Thursday, April 20, 2023

Kenneth Wisdom's Teen Center Begins

Who used to hang out at Kenneth Wisdom's Teen Center, where McDonald's is now located? The Mystic Sounds played there on opening night. Formed in 1967, that group consisted of Mike Lawson on guitar, Larry Sloan on organ and guitar, Junior Byers on bass guitar and Lynn Avery on drums. I'm sure Cecil Pryor played there. My music buddies Donnie Ray Johnson and Terry Murphy also played there.

According to Judge Lawson, The Mystic Sounds wore ties, following the lead of the Beatles. They heard that Mr. Wisdom had a large room with hardwood flooring in the middle of the old Locker Plant building. They asked him about playing there. He said, "You boys help clean out the room; you can have your Saturday night dance and we will split the admission charge taken in at the door."

Judge Lawson stated, "Mrs. Wisdom took up the money at the door. I can still see her sitting in a chair right in front of the doorway. Every Saturday night we would have a short intermission, which allowed us to take in the fist fight in the parking lot that would happen at every engagement." Mind you, we were not the favorites of all the community in that many thought the dance was taboo. We just lived the music and loved playing and seeing people respond in a positive way."

"I have often thought of Mr. Wisdom thinking that much of the younger generation to provide a space for us," he said.

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