Christopher Blank

News Director

It all started with ghost stories. Dad convinced me that spirits lurked just outside my bedroom door at night. After years of night terrors, I began listening to LPs of spooky tales, memorizing them and acting them out around campfires on those balmy winter nights in South Florida. In this way, other children would suffer as I had.
 
Naturally, this dramatic flair evolved into a prestigious four-year engagement on the high school drama circuit where my mother’s rapturous reviews provoked standing ovations also from my mother.
 
One day, while working part time as a copy clerk at the St. Petersburg Times, an editor asked me why my hair was dyed bright orange. I explained that it was because I was “an actor.” Was my future decided out of pity? Out of concern for my mental health? I cannot read minds. However, the next thing that happened is that I was made a theater critic.
 
For more than a decade, The Commercial Appeal’s readers tolerated my opinions on everything from classical music to ballet. Even WKNO-FM let me create a little club for theatergoers.
 
When this fine radio station went looking for someone to tell stories of the “news” variety, I made the argument that Memphis is a city full of great stories; no other has a richer cultural narrative. The crossroads of America is a crucible of stories from all walks of life. Also, crossroads are known for ghosts and devils, and who doesn’t love those?
 
They totally bought the argument. So now, I’m looking for great stories. What’s yours?

Pages

BOOKS
7:30 am
Thu June 4, 2015

In the Pinch: Acclaimed Author Revisits Forgotten Memphis

Memphis' Pinch District holds special meaning for novelist Steve Stern, a professor living in upstate New York.


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MUSIC
10:38 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

A Closer Walk with Lucille

Rodd Bland carries B.B. King's famous guitar, Lucille, during the late bluesman's funeral procession on May 27
Credit Christopher Blank

Who was that stoic figure holding B.B. King's guitar in Wednesday's funeral procession down Beale?


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CULTURE DESK
7:30 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Richard Alley's "Stylish" Debut Novel

Memphis writer and editor Richard J. Alley's debut novel "Five Night Stand" has a stylish touch, says book critic Peggy Burch.


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MUSIC
4:45 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

B.B. King's Funeral Procession Draws Thousands to Beale Street

Lucille, King's faithful guitar, is at the front of the funeral procession on Beale Street that took place on May 27.
Credit Christopher Blank

Thousands gathered to bid farewell to the late bluesman who got his start in Memphis.


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MUSIC
7:30 am
Tue May 26, 2015

BB King's Original Sideman Remembers Early Days of Blues on Beale

Baritone saxophone player Floyd Newman points out himself in B.B. King's first touring band, the B.B. King Review.
Credit Christopher Blank

When B.B. King put together his first band, Floyd Newman was among his first hires.


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