Special from Sherlene Shanklin, WHAS11 Television, ABC Affiliate
I used to use the number 445-2509 religiously. It belonged to the late Rev. Louis Coleman. To his close friends they used to call him “Buster”. I called him “Revy Rev”. If you knew him personally, you knew he was passionate about others especially when it came to civil rights. He had no problem telling you like it is.
I was his producer for his radio show “Coleman Speaks”. We both were new to the positions but we worked hard to make it a successful show. Coleman was so unpredictable that he kept me sharp and on my toes. Our show would start at 9 am on Saturdays and most days he got there just minutes before the show started. Some days he would cut it so close, I would say to myself “You better go grab a newspaper and get ready to talk about hot topics because he’s not going to make it.” He never let me down, it was actually comical looking back on it.
On several occasions, Coleman would hand me his phone and tell me “If it rings, answer it”. I found myself in disbelief some days when I answered his phone. I’ve spoken to Martin Luther King III, son of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr; Rev. Jesse Jackson sitting on the airport tarmac holding up the departure so he could talk to Coleman on the show and activist Dick Gregory.
If “Rev” was still alive, he would be travelling to other cities that’s made national headlines in in his purple van supporting other leaders like they supported him.
Former Courier Journal journalist Larry Muhammad decided to create a tribute for the civil rights leader. It’s fondly named Buster! A Gospel Musical. Gregory Rahming has some big shoes to fill. He will be Coleman. Sheryl Rouse will be Mattie Earl Mathis, Samina Raza is Anne Braden, Chauncey Arnold will be Willie Gray, Shane Dickerson as Rev. Bobby Burks and Ernie Adams will play Rev. George Edwards.
If you had to be around Coleman you would always see him with a clipboard, cell phone and his bull horn.
Muhammad will use that bull horn as a symbol of compassion and power by one of the most outspoken leaders of our time.
You can see Buster! At the Henry Clay Theatre at 604 S. Third Street. Opening night is Thursday, July 16th and it runs through the 26th. Tickets are $20 at the door and show time is at 7:30 pm. For additional information you can call 502-727-7972.
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