Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Blues Places: Memphis

The blues is not just people, it is stating the obvious to say that this music is made by people for people, but the blues is also about places. From the old bluesmen and women of the prewar years to the young college kids of the sixties who fueled the revival, people made it happen and are what we think about when talking about the blues. But it could also be argued that the blues is as much about places as it is about people. I think because people make places and they also make music, they create places that focus the music and give it a foundation, one such places for the blues is Memphis, TN.

Author David L. Cohn, wrote in his book "Where I Was Born and Raised," "The Mississippi Delta begins in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel in Memphis." That sounds right to me, when I look at a map it is obvious that Memphis is one of the great places of the blues. And that its influence stretches all the way down to the gulf of Mexico.

Here are a few of my favorite links that give information and history about the good city of Memphis;

The National Parks Service: Trail of the Hellhound Memphis site.

This page has some delightful photos and background information on the following Memphis blues sites.

Beale Street
Peabody Hotel
Orpheum Theater
706 Union Avenue the birthplace Sun Records.
W.C. Handy house.
W.C. Handy Park.

The National Parks Service: Memphis School History.

The above link is a detailed and interesting history of the Memphis blues scene and it goes a long way in describing how blues became the important blues center that it is.

a few other of my Memphis favorite links;
Memphis Official City Government Website
Memphis @ wikipedia.
Memphis Minnie @ wikipedia
Memphis Slim @ wikipedia
Stax Museum of American Soul Music

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