In the 1930s American South, there was one spot that served as a haven. All were welcome to come and find the Lord as they walked into church on Sunday mornings. When the good and righteous built these houses of worship, however, they did ask guests to leave a few things at the door, namely: cussing, liquor, fast women, gambling and guns. And that was the part of the sermon to which Rooster just didn't pay attention. Welcome to Idlewild, Georgia. Welcome to Church. Players gather nightly at the Church, with childhood friends--who grew up on opposite sides of the tracks--Rooster and Percival playing two key roles at the club. Soft-spoken and reserved mortician Percival sees playing piano at the nightclub as welcome respite from the doldrums of working in his overbearing father's funeral home. One night in Church, Percival meets the latest celebrity to tour the South, the ethereal Angel. Percival falls head over heels in love with the ingénue and is faced with a choice: stay or leave his oppressive father behind and pursue his dreams of becoming a song-and-dance man in the big cities of which he's only dreamed. Church's manager, Rooster, is the son of a moonshine runner, a man who has grown into his flashy clothes and role as a wheeler-dealer--juggling both his suspicious wife, Zora, and a cast of characters who make their money off the place's illegal dealings. But Rooster's problems multiply after he witnesses a shooting that places Trumpy--one of the mob men--into control of the influx of liquor into his juke joint. While on the run from the mob, the good-hearted scoundrel realizes his life of petty crime is taking him nowhere and must now fight his way back to his family while his best friend Percy tries to escape the hold Idlewild has on him--and start a new life performing in a faraway city.