A Memphis Music Road Map: The Early Years

Jug bands, country blues and the Beale Street sound

By Updated: May 15, 2019 11:08 AM CT | Published: May 13, 2019 4:00 AM CT

This year is Memphis' bicentennial, but while there's been Memphis music as long as there's been a Memphis, you can't listen back 200 years. As a result, our three-part Memphis Music Road Map is a de facto centennial (and a little more) of sound. We tell a story of Memphis music's evolution one song at a time, from early blues and the Beale Street sound to the golden age of Sun and Stax and on to the contemporary styles of rock and rap. This first part follows the trail from W.C. Handy to the dawn of World War II.  

Topics

Beale Street Memphis Bicentennial Memphis music

Chris Herrington

Chris Herrington covers the Memphis Grizzlies and writes about Memphis culture, food, and civic life. He lives in the Vollentine-Evergreen neighborhood of Midtown with his wife, two kids, and two dogs.


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