Events don’t get more "Buffalo" than this one: At 6 p.m. today (Feb. 22) in the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, Anthony Bannon -- the newly appointed executive director of the Burchfield Penney Art Center -- will lead a 90-minute discussion of George "Hound Dog" Lorenz titled "The Houns’ Aroun’‚" (that’s right, all final D’s excluded).
Why is this as "Buffalo" as events have gotten since 2012 began?
1.) Because Bannon -- former News art critic and Burchfield Penney executive director in its most expansive era -- is returning to the museum he led before going on to his successful tenure at Rochester’s George Eastman House, and the event, to put it mildly, will give people a small indication of one of the many wildly disparate kinds of things he likes doing.
2.) Lorenz may be, when all is said and done, many people’s nomination for the coolest single human being ever to reside in Buffalo -- the primal rock DJ who was one of less than a handful to transform the "race" records of one era to the rock ’n’ roll of a new one. He began at WJJL, moved to 50,000-watt behemoth WKBW and began a pervasive influence all over the Northeastern United States and Canada.
A little later, he helped introduce Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard but his glory, like that of songwriters and producers Leiber and Stoller, was to unite racial cultures in one big tent.
Check out the Hound’s website, as well as Forgotten Buffalo. And then, on Wednesday, the testimony of all those Hound puppies about an era that was close to the center of America’s musical universe.
-- Jeff Simon