Goin’ Back to Memphis: A Century of Blues, Rock n’ Roll, and Glo

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

by James Dickerson

Simon & Schuster

This 257-pager chronicles the Memphis music scene from the turn of the last century through the mid-1990’s. From the origins of Beale Street and the Blues Era through the ’30s , to the slow period (locally) of the Big Band ’40s, this book gives a good explanation of the background of how Memphis, long the murder capital of the U.S. (you could buy cocaine under the counter in stores anywhere near Beale, and prostitution was rampant), reached it’s zenith in the late ’50s (with Sun, especially) and through the ’60s (with Stax, especially, but also the Hi and American labels).

The ’70s saw Stax’s devolution into gangsterism, gunplay and drugs. Although the ’80s are presented as a “Renaissance,” mostly such was based on the “Class of ’55” reunion recording and out-of-town bands (ZZ Top, Survivor, U2, REM) recording in Memphis. Contributing to this characterization is the author’s personal involvement (foolishly or courageously, he quit his newspaper job to start a failed music rag and record label) in the local scene. The resultant shift to the first person in the narrative is the only downside to the book. With lotsa cool b/w photos.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • The Reading Room
    The Reading Room

    Today’s episode features author Anna-Marie O’Brien talking about her book Adventures of a Metalhead Librarian: A Rock N’ Roll Memoir with Ink 19’s Rose Petralia.

  • Bush Tetras
    Bush Tetras

    Rhythm and Paranoia (Wharf Cat). Review by Scott Adams.

  • Tom Tom Club
    Tom Tom Club

    The Good The Bad and the Funky (Nacional). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Barnes & Barnes
    Barnes & Barnes

    Pancake Dream (Demented Punk Records). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Jeremiah Lockwood
    Jeremiah Lockwood

    A Great Miracle: Jeremiah Lockwood’s Guitar Soli Chanukah Album (Reboot). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Metallica: The $24.95 Book
    Metallica: The $24.95 Book

    From an underground band that pioneered the thrash metal sound, to arguably the biggest rock act in the new millennium, Metallica has had a long and tumultuous history. Ben Apatoff scours a myriad of sources to catalog this history in his new book.

  • Araceli Lemos
    Araceli Lemos

    Shortly after AFI Fest 2021 wrapped, Generoso spoke at length with director, Araceli Lemos about her award-winning and potent feature debut, Holy Emy. Lemos’s film uses elements of body horror in her story about the exoticization of two Filipina sisters living in Greece and how that exploitation creates a distance between them.

  • Southern Accents 55
    Southern Accents 55

    A woofin’ good time with cuts from Hank Williams, Muddy Waters, Delta Moon and more from KMRD 96.9, Madrid, New Mexico!

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

    Absurdism with a healthy dose of air conditioning.

  • Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist
    Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist

    Like pre-teens throwing every liquid into the kitchen blender and daring each other to drink the results, Woody and Jeremy fuse all manner of sounds legitimate and profane into some murky concoction that tastes surprisingly good.

From the Archives