Selvedge was a natural-born storyteller and effortless guitar picker with a gift for blending early African and Anglo folk traditions.
Born in Greenville, MS, Selvidge got his first taste of celebrity while he was still in high school, spinning Jazz, and Rock-and-Roll records for WDDT radio. He would later spin for KWHAM in West Memphis and eventually founded the internationally broadcast radio program, Beale Street Caravan.
Selvidge was both artist and academic. The Rhodes College graduate (then Southwestern at Memphis) spent time teaching anthropology at his alma mater. Erstwhile, as a musician he swapped guitar licks with Furry Lewis, played piano with Alex Chilton, and joined with Jim Dickinson, Jimmy Crosthwait, and Lee Baker to form Mudboy & the Neutrons.
Although he had many opportunities to enlarge his musical career, Selvidge decided to stay close to his roots, and make music his own way, in his own time.
I moved to Memphis 20 years ago this spring. It was a new city to me, and I liked to wander around downtown on my lunch hour. One day, I walked into Rod & Hank's Vintage Guitars, a magical shop then located just across from the Peabody hotel on Second Street. I loved the smell and the feel of the place, and I loved all the classic old guitars hanging on the walls ...