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Weekly concert adopts holiday flair

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Milton Bullock, center, is joined by friends as he performs during the 'Singing Along with Milton for Christmas' event Wednesday at the Helen P. Gay Rocky Mount Historic Train Station.

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BY AMELIA HARPER
Staff Writer

Thursday, December 21, 2017

The Helen P. Gay Rocky Mount Historic Train Station resounded Wednesday with the mellow tones of Milton Bullock as the Twin County Hall of Fame Museum hosted a special Christmas edition of the weekly “Sing Along with Milton:”

The train station was nearly full with patrons of the museum, participants in the musical adventure and passengers awaiting journeys to Christmas destinations.

Rocky Mount native Kaniya Jamison, 17, was at the train station Wednesday waiting for her first train trip to New York state for the holidays. Jamison said she was surprised to see that Milton Bullock was performing at the train station with other local residents.

“I never knew this was going on here,” Jamison, a student at Nash-Rocky Mount Early College High School, said. “But I love music and I especially like “The Temptations,” so I think this music is great.”

Bullock, a former member of the famed “The Platters” vocal group, is now 77. However, he appears at the train station each week from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to revive old favorites and invite area residents to perform with him in the acoustically-rich historic venue.

“This is wonderful entertainment,” said Mae Parker, curator of the Twin County Hall of Fame Museum that resides in the train station. “It draws in people from all parts of the state and presents a different dimension of the spirit of Rocky Mount.”

Parker said she especially likes organizing bus tours of Rocky Mount tied into Bullock’s performances.

“If people call me at 252-904-6844, we can organize a bus tour that allow people to hear Milton Bullock sing, then they can tour some of the historic sites in the city, have a nice lunch and return to the train station to hear Mr. Bullock sing again before they head home,” Parker said.

Jewell Ray, who taught in Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools before her retirement, sang a solo version of “My Grown-Up Christmas List” as things were winding down at the train station on Wednesday. Ray waxed eloquent about the effect of this weekly opportunity to bask in the sounds of the past each week.

“I come here because I am a fan of this music and of big band music,” Ray said. “The music is so real and it says so much. It is all about love.”

Ray said she is also a fan of the soothing sounds that echo throughout the train station on Wednesdays.

“This place is like a hello and a smile when you have not had one for a while,” Ray said.

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