‘You knew everybody, everybody knew you’

All about the music: 

Roberts, now 90 years old, is a survivor of an era when racial segregation operated with much more explicit official sanction than it does today, and penetrated even further into daily life. Even the most crossover-minded black superstar might be required to play in a venue where blacks weren’t allowed or, at best, were forced to sit in the rear of the club. (The last Jim Crow laws in the States weren’t overturned until 1965.) Roberts provided a nonsegregated venue for black entertainers, with a classy ambience—and beginning in 1960, when he opened the first of his six motels nearby, he also gave them a place to stay. First-class hotels often refused black guests, and previously Roberts often had to put up his performers in houses or apartments.

Go read the whole thing, as the kids say.