Historian, author Dr. Bob Beatty to speak for Mercer’s Laurie Byington Lecture

Dr. Bob Beatty is shown with a mountain in the background.
Dr. Bob Beatty. Photo courtesy Dr. Bob Beatty

MACON – Mercer University’s Spencer B. King Jr. Center for Southern Studies will welcome public historian, author and musician Dr. Bob Beatty on Feb. 1 for the fifth Laurie Byington Lecture on the Contemporary South.

Dr. Beatty’s lecture, “Play All Night: Lessons from Duane Allman’s Journey to Fillmore East,” is free and open to the public and will take place at 6 p.m. in the Presidents Dining Room inside the University Center on the Macon campus.

“We are grateful to bring Dr. Bob Beatty to Macon and Mercer to discuss both his love of all things Duane Allman and the Allman Brothers Band but also his keen insight into how the band’s musical influences move throughout the region,” said Dr. Doug Thompson, professor of history and director of the King Center. “From blues to rock, musicians borrow from one another across all genres to create a music collectively understood as Southern music.” 

The cover of "Play All Night" by Dr. Bob Beatty shows Duane Allman playing the guitar.
The cover of “Play All Night” by Dr. Bob Beatty. Photo used for book cover by W. Robert Johnson

Dr. Beatty spent more than 25 years working in nonprofits and museums in senior leadership roles before founding The Lyndhurst Group, a history, museum and nonprofit consulting firm, in 2016. He strives to strengthen community through sustainable public humanities organizations and bring people together through conversation.

His love for history and music have resulted in several published works, most recently Play All Night! Duane Allman and the Journey to Fillmore East, in fall 2022. The book examines the motivations and musical background of the Allman Brothers Band founder and the making of the iconic 1971 rock album At Fillmore East.

He is also the author of Florida’s Highwaymen: Legendary Landscapes (2006), editor of An AASLH Guide to Making Public History (2017) and co-editor of Zen and the Art of Local History (2014), in addition to writing several other book chapters and journal articles.

Dr. Beatty holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and a master’s degree in history from the University of Central Florida and a Ph.D. in public history from Middle Tennessee State University. He is currently a lecturer at Johns Hopkins University and Rutgers University-Newark.

The Laurie Byington Lecture Series promotes an examination of the contemporary American South. Madge T. Byington established the series to honor her daughter, a 1992 graduate of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and former member of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Alumni Board of Directors, and to assist the University in bringing a distinguished expert, or recognized leader in his/her field or discipline, to the Macon campus to give an annual lecture.

The lectures and other activities of the King Center are supported by funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

About the Spencer B. King Jr. Center for Southern Studies

The Spencer B. King Jr. Center for Southern Studies fosters critical discussions about the many meanings of the South. As the only center for Southern studies in the United States dedicated to the education and enrichment of undergraduate students, the Center’s primary purpose is to examine the region’s complex history and culture through courses, conversations and events that are open, honest and accessible. For more information, visit kingcenter.mercer.edu.

About the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Mercer University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences serves as the academic cornerstone of one of America’s oldest and most distinctive institutions of higher learning. The oldest and largest of Mercer’s 12 schools and colleges, it is a diverse and vibrant community, enrolling more than 1,900 students, dedicated to learning and service through the practice of intellectual curiosity, respectful dialogue and responsible citizenry. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers majors in more than 30 areas of study, including more than a dozen pre-professional academic tracks, with classes taught by an outstanding faculty of scholars. In 2015, Mercer was awarded a chapter of The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society that recognizes exceptional achievement in the arts and sciences. For more information, visit liberalarts.mercer.edu.

About Mercer University

Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. With approximately 9,000 students enrolled in 12 schools and colleges, on major campuses in Macon and Atlanta; medical school sites in Macon, Savannah and Columbus; and at regional academic centers in Henry and Douglas counties, Mercer is ranked among the top tier of national research universities by U.S. News & World Report. The Mercer Health Sciences Center includes the University’s School of Medicine and Colleges of Nursing, Health Professions and Pharmacy. Mercer is affiliated with five teaching hospitals – Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center and Piedmont Macon Medical Center in Macon; Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah; and Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital and St. Francis-Emory Healthcare in Columbus. The University also has an educational partnership with Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins. It operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon, an engineering research center in Warner Robins, and Mercer Medicine clinics in Sumter, Peach, Clay and Putnam counties. Mercer is one of only 293 institutions nationwide to shelter a chapter of The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s most prestigious academic honor society; one of eight institutions to hold membership in the Georgia Research Alliance; and the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit mercer.edu.