Monday, November 2, 2015

More Memphis

Memphis is such a great town, not real big, a population a bit over 600,000, nor is it a rich city, but it is rich in musical history.  From the cotton fields and deltas of the south came people with music in their souls and they found their way to Memphis    Known as the city where rock and roll was born it lives up to its name.  This is where Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis got their start.  B. B. King, Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, Rufus Thomas and many other soul and blues started here too.  There is music everywhere with an emphasis on the blues.
The Smithsonian's Rock and Soul Museum has attempted to bring the roots of this music together in a collection that brings the musical history to life.  What an incredible place, we could have spent the day there and will probably be going back for another visit.
The first juke box where you could pick a song to hear and not just have to listen to what was coming up next.  You could play songs on each juke box in the place and of course I did.

Many of the early musicians came from poor share cropper families and found their way to the city looking for a better life.

No electricity in their cabins so most folks had battery powered radios, usually tuned to the Grand Ole Opry.  The battery was good for about 3 months, so Father strictly controlled what was listened to.

Many of the original neon signs from places in Memphis where the early musicians played.

Dulcimer from the Carter family considered one of the pioneers of Bluegrass music.  June Carter, Johnny Cash's wife was a member.

Minnie Pearl's dress, don't know where her hat is, but I can still hear her saying, "HOWDY".

A wind-up victrola, again, no electricity.

I owned records by many of these performers

First neon juke box

The DJ who first played Elvis's song, "That's All Right Mama" on the radio

Left to right: Sonny West,  one of Elvis'sguitarists guitar, Jerry Lee Lewis's shirt and Elvis's Army uniform


  1. What fun! So much musical history to enjoy. I loved Minnie Pearl's dress but I really think they should have had one of her hats! Those old juke boxes are great.

  2. Love your post, I loved visiting Memphis some years back, it was a great trip and a very interesting placexx

  3. It must be so interesting. Apparently, there's an Elvis exhibition on at the O2 at the moment, Priscilla Presley is appearing on lots of television programmes promoting it.

  4. You have me wanting to be there. So much of the music I listened to in the fifties and sixties.

  5. Fun stuff to see. I had to laugh 600,000 people is not too goodness:)

  6. Those jukeboxes would enthral me!


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