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The Gaston County Public Library is host to Frederick Douglass From Slavery to Freedom: The Journey to New York City, a national touring exhibition depicting Douglass' escape from slavery and campaign for emancipation. The exhibition will be at the Library through January 31. The library is open seven days a week. Call 704-868-2164 for hours and info. (Vespa)

When rock & roll sprang forth from the pelvis of Elvis and conquered the globe, songwriters Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller fueled the conquest. Smokey Joe's Cafe brings back the irresistible rock, pop and R&B classics of Leiber & Stoller for two high-octane nights at Belk Theater. The dynamic duo wrote "Hound Dog," the hip-swiveling outrage that started it all. They followed up with such doo-wop standards as "On Broadway," "Poison Ivy," "Stand by Me," "Love Potion #9," "Charlie Brown" and "There Goes My Baby." They also lit the fuse that exploded into "Fever," "Jailhouse Rock" and "Kansas City" -- all sizzling chart-toppers. Hot tickets for the rapidfire revue, presented tonight and tomorrow night, are $25-$48. Call 704-372-1000. (Tannenbaum)

As of presstime, the Charlotte Checkers were maintaining their lead in the American Conference's East Division. They return to the ice at Cricket Arena tonight to take on the Columbia Inferno, and they're back at Cricket on Saturday skating against the Florida Everblades. Both games are at 7pm, and tickets, priced from $9 to $20, are available through Ticketmaster (704-522-6500 or, at, or at the Cricket Arena Box Office, open from 10am to 5pm. (Vespa)

Fridays are funky in Founders Hall at the Bank of America Corporate Center. The popular Funky Fridays music series continues in 2005, offering free lunchtime concerts for uptown workers, residents and visitors from 12noon to 2pm. Today's performer is guitarist/vocalist Pat Carpenter.

The Neighborhood Theatre will host an event called Local Musicians Unite to Fight Against Euthanasia tonight at 9pm. Featuring the musical stylings of Bellglide, Jason Scavone & The Noises 10, Black Market Radio and Jason Hausman, the show is an effort to help launch an advertising campaign aimed at educating the public on responsible pet ownership. All proceeds will benefit the CMPD Animal Control Bureau. General admission tickets are $10, with a compilation CD included with admission. Charge by phone at 704-358-9298. (Davis)

Riding the crest of their recent PBS exposure, Charlotte Philharmonic will alight at the Belk to greet the New Year. No clowns or chorines this time around as the CPO evokes the elegant ambience of the Vienna Phil in their Three Tenors of Charlotte soiree. Of course, gregarious Maestro Albert E. Moehring has no intention of abandoning the pops cravings of his loyal subscribers. Moehring and his cavalcade of guest artists will be serving up morsels of West Side Story from Broadway, snippets of gracious dance from the Charlotte City Ballet, and a waltz or three by Strauss. You'll also get piping hot wallows in famed Verdi, Puccini and Lehar arias from the trinity of tenors - plus "Somewhere In Time" from CPO's new CD. Tickets are $17.50-$35 with great views of big hair all evening. Call 704-846-2788. (Tannenbaum)

The multiple Grammy Award-winning Blind Boys of Alabama will bring their passionate brand of gospel soul to the Belk Theater at 7pm. Since the original Blind Boys of Alabama formed at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind all the way back in 1939, the group has undergone a few changes -- a few members do have their eyesight, and a couple weren't even born in 1939 -- but their soulful sound remains as stirring as ever. Tickets are $25-45, available by calling 704-372-1000 or by logging onto See this week's lead music story for more on the group. (Davis)

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  • On Saturday, Oct. 21, hundreds gathered at Camp North End on Statesville Avenue for Charlotte's first black alternative music festival. We captured some of the bands in action on stage, but mostly we surveyed the grounds as fans, families, vendors and more lounged around the sprawling, colorful Camp North End site. It was a great day of music, food, fun, and sweet, autumn sunshine. (Photos by Mark Kemp)
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