“That Night in Columbus”

Sonny Tate (1936-2003) was born in Opelika, Alabama and displayed musical talent at an early age. He could mimic Hank Williams and would stand on his father’s bar and entertain the patrons who were delighted with the youngster’s uncanny ability. Sonny would later go on to have something of a professional career as a country singer but never making it really big.

The events of this song took place in 1999 when Sonny Tate was 63 and living in Columbus, Georgia. A serious thunderstorm had hit the town leaving most of Columbus without power. That night, a local bar decided to go ahead and open up despite not having power: They put a case of beer on ice and set candles on each table, and Sonny entertained the regulars with his guitar until power was restored.

That Night in Columbus

Sonny had his guitar and was singing the blues
It really hit the spot for us
The power had gone out from a storm that passed through
That night in Columbus

They opened up that bar and let us in
Some beer was iced down in a wash tub
It sure felt good getting out and seeing friends
That night in Columbus

A lot of rain, oh boy, the wind sure did blow
But we were all right in that dark club
Listening as Sonny sang in the candle glow
That night in Columbus

It could have been worse, least nobody died
As it was the storm just hurt some stuff
We passed the time safe and dry inside
That night in Columbus

Bad weather comes and then it goes
Go ahead shake your fist and cuss
Made you feel a little better I suppose
That night in Columbus

Sonny’s packing up, his guitar’s in the case
The lights are on, but we ain’t in a rush
The storm turned that old bar into a sacred space
That night in Columbus

© 2020 Frank David Leone, Jr./Highway 80 Music (ASCAP). The songs and stories on the Highway 80 Stories website are works of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Published by

f. d. leone


7 thoughts on ““That Night in Columbus””

  1. My Aunt owns that bar her husband bought it back in the early 70s and now due to the pandemic has closed the Doors for good
    I’m sure gonna miss Pop a Top


    1. Thank you for your comment. I am sorry to hear that the Pop-a-Top closed because of the shutdown, it is my opinion that governors are abusing their authority.


  2. Had a lot of good times there good memories I’m sure gonna miss seeing it gone love all yall


  3. I grew up in that place and that was a place I had to go and get away and I’m sure going to miss it.
    love always to the pop a top


  4. It was the first bar I visited in Columbus when I moved there. I’ll miss that little hole in wall bar! God Bless the Pates!


  5. Dear Mrs Pate, Vickie and Nickey-
    I am sad to hear that Pop A Top has closed it’s doors for good. My daddy, Billy Bennett was a regular for many years. He will be disappointed when I tell him. He still remains in stable but bad health. The brain injury brought on moderate onset dementia. It breaks my heart. Thank you all for being such good friends to my daddy. He still has good memories and speaks of his Pop A Top friends often. ~Kim


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