Friday, May 31, 2013

On Again? MLK the Movie

Posted By on Fri, May 31, 2013 at 11:12 AM

Forest Whitaker: The man who would be King?
  • Forest Whitaker: The man who would be King?
The Martin Luther King Jr. biopic titled Memphis, helmed by Paul Greengrass, has been percolating and not percolating for a couple years.

Now it's taken another step closer to reality, according to The Wrap.

The headline news is that Forest Whitaker (an Oscar winner for his portrayal of MLK-antithesis Idi Amin) is in talks to step into the role of King.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sound Advice: DJ Jameson at the Lamplighter

Posted By on Wed, May 29, 2013 at 3:38 PM


Tomorrow night (Thursday, May 30), The Lamplighter will host a special DJ night featuring local record-spinner DJ Jameson (a.k.a. Jameson Sweiger, formerly of the Ohio psych-punk outfit Puffy Areolas) and touring Madison, WI resident DJ Clay.

For those who attend Thursday's gig, Sweiger has a special treat in store - a free, hand-made mix CD featuring selections from the evening's set that will be given away to the first 30 people that come through the doors.

"It's an eclectic mix of obscure 45s," says Sweiger. "It's all-American neglected white-people music. Stuff that's rare, but very few people care about."

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Country Comes Home

Posted By on Fri, May 24, 2013 at 11:27 AM


The organizers of the first annual Delta Country Jam are ready to bring country music back home to Mississippi.

“With this festival, music is coming back home to its roots, and I can’t think of a better spot to bring thousands of people together to listen to country music and to experience the musical heritage that we have in Mississippi” said Webster Franklin, President and CEO of the Tunica Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The first annual Delta Country Jam, to be held at the Abbay and Leatherman Plantation (the former home of blues icon Robert Johnson) on October 4th and 5th, boasts a solid lineup of country music’s elite, including a performance by three-time Grammy Award-winning artist Tim McGraw. A country music icon, McGraw has sold more than 40 million albums and has more than 33 number-one singles. Not afraid to venture outside of the genre that made him famous, McGraw has also gained a following from mainstream music fans for his collaborations with artists like Nelly and Def Leopard. McGraw has also made a name for himself on screen, appearing in “Friday Night Lights” and as a host of Saturday Night Live, as well as the film about Briarcrest Football Standout Michael Orr, The Blind Side.
Another act scheduled to perform at the first Delta Country Jam is Thompson Square, the husband-and-wife duo responsible for two Grammy nominations and numerous country music awards. Thompson Square were flying below the radar for 15 years before signing with Broken Bow Records and are now becoming one of country music’s most popular acts.

American Country Music award winner Brantley Gilbert, an artist who has already notched four number-one singles and sold over a million records, is also scheduled to perform. In 2011, Gilbert won the honor of being the only new country music artist to have a number-one hit on country radio. Rising country music artists Jerrod Niemann and Josh Thompson are also among the first group of acts announced for the Delta Country Jam.

With so many big names already scheduled to perform, Franklin said he is eager to bring a country music festival of this magnitude to North Mississippi.

“One of the missing elements of our music product has been our destination’s ability to showcase several acts in a festival-like atmosphere,” Franklin said. “There’s no better place suited to honor our musical heritage by hosting a country music festival of this magnitude than right here in Tunica.”

The close proximity of the various casinos in Tunica will provide an opportunity for concert-goers to rest near the festival grounds, a chance that Tunica Music Group representative Bobby Leatherman said is rare for a country music festival.

“Most country music festivals happen way out in the country,” Leatherman said. “Tunica is all-inclusive, so people won’t have to drive a long way or take a bus to get to a hotel.”

In addition to being close to Tunica casino hotels, Leatherman said that he hopes being close to Beale Street will also boost attendance. Tickets are on sale now via Ticketmaster.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Elements of Dewey Phillips' WHBQ sound booth have been salvaged and stored

Posted By on Wed, May 8, 2013 at 8:59 PM


Renovation has begin on the Hotel Chisca, where WHBQ's "Red, Hot, & Blue" disc jockey Dewey Phillips first introduced the world to Elvis Presley, and rock-and-roll. Working with a skeleton crew of volunteers filmmaker turned preservationist Mike McCarthy removed glass, and acoustic tile from the booth where Phillips conducted the world's first Rock-and-Roll interview.

Mike McCarthy gets his hands dirty to preserve a piece of Memphis' musical legacy.

