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Gene Guerrero

Gene Guerrero

SON OF A Mexican father and mother who grew up on a cotton plantation in the delta country of southeast Arkansas, Gene Guerrero was part of the last "all white" class in his Atlanta, Georgia high school.

Active in the civil rights, anti-war, and labor movements of the 1960s and '70s, Guerrero was the first chairman of the predominately white Southern Student Organizing Committee (SSOC) organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to reach out to southern whites.

Created by SSOC's Anne Romaine and SNCC Freedom Singer Bernice Johnson Reagan, SSOC's Southern Folk Cultural Revival Project brought traditional southern music, black and white, to communities across the American South from 1965-89 featuring performers such as Johnny Shines, Nimrod Workman, Sparky Rucker, Alice Gerrard and Hazel Dickens.

Guerrero also was a founder of Atlanta's "underground" newspaper, The Great Speckled Bird — one of the leading New Left counter-culture voices in the United States from 1968-76. At the Bird Guerrero wrote about country and bluegrass music. He was present when country music legend Ernest Tubb introduced African-American country music great Charley Pride as Pride made his first ground-breaking Nashville appearance on the Ernest Tubb show broadcast from his record shop following the Grand Ole Opry.

Guerrero conducted in-depth interviews with Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner and others. Although not mentioning the Bird by name, in one of her autobiographies, Loretta Lynn said her interview with the paper was the best ever done with her.

After the Bird Guerrero worked on human rights and criminal justice reform. He can be reached at geneguerrero@hotmail.com.

27 articles

By Artist | By Date

List of articles in the library by date

Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Conway Twitty, Tammy Wynette: George Jones & Tammy Wynette: The Playroom, Atlanta; Waylon Jennings, Conway Twitty: City Auditorium, Atlanta

Live Review by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 10 March 1969

THE LAST two weeks have been good ones for country music in Atlanta. George Jones and Tammy Wynette were at the Playroom; Merle Haggard's latest ...

Charley Pride: Country Pride

Comment by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 17 March 1969

IT WAS COUNTRY Music Week in Nashville, Tennessee, during the fall of 1966. Several of us from the Southern Student Organizing Committee were in town ...

Johnny Cash: Johnny Cash! The Man, His World, His Music (PBL; dir. Robert Elfstrom)

Film/DVD/TV Review by Miller Francis Jr., Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 24 March 1969

TO SAY THAT the 90-minute Johnny Cash PBL special was the best television show I've ever seen is to detract from the compliment; perhaps it ...

Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Doug Kershaw, Joni Mitchell: The Johnny Cash Show (ABC TV/Screen Gems)

Film/DVD/TV Review by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 12 June 1969

TV CASHES IN ...

The Everly Brothers: Roots (Warner Brothers-Reprise 1752)

Review by Miller Francis Jr., Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 7 July 1969

"Roll along, along Jordan,Roll me on my way. Roll along, along Jordan,Roll me home today. " ...

John D. Loudermilk

Interview by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 20 October 1969

The brother runs the camera, and the sister gives the cues/The uncle is the producer, and the old man writes the news/This family named JonesThat ...

Merle Haggard

Comment by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 16 March 1970

IF MERLE Haggard wasn't one of the two or three most creative persons in country music, it would be easy to dismiss him as just ...

Merle Haggard: Municipal Auditorium, Atlanta

Live Review by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 23 March 1970

Walk a Mile... ...

Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner: Porter & Dolly

Profile by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 30 November 1970

PORTER WAGONER and Dolly Parton were scheduled to appear in Atlanta this Saturday night to headline WPLO's Shower of Stars at the Municipal Auditorium. Last ...

Bill Anderson, Bobby Bare, Tom T. Hall, Conway Twitty: Bill Anderson, Conway Twitty, Bobby Bare, Tom T. Hall: Shower Of Stars, City Auditorium, Atlanta GA

Live Review by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 15 March 1971

FROM TOP TO bottom, the Shower of Stars last Saturday night was really fine. The sound system was much improved and the sound it carried ...

