Wednesday, May 14, 2008


My debut novel, After The Dance, is set in Memphis, TN and contains a number of musical references. Even though most of the acts I reference in the book aren't Memphis-based ones, I thought it might be fun to compile a list groups, singers and musicians with ties to the Memphis area. Let me know which ones you already knew and which ones you didn't.

1) Al Green (Has long made Memphis his home and also pastors a church there.)

2) Aretha Franklin (Was born in Memphis. Her father, the late Reverand C.L. Franklin, earned his degree from an institution I once attended and where I met my hubby, LeMoyne-Owen College.)

3) The Bar-Kays (Started at Memphis' Porter Jr. High School and rose to fame on the old Stax recording label.)

4) B.B. King (Got his start performing on Beale Street and was once a DJ at Memphis' own WDIA.)

5) Bobby Blue Bland (Last I heard, he lived in Germantown, a suburb of Memphis.)

6) Earth, Wind and Fire (Group leader, Maurice White once called Memphis home and if I'm not mistaken, honed his musical chops at Memphis' Booker T. Washington High School.)

7) Elvis Presley (Lived and Recorded in Memphis. His South Memphis "Graceland" home is one of the city's biggest tourist attractions.)

8) Isaac Hayes (Long made Memphis his home and once performed on the old Stax label.)

9) Kirk Whalum (Grew up in Memphis and recently moved back to the city.)

10) Otis Redding (Performed on the old Stax label, a Memphis-based record company.)

11) Rufus Thomas (Long called Memphis home, recorded for Stax and was a DJ for Memphis' WDIA.)

12) Three 6 Mafia (As much as I hate to say it, this group is a Memphis product)

13) The Sylvers (All of the big afro-wearing members of this group were born in Memphis and got their start there before they moved to Cali.)

Did you find any surprises on this list? Can you name any other musical artists with ties to Memphis, TN?

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pussreboots said...

No surprises but I can't think of anyone else. Happy TT.

pjazzypar said...

I knew about all of these except the Sylvers. You learn something new everyday. Some of the original Bar-Kays were in the plane with Otis Redding. I loved me some Rufus Thomas. He used to be referred to as "The oldest teenager in the world". Great list, full of wonderful memories.

Chelle Y. said...

The only one I knew was Elvis, but who does not know him? :)

SandyCarlson said...

All stand-up musicians there! I don't know of any others.

On a limb with Claudia said...

Gosh what great great music! I can't think of anyone else, but I don't really know that area of the country. Sorry!

Happy TT!

Colleen said...

Those are some great acts. Tough ones to follow too! Happy TT!

Malcolm said...

I knew that all of them had Memphis ties except for the last two. Another act with ties to Memphis is the Box Tops. They had a string of hits in the late 60s (The Letter, Cry Like A Baby, and Soul Deep just to name a few).

Lori said...

Cool list...great info and tributes:) Happy TT.

kay said...

Great list--a city full of talent!

the donG said...

i personally like earth wind and fire.

anthonynorth said...

A roll call of brilliance there, certainly.

Hootin' Anni said...

Excellent, informative list. Your last question...nope can't think....too early.

My 13 this week is misnomers, can you think of any to add? Come by if you can.

She Became a Butterfly said...

i was just listening to "Think" by Aretha this morning!

Sandy M said...

Lots of talent from that list. Happy TT.

B Boys Mom said...

A great list with a lot of talent on it from one place. Happy TT

shelia said...

I saw a lot of surprises on the list. I used to love The Sylvers.

Jewell said...

In addition to your fabulous list, you could do a list others 13 just from Stax!
Booker T. & the MGs - Green Onions
Johnnie Taylor - Who's Making Love
Little Milton - You Don't Miss Your Water
Carla Thomas - B A B Y!
Wm Bell - I Forgot to Be Your Lover
Staple Singers - Respect Yourself
Sam & Dave - Soul Man
Shirley Brown - Woman to Woman
Jean Knight - Mr. Big Stuff
Mable John - Your Good Thing (Is About to Come to an End)
Soul Children - I'll Be the Other Woman
Eddie Floyd - Knock on Wood
Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign
Ann Peebles - I Can't Stop the Rain

PLUS David Porter who along with Isaac Hayes wrote so many of those Stax hits.

Then ....over at Willie Mitchell's Hi Records there's Syl Johnson - Take Me to the River & all of the other hits the Hodges' brothers penned!

MEMPHIS - the Mecca for marvelous music!

Geekymom said...

What a good idea for a TT list.

Denise Patrick said...

I don't know who 5, 9, and 12 are, but the rest I'm very familiar with and could probably find something by each one in my music collection.

Happy TT!

Lori said...

Hey All,
Ordinarily, I don't comment on my own Thursday 13. But since Jewell did such a wonderful job on her own list, I had to step forward and say, "way to go." (smile).

By the way, those Stax songs Jewell listed can be found on a couple of cds entitled "Top of the Stax: Twenty Greatest Hits" Vols. I & II.

Memphis, the mecca for marvelous music, INDEED! (smile)

T.C. said...

i wasn't really surprised either...actually i take that back i didn't know about al gree...and i should