Mayo's And Mahalia JacksonMonday, January 21, 2013
In Nashville, there's a yellow-painted shoebox of a building with this on the front, facing the street:
Well, how can you *not* stop for some of *that*??
They had me at the universal symbol for fried pie, up there not once, twice, but three times.
And then you get to wondering what does sweet Mahalia Jackon have to do with fried pies and chicken? Well, in the '60s a whole chain of restaurants opened up selling Mahalia Jackson's Glori-Fried Chicken ('It’s Gloree-Fried, and that’s the Gospel Truth'). They put her image on the packaging, the way the Colonel and Minnie Pearl (whose chicken was, according to the package... 'How-dee-licious') were for their respective franchises.
Most things are cooked here, right out front...
When the first two Mahalia Jackson Fried Chicken restaurants opened in Memphis, in 1968, the paper mentioned that 'several Southern Christian Leadership Conference officials took time out of their annual meeting to congratulate Miss Jackson and participate in the festivities' -- Ralph Abernathy and Rev Fred Shuttlesworth among them.
They were out of fried pies (!!) and I don't remember if we were going to have to wait too long on the chicken or what was going on but we got a whiting sandwich...very good:
Joe York did a little film on Mayo and his fried pies: