Friday, July 26, 2013

Best Of Memphis Competition Comes with Votes and History

Posted By on Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 12:29 PM

The mission of the “Becca Does Best Of” social media project was not to encourage voters to vote for certain things, but rather to remind them that the Best of Memphis competition that launched in 1994 is covered with history, much like Memphis itself. I found that whether I was talking to dominating winners of the BOM media categories, restaurant categories or retail categories - everyone I spoke to was passionate about Memphis and thankful to have the enduring love of their city in the annual Flyer poll.

Here are the past dominating winners in the Best of Memphis broadcasting category:

Action News 5 TV Anchor, Joe Birch, jokes that after winning, he calls his wife and thanks her for voting for him.
  • Action News 5 TV Anchor, Joe Birch, jokes that after winning, he calls his wife and thanks her for voting for him.

Joe Birch, who has won first place in the Best TV Anchor category since it began in 1994, said that winning Best Of Memphis is always a thrill. “I aspire to be the best everyday and often fail,” Birch said, “but I do really love this city. For every problem, there are armies of Memphians to solve them."

Dave Brown, who has been a Weatherman for Action News 5 for 36 years, jokes that aspiring weather-people also shouldn’t forget to take the class “Waving at a Green Screen 101.”
  • Dave Brown, who has been a Weatherman for Action News 5 for 36 years, jokes that aspiring weather-people also shouldn’t forget to take the class “Waving at a Green Screen 101.”

”It’s very gratifying! We do this job for the people, and we try to give the best information to the viewers,” said Dave Brown, who has been awarded Best TV Weatherperson since 1995. He advises hopefuls to do the best they can, adding ‘“technology is changing much faster than it did for me.”

Action News 5 sportscaster, Jarvis Greer, gives some wonderful advice to those looking to get into the business: “talent without work equals nothing.”
  • Action News 5 sportscaster, Jarvis Greer, gives some wonderful advice to those looking to get into the business: “talent without work equals nothing.”

Jarvis Greer, who strongly values his family as his support system, said he is honored to have been awarded Best TV Sportscaster since 1997. “I am humbled and honored the people like what I do. I just try to have fun with it,” he said.

Read on for the reigning Best in Memphis competition's winning restaurants:

Several Memphis eats have been awarded “Best of Memphis” in their various categories every year since the categories originated. These places are Huey’s (Best Burger), Folk’s Folly (Best Steak), Charles Vergos’ Rendezvous (Best Ribs), Sekisui (Best Japanese/Sushi) and Memphis Pizza Cafe (Best Pizza - Non-Chain).

Huey’s has been winning Best Burger in Best of Memphis since 1994, as well as Best Lunch since 2005.
  • Huey’s has been winning Best Burger in Best of Memphis since 1994, as well as Best Lunch since 2005.

Since 1994, Folk’s Folly has claimed the title Best Steak in Memphis.
  • Since 1994, Folk’s Folly has claimed the title Best Steak in Memphis.

The Rendezvous has been our readers’ favorite place for ribs since 1994.
  • The Rendezvous has been our readers’ favorite place for ribs since 1994.

Dominating winner of Best Japanese/Sushi, Sekisui, has also won the category since 1994.
  • Dominating winner of Best Japanese/Sushi, Sekisui, has also won the category since 1994.

Memphis Pizza Cafe has been voted Best Pizza (Non-Chain) in Memphis since 1995.
  • Memphis Pizza Cafe has been voted Best Pizza (Non-Chain) in Memphis since 1995.

And now for the dominating retail winners of Best of Memphis:

A few Memphis retailers have also been first in our Best of Memphis readers’ hearts for many years: Buster’s (Best Liquor Store), First Tennessee (Best Bank), Burke’s (Best Used Bookstore) and Tobacco Corner (Best Smoke Shop).

Buster’s Liquor Store has dominated the Best Liquor category since the beginning in 1994.
  • Buster’s Liquor Store has dominated the Best Liquor category since the beginning in 1994.

(Not pictured: First Tennessee - Best Bank since 1996.)

Best (Used) Bookstore, Burke’s, has been charming BOM readers since 1997.
  • Best (Used) Bookstore, Burke’s, has been charming BOM readers since 1997.

Tobacco Corner has graced the number one Best Smoke Shop spot since 1997.
  • Tobacco Corner has graced the number one Best Smoke Shop spot since 1997.

Take a gander at the history of Best of Memphis on Memphis Flyer’s Instagram, @memphisflyer/ #bestofmemphis or #beccadoesbestof. And as you look through these little pieces of Best Of Memphis history, become a part of history yourself by voting for this year’s winners. Voting for 2013 ends this Sunday, July 28th at midnight!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Becca Does Best Of, and So Can You

Posted By on Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 10:59 AM

If you’re a frequent Instagram-mer, hopefully you follow the Memphis Flyer (@memphisflyer), and maybe you’ve noticed recent posts related to the annual Best Of Memphis issue, hashtagged with the super-catchy phrase “#beccadoesbestof.”

Hey, I’m Becca.

And have you met the Memphis Flyer truck?
  • And have you met the Memphis Flyer truck?

