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
7:35 am
Tue December 20, 2011

Satellite Makes Tracks For McLemore

The next chapter of the story of the Memphis sound begins in what once was a storehouse in Brunswick, Tennessee, a small community straddling what used to be the L&N railroad out in northeastern Shelby County. Half a century ago, if you asked a local where Brunswick was, they would tell you “It’s eight miles from four-way,” and that answer would suffice. The answer to why anyone would put a recording studio out here, so far away from the general populace, has to do with price and space.

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The Memphis Sound
7:35 am
Tue December 13, 2011

It's Lonesome At The Top

In 1960, America was on the verge of exploring the new frontier, getting ready to pass the torch to a new generation. Who would imagine that two of the year’s biggest hit melodies would be written in 1898 and 1926? And, who would imagine that they would both be recorded in the same session?

 

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The Memphis Sound
7:35 am
Tue December 6, 2011

Roy Orbison Runs From Sun To Monumental Success

Memphis was the summit of success for many singers, and a jumping-off point for others.  Roy Orbison was born in Vernon, Texas, and grew up in Wink.  He went to North Texas State to study geology, but after seeing Elvis in concert in Dallas, it was another type of rock altogether that had his attention. He left behind the country and western swing direction of his first band, the Wink Westerners, and started another called the Teen Kings.  Johnny Cash shared a bill with that band, and suggested Roy contact Sam Phillips at Sun Records.

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The Memphis Sound
7:35 am
Tue November 29, 2011

Expatriate Memphians Make Nashville Sound Good

A couple of hundred miles can sometimes make all the difference in the world.  When you look at it, even among the members of the million dollar quartet, Elvis came from Tupelo, Jerry Lee Lewis from Ferriday, Carl Perkins from Jackson, and Johnny Cash from Dyess, Arkansas, to make it big in Memphis.  So it stands to reason some Memphians would find their place in the sun by moving on down the line.  Two transplants in particular helped shape and define Nashville’s Music City reputation.

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The Memphis Sound
7:35 am
Tue November 22, 2011

The Boxing Burnette Brothers Pack A Pop Punch

Many an arena was rocked by the strains of the song Aerosmith chose to close their shows, a tune with a long legacy known as “Train Kept-A-Rollin’.” Long before the first Aerosmith fans lit their Bics for an encore, the song was a staple of the hard rock scene.

It was the first song Led Zeppelin played when they formed in 1968.

Led Zeppelin formed, of course, from the remnants of blues-rock innovators The Yardbirds, who had their own go at the song in 1965.

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