Top 5 Macon Key Holders
Does the key to the city open anything?
The short answer: No.
The long answer: Once upon a time, being offered with the key to the city served a purpose. “In ancient times, when it was common for European towns to be ringed by walls, visiting dignitaries were presented with a key to the city gate as a gesture of trust and kindness; these particular visitors could come and go as they pleased with the assumption that they wouldn't be returning with a militia to lay siege to the city.”
Today’s gesture of presenting keys is similar in sentiment if not function and is a great way for the city to say thanks and honor a person that has been significant in giving to the community.
1. Regina Belle
While in attendance for Macon’s Pan African Festival, Regina Belle was back in town for the first time since she last performed with the Manhattan’s over 30 years ago. Ms. Belle received her key from Bert Bivins on behalf of Mayor Robert Reichert.
2. Little Feat
Jack Ellis was elected Macon’s first black mayor amid high hopes he would bring the city together. During his 8 years in the Mayor’s office, C. Jack Ellis did a lot of things for Macon. One positive thing Ellis did? Ellis gave a key to the City of Macon to one of the hardest working American rock bands in show business, Little Feat.
3. Alan Jackson
Jackson was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2001 and then in 2004, a five-mile stretch of Interstate 85 through Jackson's hometown of Newnan was renamed the "Alan Jackson Highway" in the singer's honor. In 2011, Country music superstar Alan Jackson received a key to Macon by current Mayor Robert Reichert.
4. Eddie Levert
BET Lifetime Achievement Recipient and lead vocalist of the R&B/Soul group The O’Jays earned his key to the city of Macon in 2012. Levert received his key in 2012 from Mayor Robert Reichert.
5. Zelma Redding
Ms. Zelma Redding was presented a key to the city of Macon following the conclusion of "Dreams to Remember: The Legacy of Otis Redding" and it was accepted on her behalf by her daughter Karla-Redding Andrews from Mayor Reichert.