Long Distance Information, Give me Memphis, Tennessee

Willie Mitchell passed away yesterday, making that two giants of Memphis music gone in less than one year, counting Jim Dickinson’s passing last August.

I’ve always had something of an obsession with music from Memphis.  How could you not?  I truly believe that if you juxtaposed American music with the Old Testament, the golden age of Memphis could be looked at as Exodus, out of bondage and into the wild world at large.  From Sun to Stax, I think no city has contributed more to post-war American music quite like Memphis — contributions that continue to endure today.  And while I’m unsure if Mitchell and Dickinson had any connection other than location, there is something distinctly similar about anything that has the authentic “Memphis Sound” tag slapped on it that can be heard from Rufus Thomas to Big Star, the Oblivians, and Three 6 Mafia.  It’s why The Cramps visited the city to record Songs the Lord Taught Us; it’s why Jim Jarmusch used the city as the setting for Mystery Train, and it’s why everybody from Elvis to Jerry “The King” Lawler”, to Mute Records founder, Daniel Miller (under the guise of Silicon Teens), would record Chuck Berry’s song about trying to find the six year old Marie who was taken by train to the city this whole post is dedicated to.

And for good measure