the memphis sound

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
7:22 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Four Fabs Honor One Rockin' Cat

Worlds collided in 1965 when the Beatles, on tour in the states, had a meeting with Elvis Presley in LA. But other than memories and conflicting stories about what did and didn’t occur…

John Lennon: “We all plugged in what was ever around and we all played and sang.”

George Harrison: “I never jammed with Elvis at all.”

Paul McCartney: “No.”

…no tangible record of the event exists; no pictures, no film, no tape. The moment which held so much potential was logged as a disappointment in the journals of both camps.

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Mid-South Features
7:35 am
Tue April 17, 2012

20-75 And Other Label Fables

If you’re one of those who has to find organization in the midst of chaos, you could divide the history of Hi Records into roughly three parts, defined by three artists. The first would be marked by the instrumental hits, primarily recorded by either the Bill Black Combo or Ace Cannon. The third, and most commercially successful period, was the run of hits by Al Green in the early 70’s. But in between, the man who bridged those dissimilar chapters would step out from behind the board to the other side of the glass, and be the star on his share of hits from the 60’s.

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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 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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