When Natchitoches musical group Johnny Earthquake and the Moondogs returns to perform at The Pensacola Beach’s popular “Bands on the Beach” concert series on July 5, they plan to not only entertain the crowd, but educate them as well…..about their hometown.
“We’re proud to be from Natchitoches and wherever we go we spread the word about our town and about NSU.” said band leader Rodney Harrington. “We invite them to come and visit and teach them how to say Natchitoches. We figure in the past four years we’ve played for 15-20,000 people in Florida alone and every one of them heard about Natchitoches and Northwestern. We made sure of that.”
Buck Lee, executive director of the Santa Rosa Island Authority says the people in the area have embraced the group and looks forward to their concert every summer. “They are our favorite group.” he said. “Everyone wants to know when ‘that Louisiana group’ is coming back. They put on a great show and draw the largest crowds of the summer.”
Lee laughed when asked about The Moondogs’ promotion of their hometown. “Oh, they definitely go into their ‘Chamber of Commerce’ mode.” he said. “They are sure to tell everyone where they are from and invite them to visit.”
Lee said the concert MC mistakinly introduced them as being from New Orleans a couple of years ago. “They told the crowd: ‘We ain’t from New Orleans! We’re from Natchitoches and damn proud of it!’ Then they taught the crowd how to say it. The crowd absolutely loved it.”
This year they’re bringing Natchitoches themed goodies to toss to the crowd, courtesy of the Natchitoches Tourist Commission. Now audience members will have a souvenir to take home and remind them that they need to visit the oldest city in the Louisiana Purchase.