Author: Don Harrison

Guida Collection at ODU Recounts the Story of the Norfolk Sound

Photos courtesy of The Frank and Carmela Guida/Rockmasters International Collection Those rowdy party noises emanating from Old Dominion University these days might not be the students. The holdings of record producer Frank Guida, who helped popularize the rollicking “Norfolk Sound,” now…

Attucks Theatre Celebrates 100 Years

It seems like an ordinary piece of wood, less than 2 feet in length. But look closer at this white plank, resting in a glass case, and you can see the faint signature of the legendary jazz bandleader Dizzy Gillespie,…

New Book Shines a Light on the Mysterious Colonial Parkway Murders

America's narrowest national park, the Colonial Parkway, connects the southern edge of Jamestown to Yorktown via a winding 23-mile route that cuts through Williamsburg. Taking a daytime cruise along this scenic thoroughfare—which was originally constructed to simulate the kind of…

Renaissance Man Lenis Guess Kept the Norfolk Sound Alive

Lenis Guess. Singer Lenis Guess remembers that, in the 1950s, Coastal Virginia was a vibrant place for music, and it wasn't always fully appreciated. "Norfolk was a Rhythm and Blues town," he says. "Ruth Brown, blues singers ... The Five…

The Hampton LEGO Club Connects Kids While Learning

Sean is crazy for LEGOs.  The 7-year-old is among the first to arrive at the Hampton Public Library's LEGO Club meeting, held every fourth Saturday of the month. Sitting with his mom at one of seven long tables, each adorned…

Don’t Mean Maybe

The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Jeff Beck are just a few of the rock ’n’ roll legends sent on their career paths by the unabashedly aggressive sound of Gene Vincent, a Norfolk singer who, in 1956 with his band, defined and personified the loud ethos of early rock ’n’ roll. The story behind the tune, recorded by Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps, is also a potent piece of Coastal Virginia history.

Candy Land

You have to suck on a Peach Bud. Slowly. That’s the proper way to eat one, in my opinion. You have to work the candy nugget until the center pokes through. It is then, and only then, that you bite…

Opting Out of the SOLs

Cailin Yates has six children currently enrolled in Williamsburg-James City County public schools. They span the grade range—from kindergarten to high school. The busy mom, who works at a SAP (Systems, Applications and Products) systems integration firm, DataXstream, says that,…

Norfolk's Generic Theater Celebrates 35 Seasons

These days, the most challenging thing about Norfolk’s Generic Theater is finding the place. To get to the long-running playhouse, one has to go underground—literally—by entering the Norfolk Scope parking deck downtown, staying to the right following signs to the…

Major and the Monbacks

To tell the story of Major and the Monbacks, you have to go back to before the eight members of the Norfolk-based rock group were even born—to the earliest days of fraternity rock, Stax records, West Coast sunshine pop, East…

History of The Tides

When the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals faced off in the 2014 World Series, buried amidst the pile of fielding stats, batting percentages and dugout second-guessing was a piece of baseball trivia that may have been missed:…

Cape Henry Lighthouse is Finally Getting Fixed

A Certain Kind of Light By all accounts, John McComb made stuff to last. Born in 1753, the master bricklayer built New York’s City Hall and was also responsible for Gracie Mansion, the New York City Mayoral residence. During his…

Straight Outta Virginia

Kevin Kosanovich doesn’t look much like a b-boy. Instead, the College of William and Mary graduate student gives off the veneer of a brainy lacrosse player. Armed with a dry wit, the stocky 33-year-old Saginaw, Michigan native wears glasses, frequents…

Chasing Air

“I’ve been spoken to and touched even before we started setting up,” the paranormal investigator says. Scott Spangler is the co-founder of the Newport News-based 7Cities Paranormal, an eight-member team of ghost hunters that includes a couple of psychics or,…

Beyond the Voices

The first thing you notice when you visit Studio Center is the smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. “Help yourselves,” Chris Wilson says as she offers a plate of gooey goodness to the group of visitors relaxing in the…

A Bridge To Somewhere

Driving along Shore Drive on the Lesner Bridge, a visitor can take in the fishing boats on the glimmering water and the seafood restaurants dotting the shore and never suspect that this, one of Virginia Beach’s signature gateways, is deteriorating.…