthusiastic "discovery" article about The Allman Brothers Band's first performance in Piedmont Park is still being quoted (Scott Freeman, Midnight Riders: The Story of the Allman Brothers Band). As early as 1969, Rolling Stone magazine called Miller "one of the best rock and roll writers the underground has produced...unique in his ability to place rock in the perspective of the revolution". In his book The Paper Revolutionaries, Laurence Leamer called Miller "the most articulate of the cultural radicals. [He] maneuvers the symbols of cultural radicalism with the subtlety and sureness of Marx working with the tools of economic determinism." As different social movements began to develop out of the movement, Miller also wrote articles dealing with the oppression of women and homosexuals.

From 1982 until 1996, Miller was host/DJ of a music show on WRFG Atlanta entitled "Revolution Rock: By All Music Necessary", giving exposure to the most radical music of the time including punk, reggae, folk, electronica and jazz. He also interviewed many of the key artists of the period including Fela Kuti, Joe Strummer, KRS-One and Henry Rollins, as well as local punk bands like Neon Christ.

Miller has more recently spent several years completing a novel, If Heaven's Not My Home, and is now actively seeking its publication.

List of articles in the library by artist

Allman Brothers Band, The Band, Miles Davis, The Tony Williams Lifetime: Mass Music: The Band, Allman Brothers, Tony Williams and Miles Davis

Review by Miller Francis Jr., Great Speckled Bird, The, December 1969

EACH OF the record albums discussed here could be termed a masterpiece worthy of a full-length "rave." But the Review format can often be nothing ...

Allman Brothers Band: The Allman Brothers Band

Special Feature by Miller Francis, Great Speckled Bird, The, May 1969

Upon first seeing the Allman Brothers Band, an interracial rock and roll band from the heart of segregated, reactionary Georgia not only calling themselves brothers, ...

Allman Brothers Band, Grateful Dead, Hampton Grease Band: Grateful Dead, Allman Bros. Band, Hampton Grease Band: Sports Arena, Atlanta

Live Review by Miller Francis Jr., Great Speckled Bird, The, May 1970

IF YOU WERE one of the few people who wasn't at the Sports Arena Sunday afternoon for the Grateful Dead concert, you've probably heard by ...

B.B. King, Big Mama Thornton, Charlie Musselwhite, Clifton Chenier, Freddie King, Howlin' Wolf, J.B. Hutto, Lightnin' Hopkins, Luther Allison, Magic Sam, Muddy Waters, Son House, T-Bone Walker: Payin' Some Dues — Blues at Ann Arbor

Live Review by Miller Francis jr., Great Speckled Bird, The, August 1969

"I'd like for them to hear the real things. I don't think yet that most of the white people like my music because it's blues. I ...

The Beatles: Yellow Submarine

Film/DVD/TV Review by Miller Francis, Great Speckled Bird, The, January 1969

Yellow Submarine is rapidly on its way to canonization, so I felt that along with unrestrained praise for its animation designer Heinz Edelmann, should go ...

The Byrds: Glenn Memorial Church, Atlanta GA

Live Review by Miller Francis jr., Great Speckled Bird, The, February 1969

THE BYRDS are, always have been, and (as things look now) will continue to be the most consistently excellent, and under-rated, rock and roll group ...

Canned Heat, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Melanie, Ravi Shankar, Tim Hardin, The Who: Woodstock

Report by Miller Francis jr., Great Speckled Bird, The, September 1969

"Man, what done got into them ofays?" one asked. "It ain't nothing. They just trying to get back, that's all" "Get back?" said the ...

Donovan (Cocktails)

Report and Interview by Miller Francis jr., Great Speckled Bird, The, October 1969

OURS IS AN age of reluctant ambivalence. The impact of the new is devastatingly real, but the clinging corpse of what has been and what ...

Hampton Grease Band: The Hampton Grease Band: Suck Rock

Profile and Interview by Miller Francis jr., Great Speckled Bird, The, October 1969

"Give me a gun, and I'll blow your fucking head off!" — Bruce Hampton ...

The Insect Trust, John D. Loudermilk, Johnny Winter, Mississippi Fred McDowell: The Memphis Country Blues Festival

Report by Miller Francis jr., Great Speckled Bird, The, June 1969

AN ARTICLE ON the Memphis Country Blues Festival in a local Memphis newspaper was headlined: "BLUES ARE REBORN IN COTTON-FIELD HEAT." ...

Johnny Jenkins: Nothing But The Blues

Interview by Miller Francis jr., Great Speckled Bird, The, September 1970

TON TON Macoute! was recorded in Macon, Georgia at Capricorn Records, at an 8 track studio built "in memory of Otis Redding" by Phil Walden, ...

MC5: The MC5: Kick Out the Jams (Elektra)

Review by Miller Francis jr., Great Speckled Bird, The, March 1969

"Works of art which lack artistic quality have no force, however progressive they are politically. Therefore, we oppose both works of art with a wrong ...

The Rolling Stones: Beggars Banquet (London PS 539)

Review by Miller Francis jr., Great Speckled Bird, The, February 1969

THE ROLLING Stones are at the artistic peak of their career: Beggars Banquet is perhaps their finest work to date. It is not merely, as ...

Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground: The Velvet Underground (MGM SE-4617)

Review by Miller Francis jr., Great Speckled Bird, The, August 1969

TAKE IT OR leave it I've never known anyone who was neutral toward The Velvet Underground. They either turn you on, or it's the worst ...

List of genre pieces

Atlanta International Pop Festival

Comment by Miller Francis jr., Great Speckled Bird, The, June 1969

"If you want to come up with a singular, most important trend in this new music, I think it has to be something like: it ...

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