Rob Grayson

Host - Morning Edition

My heroes have always been disc jockeys. I especially admired the ones who could take the canvas of the fourteen-second intro of a teeny-bopper song and paint a masterpiece.  From my youth, I strove to emulate them.  I had the good fortune to walk in some of their footsteps, albeit a respectful pace behind. 

The Mississippi Delta in the 70's was a great place to begin a career in radio.  My first after-school job was doing the afternoon shift at an easy-listening FM in my hometown of Greenville at age 14. 

George Klein brought me to Memphis, and WHBQ, in 1976.  Most of the ensuing time has been spent in the general Memphis radio community, and producing and engineering at Wilkerson Sound Studios. 

I landed on the WKNO doorstep in 2001, and am tickled that they continue to let me show up here every morning. 

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THE MEMPHIS SOUND
7:12 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Otis Wows 'Em Out West

Otis Redding

What do the records “California Dreaming” and “The Rain the Park and Other Things” have in common? Besides being the first big hits for their respective bands, The Mamas & the Papas and The Cowsills, they generated lots of money for songwriters, John Phillips and Artie Kornfeld. Those songwriters would eventually fund two of the major rock music festivals of the 1960s: Monterey Pop and Woodstock.

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The Memphis Sound
11:46 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Aretha Gets Her Propers

Aretha Franklin and Jerry Wexler

Reverend C. L. Franklin was no stranger to the recording business.  In fact, he was a pioneer in using broadcast and recorded media to expand the reach of his pulpit out into the world. His daughter, Aretha, was also no stranger to the business of recording as she grew up.  Born in Memphis, she followed as her father’s gifts and calling moved the family from New Salem Baptist Church, first to Friendship Baptist in Buffalo, New York, then to New Bethel Baptist in Detroit.

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The Memphis Sound
7:42 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Muscling In On The Memphis Sound

Highway 72 begins in the east in Chattanooga, runs through Alabama and Mississippi before reaching its western terminus in Memphis.  In fact, it is the only US highway to have both termini in the same state but pass through other states in between the end points.

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The Memphis Sound
8:47 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Elvis Rallied By The Reeds in 1967

We remember 1967 as a year which brought us “Lucy In The Sky (With Diamonds)” as well as “Judy In Disguise With Glasses.” But it was also the year Elvis Presley’s recording career began to wake from a deep slumber.


To get a perspective on Presley’s music in 1967, you have to go back to sessions in 1966 and 1961. His music career was still being driven by his movie commitments, and still being hamstrung by his management’s insistence on exclusively cutting songs owned by their publishing company.

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The Memphis Sound
6:50 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Convertible Devilles Box Their Way To The Top

Over the course of time, Ronnie And The Devilles had two Ronnies and two Jordans.  Eventually they would become the first band to cut a record in Memphis which hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100, but by that time there were no Ronnies, no Jordans, and they weren’t the Devilles any more. 

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