A MELODIC LEGACY
RB/REDFERNS GAB ARCHIVE/REDFERNS
Squirrel Nut Zippers’ amalgam of blues,
swing and who knows what-all, from the
sincerity of Andy Griffith ’ 49 to the passionately goofy irony of Southern Culture
on the Skids, from George Hamilton IV ’ 59
to Tift Merritt ’00, from James Taylor to
Anoop Desai ’08, Chapel Hill has long fostered more than its share of popular musicians headed for wide renown.
The tendency of more established musicians to give a hand or show the way to
those coming along behind them is one
continuous thread in local music history.
Hal Kemp ’ 26 handed over the Carolina
Club jazz orchestra he founded to Kyser,
then UNC’s head cheerleader.
In the early ’70s, the rock band Arro-
gance inspired a bunch of talented kids
from Winston-Salem, where some mem-
bers of Arrogance also grew up, to keep on
making music while going to Carolina.
When Mike Greer ’ 73, an early member of
Arrogance, described the Chapel Hill scene
to a teenaged Mitch Easter ’ 77, later of the
punky jangle pop band Let’s Active, Easter