The Orange Peel announces new historical exhibit and venue tours

Press release from The Orange Peel:

The Orange Peel, the Southeast’s preeminent live music venue which opened its doors
in 2002, will debut a new permanent exhibit in its front gallery space on Biltmore Avenue
Wednesday, June 26. The exhibit tells the history of the building from its construction to present-day,
including the highlights of the modern Orange Peel, and will also cover the story of some of the previous
tenants of the building, such as the Jade Club and the historic funk and soul club, the original Orange
Peel, which operated in the space during the late 1970s, and featured iconic acts like the Commodores
with Lionel Richie, the Chi-Lites, and the Bar-Kays.

The venue is also launching free tours to the public Wednesdays through Fridays, twice a day when show
schedules permit, allowing visitors to access behind-the-scenes spaces in the historic music club, while
learning more about some of the Orange Peel’s biggest shows past and present. Tours will end in the
new history exhibit area, allowing guests to go at their own pace viewing the historical concert
memorabilia, photos, newspaper articles, and firsthand accounts that are featured.
“Researching the building’s downtown history has been such an interesting experience,” said the club’s
assistant marketing manager, Robb McAdams, who worked with a team of other Orange Peel managers
to complete the project.

“We found so many interesting photos and articles while working through the historic records we found,”
says McAdams.

“A highlight for us, has been meeting with many of the important local musicians and participants in the
Asheville music scene from back in the era of the original Orange Peel and the Jade Club, such as James
(Omar) Brown, Michael Miller, Sammy Bowman and J.C. Martin. These guys were members of bands
like Bite-Chew & Spit, the Royal Primes, and The Innersouls, which were huge at the time and played
this building frequently. We also got to meet Mr. Jim Robinson, who founded Asheville’s first black radio
station, WBMU, which used the original Orange Peel deejay booth as a training ground and development
space for their on-air deejays. It has been such an honor to interview these gentlemen and include their
stories in what we are producing for the mini-museum; they were incredibly generous to share their
memories with us.”

The history exhibit will cover the building from its initial construction as a rollerskating rink in 1946, to its
time as a soul and r&b club, to its empty days in the 1990s, through to its renaissance as the modern day
Orange Peel, which has hosted legendary artists of all genres in its 17 years in operation, including Bob
Dylan in 2004, the Smashing Pumpkins in 2007, Ms. Lauryn Hill as well as Ice Cube in 2011, and Dave
Grohl with Warren Haynes this past December 2018.

The exhibit space will be open for ticket holders to peruse during most show nights year-round, and also
during the day as part of the venue’s new free guided tours. Interested participants must sign up for tours
in advance here; each tour has limited spaces. For more information or exhibit previews, email the
Orange Peel’s marketing director Liz Whalen Tallent at

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