"Sands of Time" About Nearby Carr's Beach Is In Post-Production ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Thursday, August 26, 2010

"Sands of Time" About Nearby Carr's Beach Is In Post-Production

(Compiled from a news release) Filmmaker Deni Henson is completing a 90 minute documentary called "Sands of Time" about nearby Carr's Beach which once hosted famed Blues, R&B and Jazz musicians including James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton and Rock 'n' Roll pioneer Buddy Holly.

Carr's Beach, along with neighboring Sparrow's Beach was one of two Chesapeake Bay resorts for Blacks in Anne Arundel County during the days of Jim Crow segregation. Owned by sisters Elizabeth Carr Smith and Florence Carr Sparrow, Carr's and Sparrow's beaches were the summertime retreat for black families a half-century ago.

"People could be in the water swimming, but come 3 p.m. when the big show started, they'd all rush out the minute the bands started playing," says historian and filmmaker Deni Henson.

From its beginning as a public beach in 1929, Carr's Beach became a key stop along the so-called "Chitlin Circuit," the network of clubs, bars and parks along the East Coast and in the South, where black entertainers could perform.

Among the acts that Carr's featured were New Orleans boogie-woogie pianist Fats Domino; crooner Arthur Prysock; soul performers Lloyd Price, Jackie Wilson, Little Richard, the Coasters and Sam & Dave; and vocal dynamos Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, and Sarah Vaughan.

"Whites came to Carr's, too," says Louise Smith, 87, a descendant of the beach's founders. "If you enjoyed music, you came to Carr's. Color didn't matter. It was a safe and welcoming environment."

"This is a story that needs to be told," Miss Henson says. "You have children right here in Annapolis who don't know this area's history and what these remarkable women did in segregated America."
(NOTE:  She is right--this is a story that needs to be told but her p.r. activities are not helping much. Aside from a poorly written news release, ACP wishes there was more information, but I could not contact Ms. Henson, nor was there any further information in the news release, nor was there a web-site. Can anybody help out here?)
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