In a previous interview with The Flyer developer Terry Lynch of Main Street Partners LLC said he had identified areas where the historic booth might be incorporated into the renovation.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sound Advice: Patrick Dodd Comes Home

Posted By on Tue, May 7, 2013 at 4:30 PM


This Thursday, May 9, The Poplar Lounge will host a special "welcome home" party of sorts for Memphis blues singer and former contestant on NBC's The Voice, Patrick Dodd.

Dodd, a longtime fixture on Beale St. (he was named "Performer of the Year" by the Beale St. Merchants Association in 2011) and the local music scene in general, is fresh off a run on Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine's team on the popular reality series. Unfortunately, he lost in the "battle rounds" of the show to folk duo Midas Whale. But a lot of good has come out of the opportunity for Dodd - he recently struck an endorsement deal with Killer B guitars, and was tapped to sing the national anthem at game 3 of the Grizzlies/Clippers NBA playoff series, among other things.

Here is Dodd performing Marc Cohen's immortal classic "Walking in Memphis" on The Voice:

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Monday, May 6, 2013

Justin Timberlake Announces FedExForum Concert

Posted By on Mon, May 6, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Dates were announced this morning for Justin Timberlake's "20/20 Experience World Tour," which kicks off on October 31st in Montreal and will arrive in Timberlake's hometown on Monday, November 18th at FedExForum.

Tickets for Timberlake's Memphis concert — part of his first tour in six years — are slated to go on sale on Friday, May 17th, with members of Timberlake's “The Tennessee Kids” fan club eligible for “pre-sale” purchases at 10 a.m. that day. You can register for Timberlake's fan club and access to the pre-sale at

Timberlake's third solo album, The 20/20 Experience has already gone double platinum since it's release a few months ago and has been the year's fastest-selling album. Timberlake last set foot in FedExForum for a Grizzlies game earlier this year. He's now a minority owner of the team.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Remembering Sid Selvidge

Posted By on Fri, May 3, 2013 at 10:00 AM

The late Sid Selvidge, with son, Steve.
A bittersweet accompaniment to having so many great artists in your city is the pain of losing them, and Memphis lost a major one yesterday with the passing of Sid Selvidge, who lost a lengthy battle with cancer on Thursday morning.

I didn't really know Selvidge well, but had crossed paths with him several times over the past decade, first for a Flyer cover story on Beale Street Caravan, the made-in-Memphis but broadcast worldwide radio show Selvidge presided over. More recently for a Father's Day-themed story in Memphis magazine, where I had the privilege of sitting with Selvidge and his musician son, Steve, and talking about his life — as a musician and as a father.

From that piece:

Sid Selvidge was raised in Greenville, Mississippi, the son of a laundry business operator. (“Greenville Steam Laundry, Sid says. “I always thought that would be a nice band name.”)

“There was no encouragement,” Sid says of his family’s view of a musical career. “If you got to be musical in my family, it was said to be a fine avocation. They were very practical people. They didn’t like the music business.”

Like so many in his generation, Selvidge wanted to be Elvis, and played around Greenville in a rock-and-roll cover band (go-to song: Sonny Burgess’ “Red-Headed Woman”).

It was after moving to Memphis to attend Rhodes College (then Southwestern) that Selvidge began to turn toward folk music.

“They made me take my Danelectro guitar and put it in the student center so I wouldn’t play electric guitar in my dorm room and bother everybody,” Selvidge remembers. “That’s how I got into acoustic guitar.”

For a while, Selvidge pursued a career in academia, doing graduate work in anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis and returning to Rhodes as an instructor. But, eventually, Selvidge devoted himself full-time to music.

“I was a better musician than I was an anthropology teacher,” he says.

Beyond his enormous musical talents and varied imprint on several decades of Memphis music — and the Commercial Appeal's Bob Mehr does a terrific job of recounting Selvidge's career in his obituary today — I was always struck by what an exceedingly intelligent and decent man Selvidge was.

Selvidge leaves behind his wife of 47 years, Shirley Selvidge, and five children. In that Memphis magazine interview, he spoke with gratitude about his family:

“It’s difficult to be a musician without [a partner] that is solid and secure and has a lot of self-confidence, that can let somebody go out on the road for a long period of time,” Sid says. “I realize that now. I was a lucky guy. A great wife, a great family, and I got to go out and play music. I just thought it was great fun. Which it was.”

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Memphis musician Sid Selvidge dies after a struggle with cancer

Posted By on Thu, May 2, 2013 at 4:53 PM

  • Sid

Sid Selvidge had a goal. He once told a reporter that he wanted to celebrate his centennial singing on the stage at the Levitt Shell. “I know it’s possible,” he said. Sadly, that’s one accomplishment Selvidge will never realize. The beloved regional artist, who had been battling cancer for some time, died early this (Thursday) morning.

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.

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