The first event in the revival of 508 Park Ave. takes place this Tuesday, June 19, which marks the 75th anniversary of Robert Johnson’s historic recording session. Events include a Robert Johnson look-alike/sound-alike contest, a theatrical recreation of that era called On That Day, and performances by several artists including The Light Crust Doughboys, who also recorded in the studio 75 years ago. Predictably, none of the original members remain, but the Doughboys are, by lineage and style, the same group.
June 19, often concatenated as “Juneteenth,” is celebrated as the day when slaves were freed in Texas by official declaration in Galveston in 1865. For 147 years, it has marked a day of hope and the dawn of new paradigms. Robert Johnson’s recording session, by coincidence, fell on the same day 72 years later. For 508 Park Ave, you could hardly compose a better narrative as a building so essential to Dallas’s own story starts its next act.