A Mount Airy native who plays with the Dynamic Imperials will be returning to Mount Airy after 45 years to play at the Blackmon Amphitheatre on Saturday.
Bill McNeil said he is excited about playing for the Mount Airy crowd.
The concert for the 10-piece band will begin at 7:30 p.m.
The Dynamic Imperials members all attended Mars Hill College and played in a band years ago. They reunited more than two years ago.
McNeil was born on Mitchell Street and walked to the North Main Street School. He graduated from Mount Airy High School in 1965. His first job was as a curb-hop at the age of 12 at the Dairy Center, which was called Dairy Queen at that time. He also worked there for Gene Fleming and Rastus Carpenter.
Later, he worked as a bag boy for Moseley’s Supermarket on Lebanon Street. Among other jobs, he worked at the Earle Theatre when he was 16.
“I also worked for my dad, who owned a jewelry and men’s clothing store called Roy’s Jewelry on Franklin Street next door to the Palace Barber Shop. I used to go out the back door of Dad’s store and go through the alley to Archie’s Canteen. I was too young to be allowed to go in the front door. And since my dad was alone in the store, I fetched sandwiches for him. Oh, the memories of playing in the alleys and on the roofs. My grandmother and aunt lived in the apartment over the store. There is an etched granite block with the name McNeil still over the store-front. There is now a beauty shop there,” said McNeil.
A couple of months ago he was requested to back up Percy Sledge in Rocky Mount at the Dunn Center for the Performing Arts, as a guest artist.
“It was great. He’s quite the entertainer, and quite the gentleman,” said McNeil.
McNeil said he is looking forward to seeing his classmates.
“What a great opportunity for us all to get back together for a party. This will possibly be a precursor to our class reunion this upcoming October. Some of our classmates have been very diligently working to organize that event, to which I’m sure we’re all looking forward,” said McNeil.
Reach Mondee Tilley at email@example.com or at 719-1930.