Music and history come together at events coming up in the area.
The musical heritage coming out of Richmond during and after World War II will be the topic of a free program at 2 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park Visitor Center, 1414 Harbour Way South in Richmond.
"Richmond Blues, Gospel & Soul: 1940s-1970s" with veteran Bay Area music journalist Lee Hildebrand is the first in a series of monthly talks at the center.
The blues and gospel music scene in Richmond grew out of the migration of African Americans to the area during the war.
Venues included the Club Savoy, Tapper's Inn, Minnie Lue's, the Mekesmo, and Tommy's 250. Performers who started or played in the area included nationally known talents such as Joe Simon and Lowell Fulson, and regional starts such as Jimmy McCracklin, Roy Hawkins, Willie B. Huff, Little Joe Blue, the Golden West Gospel Singers, the Jackson Brothers, Dorothy Morrison, Jesse James, the Two Things in One, and YBS.
Hildebrand, who has been writing about Bay Area music -- and coming to Richmond to see it -- for more than 45 years, will discuss and play some samples of the many talents.
For details about and directions to the visitors center visit www.nps.gov/rori.
Beamen has been a finalist on TV's "America's Got Talent" and his vocal talents have been compared to Robeson's.
The group has been making a name for itself with two albums, a video on the Disney Channel, and a headline appearance at the California State Fair.
WEST COUNTY NOTES: San Francisco Beer Week extends outside the city to the East Bay and includes the fourth annual Chocolate and Beer Festival from noon to 6 p.m. Feb. 16 at the Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way South in Richmond. Elevation 66 Brewery in El Cerrito will be pouring its chocolate coconut stout at the event in the historic Craneway.
Admission to the family event includes product samplings, live entertainment, and prizes for adults. Children -- admission is free for ages 11 and under with a paying adult -- can have fun at the Kids Zone, which will have a bounce house, arts and crafts, and a face painter.
There will also be a free shuttle to and from the Richmond BART station.
For details and tickets visit www.chocolateandbeerfest.com.