Chuck King’s Travelin’ Birthday Show comes to Columbiana
By PHOEBE DONALD ROBINSON / Community Columnist
Sometimes the stars are in alignment, and all is right in the world. This was certainly the case for the magical night of music to an overflowing crowd when Chuck King brought his Travelin’ Birthday Show to Bernie’s in Columbiana.
The room was filled with friends and family, decorated with Scott Owen’s incredible art. Dr. Charles Thornburg and Ceil Ebert twirled and showcased swing dancing to the jazz music with trumpet, saxophone, coronet, clarinet, trombone, tuba, keyboard, bass and drums. Toes were tapping, people were clapping and the night ended in a standing ovation with roars of approval for a night made for the memory books. It was pure magic!
King grew up in Columbiana, the son of L.H. and Mazelle King. He started playing trumpet in the fifth grade under the direction of Shelby County High School Band Director Bill Parish. By seventh grade, Parish asked young King to play with the Kiwanians, a local band of notable talent and Who’s Who of Columbiana: Parish, Mike Mahon, Wales Wallace, Judge Conrad Fowler, Rux Carter with wife Jane and daughter Cathy, Bobby Thornburg, John Stewart, Bill Goad and Judy Acker. The well-known Kiwanians played at one of George Wallace’s inaugurations.
King has played trumpet in bands or formed bands all his life, including the popular Legendary Pineapple Skinners. He graduated from the University of Montevallo and has worked there in many capacities: operations department, public relations and teaching. He also has his own business, “Studio of King’s.”
For years, birthdays have been a time for something special for King. This 65th is no exception. King wanted to see if he could set a record for the most birthday performances in a weekend. With a lot of help from friends and family, he has succeeded. Tuba player Tom Dameron helped with design and promotion; granddaughter Lillian with technology; and former columnist of Shelby County News Fred Cooper, step-daughter Jennifer Smiley, Jim Natale, Steve Tipton with marketing and planning.
“Few things in life are better than getting together with friends and music,” said King.
Phoebe Donald Robinson can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.