Goin' Back to Memphis: A Century of Blues, Rock 'n' Roll, and Glorious Soul

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9780028645063: Goin' Back to Memphis: A Century of Blues, Rock 'n' Roll, and Glorious Soul

Written by a practicing musician, Goin' Back to Memphis is the first comprehensive history of Memphis musicmaking as it developed over the past 100 years, told in the words of the performers, record producers, and composers themselves. 75 photos.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Musical Memphis defined the blues, rechanneled it into rhythm and blues, invented rock and roll, then bastardized it into pop. This infectious blend of history, anecdote, reportage and gossip begins with wild, woolly, turn-of-the-century Beale Street, which attracted blues bandleader W.C. Handy. The 1920s Memphis music scene was dominated by bluesman Walter "Furry" Lewis, fiery ex-prostitute Memphis Minnie (Lizzie Douglas) and "Fiddling Abe" Fortas (who later became a Supreme Court Justice). The 1930s and '40s brought forth swing arranger Jimmie Lunceford and harmonica wizard Sonny Boy Williamson, but the narrative really gets going in 1950 when Elvis Presley, a 15-year-old from Mississippi, began hanging out on Beale Street, eventually recording hits with Sam Phillips's Sun Record. Otis Redding helped define soul in Memphis in the '60s. Dickerson, a freelance music journalist who has long covered the Memphis scene, seemingly drags in every artist who has recorded in Memphis, from Petula Clark to Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and ZZ Top. His engaging chronicle sizzles with the energies that transformed American music and popular culture. Photos.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Dickerson has written a loving, decade-by-decade profile of the town that gave us--besides Elvis--Carl Perkins, Booker T. and the MGs, Jerry Lee Lewis, Otis Redding, Roy Orbison, Isaac Hayes, and even the Box Tops, who with "The Letter" scored "the first No. 1 pop hit ever recorded in Memphis by Memphis artists." The story starts long before the modern pop era, when W. C. Handy, Memphis Minnie, Alberta Hunter, and other blues immortals made Memphis a musical hot spot early in this century. By the British invasion years, Memphis was the cradle of rock, and Memphis' studios and record labels loomed as large in pop legend as any city's. Besides noting the stars who passed through Memphis and their feats, Dickerson takes us into the back rooms with the movers and shakers on the business end of the music, spotlights the fabled Stax house band (better known as the Blues Brothers band), and traces the social history of Memphis, all in highly readable, highly recommended style. Mike Tribby

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