Category Memphis

Brother Robert’s Memphis


The memoir of growing up with bluesman Robert Johnson is a little closer to life thanks to your help. There’s a new reward to backers of the Brother Robert kickstarter campaign. In gratitude for your $15 donation you’ll receive a print of this original pen and ink drawing of the block where Johnson’s family lived, as the neighborhood appeared during his time. Taken from an archival photograph, the scene depicts a location that has as strong a claim as any to being the site of the true crossroads. You’ll have to wait for the book to learn the rest of that story. But thanks to you, it’s happening. The project really wouldn’t be possible without your help.

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Blues Hall of Fame


Here’s the second installment of the Blues Hall of Fame podcast series, a story about Alberta Hunter. She grew up listening to W.C. Handy perform live in Memphis, wrote the beautiful “Downhearted Blues,” and traveled the world, before disappearing from the biz for reasons explored here.

The great Guy Davis reads the script, produced by Beale Street Caravan. The shows feature a different inductee of the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis. The stories are not always 100% fact, not ever totally fiction, but a different way to get into the people and places that made the blues.

Enjoy, subscribe, stay tuned, and tell your friends.

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A Cheap Idea

Beale StreetBook ReviewsHistoryMemphis


Rex’s Billiards on Beale Street in 1939. Marion Post Wolcott.

William Faulkner and I have both written trashy books about Memphis. Here’s where they intersect: A Cheap Idea

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The Jerry Lee Lewis Ranch


The Lewis Ranch | 1595 Malone Rd |Nesbit, MS | (About 30 minutes south of Memphis)

jerrylee1When I pilgrimate to Jerry Lee Lewis’s home in Nesbit, Mississippi, I’m never sure whether I want The Killer to be home or not.  On one hand, it would be nice to know that I’m standing only a dozen yards from a rock icon. On the other, if he’s not home, I’m more likely to leave alive.

The Killer lives in an unremarkable red brick ranch house on a hilly, semi-rural road. This architectural feature seems to be the reason Lewis refers to his estate as “The Lewis Ranch.” (There are no branded cattle in sight.) It’s a house identical to the childhood home of most upwardly mobile middle-class Boomers...

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