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?

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CAPITOL HILL CONVERSATION
7:30 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Capitol Hill Conversation: Tenn Legislators Propose New State Book, Firearm

After a week of sleet and snow in Nashville, legislators get back to work discussing new bills. Nashville Public Radio's Emil Moffatt and Chas Sisk review a few of them.

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AT THE MOVIES
1:43 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Oscar Talk with John Beifuss

Commercial Appeal film critic John Beifuss talked with us about Sunday's Academy Awards, along with the debate around films "Selma" and "American Sniper."

Beifuss predicts a best picture showdown between "Boyhood" and "Birdman." 

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LOVE
9:30 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Cupid's Work Is Serious Business

At Dinstuhl's, 50,000 strawberries will be transformed into chocolate covered confections, sold this weekend.
Credit Christopher Blank

A box of chocolates, a nice dinner: Valentine's Day wouldn't be the same without the people who make the chocolates and the dinners.

  

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CULTURE DESK
6:30 am
Thu February 12, 2015

In Praise of the Memphis Radio Personality

Memphis radio personality Zeke Logan passed away Feb. 10, 2015, after a short battle with aggressive cancer.

Memphis radio and television veteran Tom Prestigiacomo pays homage to the people on the Memphis airwaves, and to one special voice we lost this week.

Zeke Logan, whose real name was David Millar, was one-half of the long-time morning radio show Drake and Zeke on 98.1 The Max. His down-to-earth sense of humor was a drive-time staple for many local listeners.

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MUSIC
7:30 am
Wed February 4, 2015

"Uptown Funk" Is Memphis' first No. 1 in Nearly 40 Years

Singer Bruno Mars spent three days recording with engineer and producer Boo Mitchell at Royal Studios.
Credit Royal Studios

It's been decades since a locally recorded song has topped Billboard. Royal Studios' "Uptown Funk" fixes that.

  

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