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
6:24 am
Tue February 28, 2012

By The Way, There's This Guy In The Band Who Sings...

You could probably fill the Mid-South Coliseum with the folks who say they saw Jimi Hendrix play the Ellis Auditorium in April, 1969. The spectacle of the left-handed guitarist who played an upside-down right-handed guitar did not disappoint the folks who plunked down their 3, 4, 5, or 6 dollars for a seat in one of the two

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The Memphis Sound
7:35 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Elvis Meets Kurt For Kicks In Seattle

Elvis Presley spent September of 1962 in Seattle, working on his 12th movie, It Happened At The World’s Fair. Probably the most memorable scene from this movie involved Presley’s character bribing a kid to kick him in the shins.

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The Memphis Sound
7:35 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Gus Cannon Rocks The Sixties In His Seventies

Folk music enjoyed a revival of sorts in the mid 20th century.  Springing from the Greenwich Village epicenter of the movement in the late 40‘s, The Weavers were among the first to gain acclaim by making socially conscious statements with their original compositions, and breathing new life into older songs from diverse sources. 

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The Memphis Sound
7:35 am
Tue February 7, 2012

From The Pen Of Presley

There’s an old adage that runs through the thread of rock-and-roll lore. Whatever feat of fame or infamy some latter day rock star performs, someone will trot out the maxim “Elvis did it first, did it best, and looked better doing it!” But for all the firsts and ‘greatests‘, it actually took Elvis a while to finally do something many artists who followed took for granted. It took Presley almost seven years to get around to recording a song he actually wrote. There were two of them.

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The Memphis Sound
7:35 am
Tue January 31, 2012

The Sound That Left Stax Speechless

From early on Memphis musicians have had no problem making a statement without the encumbrance of words. As a young  man, W.C. Handy found music in the wordless sounds of the tapping of shovels, as his co-workers wove complicated rhythms to pass the time on the shovel brigade at a Florence, Alabama iron furnace. His musical genius allowed him to distil the sounds he discovered while touring the rural south. The essence he extracted enabled Handy to refine the music he described as “not really annoying or unpleasant…” but “perhaps haunting,” into a palatable form which found appeal to new audiences. If not the actual birth of the blues, it was at least the assignment of a birth certificate.

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