As a marketing intern for the Memphis Flyer, I’ve spent an abundance of time researching the history of the Best Of Memphis poll, which began in February 1994 (making this the 19th year!). While all of Memphis is dripping with history, I found, so is the Flyer’s annual Best Of Memphis competition. It is truly amazing to see the categories throughout the years that didn’t make it - such as “Best Place to Celebrate Divorce” (1994), "Best Place to Use Your Dog as a Chick/Dude Magnet” (1996) and “Best Place to Cure a Hangover” (1996).

Remembering strange categories: The Pyramid was voted “Best Eyesore” <em>and</em> “Best Architecture” for both 1997 and 1998.
  • Remembering strange categories: The Pyramid was voted “Best Eyesore” and “Best Architecture” for both 1997 and 1998.

There are many winners that have been voted “Best Of Memphis” the entire run of the competition, and these winners and Memphis have undeniable chemistry. Some have even celebrated seventeen, eighteen, or nineteen years of Best Of stardom.

Joe Birch has been awarded Best TV Anchor since the start of the competition in 1994.
  • Joe Birch has been awarded "Best TV Anchor" since the start of the competition in 1994.

Dave Brown was voted “Best Weatherperson” every year since 1995. (Jarvis Greer is also a dominating winner with “Best Sportscaster” since 1997).
  • Dave Brown was voted “Best Weatherperson” every year since 1995. Awards not pictured: Jarvis Greer is also a dominating winner with “Best Sportscaster” since 1997.

For the past three weeks doing “Becca Does Best of” (so catchy, right?), I have also thoroughly enjoyed coming up with some silly categories of my own, for example: the Peabody Ducks are clearly the Best Ducks Around, and Beale Street is the Best Place to Legally Beat Open-Container Laws.

The Peabody attracts many viewers daily to see the ducks walk the red carpet.
  • The Peabody attracts many viewers daily to see the ducks walk the red carpet.

It is perfectly legal to carry an open container of alcohol on Beale Street.
  • It is perfectly legal to carry an open container of alcohol on Beale Street.

Check out these and more interesting categories and pictures on Memphis Flyer’s Instagram, @memphisflyer/ #bestofmemphis. And while I continue to revisit the history of the annual competition, be sure to cast your vote for the 2013 Best of Memphis using the online ballot now until July 28th!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Catching Up With The Community Bubble

Posted By on Tue, Jul 16, 2013 at 6:43 AM

community_bubbs.JPG

Twin brothers Michael and Stephen Kline are two of the busiest men in local show-business. In addition to being well respected stand-up comedians, the duo host a highly entertaining podcast called Twin Face Kline and co-front the burgeoning indie-pop outfit known as The Community Bubble.

Tonight (Tuesday, July 16) the Kline brothers will celebrate their birthday with a special free performance by The Community Bubble at the Poplar Lounge. Both Michael and Stephen spoke to the Flyer this week about their various projects.

Memphis Flyer: What have you guys been up to since we last spoke?

Michael Kline: A lot of practicing. Because we see The Community Bubble as a living organism, the band line-up is forever changing . We love our current line-up because it gives us more opportunities to arrange since we have horns and woodwinds now. We've also written a lot of new songs and comedy bits for our Twin Face Kline podcast which is always a genuine blast.

Continue reading »

Monday, July 15, 2013

Session Notes: Robert Plant and Allstars at Royal Studios

Posted By on Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Robert Plant dropped by Royal Studios on Saturday to cut harmonica tracks for the North Mississippi Allstars. Allstars Luther and Cody Dickinson had thought their new album was all but done, when they found themselves in town at the same time as the former Zeppelin front man and blues aficionado. The Dickinson brothers had opened a few dates for Plant in recent years and had talked about getting in some studio time.

Cody Dickinson, Lightnin Malcolm, Robert Plant, Boo Mitchell, and Luther Dickinson
  • Royal Studios 2013
  • Cody Dickinson, Lightnin' Malcolm, Robert Plant, Boo Mitchell, and Luther Dickinson

“It was unexpected,” said Boo Mitchell, owner of the storied Royal Studios and a man not easily star-struck. Royal Studios is famous primarily for recording Al Green’s hits under the direction of Boo Mitchell’s father, the legendary producer Willie Mitchell. The house rhythm section, known as the Hi Rhythm section, backed tons of soul hits and is legendary in its own right.

There are few musical stars as accomplished as Plant. Led Zeppelin’s IV has sold a reported 37 million copies. Still Plant was moved by the experience of working at Royal.

“We let him use Al Green’s mic,” Mitchell said. He dug the sound and the fact that we haven’t changed anything. He had a fabulous time.”

They worked on two tracks and were joined by Lightnin' Malcolm on bass.
Both Plant and the Allstars had gigs that night. Plant played at the Live at the Garden series and the Allstars at the Recording Academy Memphis Chapter’s 40th Anniversary at the Levitt Shell.

“It was funny, Plant missed his sound check and Cody and Luther did too,” Mitchell said.

The session got off to a wobbly start.

“About 4 my phone rings,” Mitchell said, cutting to a British accent. “‘Is this the studio? This is Robert. I need another harmonica.’ He said he had dropped his into some Indian incense.”

A harp was found and to great effect.

“He should play harmonica more than he does. He is a bad ass harmonica player,” Mitchell said.

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