The Scruggs Brothers: The Scruggs Bros.

Interview by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 29 March 1971

GARY AND Randy Scruggs, Earl's boys, have fine album out on Vanguard — All The Way Home. ...

Bobby Bare

Interview by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 5 April 1971

"It's a funny thing. I'd probably sold two or three millions for RCA before I realized that you got paid for it. Fact is, I ...

Tom T. Hall

Interview by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 3 May 1971

TOM T. HALL is one of Nashville's outstanding songwriters. He's turned out hit after hit like 'I Washed My Face in the Morning Dew', and ...

Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner: Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner: ...It's Awfully Hard To Just Let Them People Go By In The World And Not Say Something About It.

Interview by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 17 May 1971

PORTER WAGONER and Dolly Parton are country music superstars. Porter's been on the Grand Ole Opry for years and as much as anyone else has ...

Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner: Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner: Country Music Is Exactly That Way. It Tells Of Life The Way It Is.

Interview by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 24 May 1971

THE EXCITING thing about Porter and Dolly's music is that it continues to grow — as their new albums indicate. Porter's latest is Simple As ...

Waylon Jennings

Interview by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 21 June 1971

IT WAS ONE of those memorable evenings like accidentally catching Charley Pride's first Nashville appearance at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop, or watching Mel Tillis ...

Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty: Loretta & Conway

Profile by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 28 June 1971

LORETTA LYNN and Conway Twitty headline the WPLO Shower of Stars this Saturday night at the Municipal Auditorium. Both are established country stars. Loretta was ...

Loretta Lynn: Everybody's Got a Soul and a Heart

Interview by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 12 July 1971

(RBP editor's note: the intro to this article was written by Paul Connah, the interview undertaken primarily by Gene Guerrero) ...

The Monkees, Michael Nesmith: Michael Nesmith

Interview by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 20 September 1971

MIKE NESMITH was a member of the Monkees, now he's doing his own thing, come see him at the press party at the Bistro. That's ...

Opry

Report by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 1 November 1971

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE — It was a combination pop festival and Lion's Club Convention — the 46th Anniversary Celebration of the Grand Ole Opry held October ...

Elvis Presley, The Sweet Inspirations: Elvis Presley: Memorial Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Live Review by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 4 November 1971

I WAS IN the eighth or ninth grade when I first heard Elvis Presley. A neighbor buddy and I had gone to the Saturday morning ...

The Carter Family, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, The Statler Brothers: Johnny Cash, Carter Family, Statler Brothers, Carl Perkins: Civic Center, Atlanta GA

Live Review by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 14 February 1972

Oil Commercials & Falling Idols ...

George Jones, Charley Pride, Tammy Wynette: Charley Pride, Tammy Wynette and George Jones: Municipal Auditorium, Atlanta GA

Live Review by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 31 February 1972

GOOD COUNTRY ...

The Everly Brothers: Roots

Interview by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 12 June 1972

LIKE MOST under 40/over 20 Americans, the Everly Brothers are very much a part of my life. 'Cathy's Clown' and 'Bye, Bye Love' are not ...

Charley Pride

Interview by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 1 February 1973

CHARLEY PRIDE has come a long way from Sledge, Mississippi, where he and ten brothers and sisters picked cotton alongside their parents. In 1971 the Country ...

George Jones, Tammy Wynette: Shower of Stars: George Jones & Tammy Wynette

Profile by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 5 March 1973

ONCE AGAIN it's Shower of Stars time. A good chance to see some of country music's finest in person at pretty reasonable prices. ...

Jerry Lee Lewis Comes Back

Profile by Gene Guerrero, Great Speckled Bird, The, 21 May 1973

JERRY LEE Lewis is a self-made phenomenon. Remember a couple of years ago when he made it back on television after years of virtual obscurity? ...

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