by Max Brantley
Lesson I: Always read Rock Candy.
I do. That's why I knew to head down to the Peabody Hotel lobby bar this evening for an informal performance by Archie Bell and the Drells. Yes, they're still from Houston, Texas. Yes, they can still dance just as good as they can walk. Yes, they're still tightening up. As in this photo.
They've been in town filming some energy conservation themed ads set up by Stone Ward (that's Millie Ward tightening up with the group) for the state Economic Development Commission. They did a few tunes, cut some rugs, worked the crowd and kept singing well past 10 p.m., when the crowd swelled with leaders of the national AME church. The church folks joined the crowd after a planning session for a convention that will bring 8,000 people to LR this summer. Mayor Mark Stodola was on hand. Airport Commissioner Virgil Miller was there, too.
Miller revealed the Airport Commission has something worked out on the matter of the 98-year-old East End resident facing eviction from her home, purchased by Little Rock National Airport for a runway expansion project. She hasn't wanted to move and her situation was covered in a front page Democrat-Gazette article this week. She'll be offered a life estate in her house. That's better than TV footage of deputies carting her out in a wheelchair.
I have Flip camera video of Archie and the Drells, but that will have to wait until tomrrow. Don't want no more of that hamburger. I just want to sleep.
UPDATE: Here's six shaky minutes (parts of four songs) of Archie at work.