Taj Mahal Street Naming Raises Community Ire

Plans to rename a Springfield, Mass., city street in honor of blues musician and former resident Taj Mahal have run into a dead end. Following objections from people who live on Monroe Street, city co

Plans to rename a Springfield, Mass., city street in honor of blues musician and former resident Taj Mahal have run into a dead end. Following objections from people who live on Monroe Street, city councilors on Monday night decided instead to add a plaque to the street instead of changing its name to Taj Mahal Way.

The residents said they didn't want to go through the inconvenience of having to change their mailing addresses to accommodate the name change.

"I think it's a good balance," council President Angelo Puppolo Jr. said. "It's a tribute to Taj Mahal while keeping Monroe Street as Monroe Street. I think both sides were happy"

Taj Mahal, who spent part of his childhood on Monroe Street when his name was still Henry Fredericks, lived in Springfield for 23 years. The artist, who has won two Grammy awards, saw "Taj Mahal - Autobiography of a Bluesman" published earlier this month by Sanctuary. He will perform Sept. 22 at the Monterey Jazz Festival in Monterey, Calif.


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