SF Music Hall of Fame

There are various locales that represent important music genres in the United States. I’ve been fortunate to visit New York City (infamous for Jazz), Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee (representing the Blues).

I recently wrote about the National Blues Museum in St. Louis being another step in the music journey.

I have discovered another vital American music museum to see, the San Francisco Music Hall of Fame. SF Music Hall of Fame showcases artifacts and memorabilia from San Francisco’s rich and storied musical history, offering visitors a fun and informative look back at the sounds that shaped The City and how The City shaped the country. Rotating exhibits across two floors will offer people of all ages a glimpse into the San Francisco Sound.

The San Francisco Music Hall of Fame is in the design stage and will offer a stroll through the history of some of the most influential music of our time. In the halls of Music City you’ll revisit the San Francisco Sound, the Summer of Love, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Sly Stone, Santana, Janis Joplin, and so much more.

Classic photography, concert-played instruments, vintage posters, and an ever-changing display of memorabilia is blended with modern interpretations of the music of the Bay Area to bring you a glimpse like no other into the classic rock era.

Installed in the sidewalk in front of Music City SF at 1353 Bush Street, over 330 intricately connected, engraved bricks, embedded in the sidewalk of the Music City SF building, honors local legends, including many who may never received national recognition, for their place in the rich, diverse and creative musical and cultural movements of the San Francisco Scene.

The Music City SF Walk of Fame celebrates the personalities, places and events that make up the community heritage of The City and the SF Bay Area.  From Beat Poets to the San Francisco Sound explosion of the late 1960’s to the artists of today will be enshrined. The continuous story is told brick-to-brick, section to section of the times, places, artists and performers.

Stay tuned for grand opening dates and other exciting announcements.

(Much of the text above is courtesy of the SF Music City Hall of Fame Web site)

Our Musical Journey to Tennessee: Part 1 – Memphis, Home of the Blues, Birthplace to Rock ‘N’ Roll

July was an action packed music month for us. The month started with our vacation trip to Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee. Stay tuned for other music posts about more music events we experienced in July.

I brought along an essential music book to read on the plane, Mystery Train (Sixth Edition) by authoritative music journalist, Greil Marcus. The synergy of this book fit perfect with the music mission. The first chapter was about Harmonica Frank, 1951 (the year of my birth), Sam Phillips and Sun Studio. The book set the stage for the first leg of the music journey, Memphis. There was also a chapter about Elvis Presley but more about the King of Rock and Roll in Memphis later in this saga. 🙂

The path of American music discovery

A major goal in the music of our heart has been to visit the four homes (birthplaces) of American music, blues, country, jazz and rock n roll. We had previously visited the birthplace of jazz, New Orléans, Louisiana where we saw Preservation Hall on St. Peters Street.

We journeyed first to Memphis, Tennessee to learn more about the home of the blues and the birthplace of rock n roll. We stayed at the Hampton Inn at 175 Peabody Place a half block away from Beale Street.

The music on Beale Street spirited us out of the  hotel and around the block like a pied piper. We saw two blocks of motorcycles lining the pedestrian thoroughfare.

Bikes on Beale

“I’m walking in Memphis, Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale” Marc Cohn ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Beale Street is a majestic street. We took note of B.B. Kings Blues Club at the top of Beale. We decided to have dinner and catch a show there the next night. We had to pay our respects to the King of the Blues.

From the 1920s to the 1940s, Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters, Albert King, Memphis Minnie, B. B. King, Rufus Thomas, Rosco Gordon and other blues and jazz legends played on Beale Street and helped develop the style known as Memphis Blues. As a young man, B. B. King was billed as “the Beale Street Blues Boy”.

We had a fantastic dinner at the Flying Fish the first night. It was rated 4.5 stars. The fish was deeeelicious as my great-nephew Blake loves to say 🙂

The next day we signed up for a day tour of Memphis at the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau. We had a wonderful tour guide. Our first stop was Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland. I kept hearing the song, “Graceland” by Paul Simon in my head as we drove to the tourist attraction.

Graceland was a sight to behold. What knocked me out the most about Elvis’s estate was The Jungle Room and the sheer amount of awards he received in his lifetime for music and movies. Truly we were witnessing the King of Rock N Roll’s palace. What an honor it was to see it all.

The next stop on the Memphis tour was Sun Studio. A momentous place where Sam Phillips recorded, Howlin Wolf, Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. We didn’t take the studio tour as the place was mobbed. We looked around, took some pictures, bought some souvenirs and got back on the shuttle. Finally got to witness the birthplace of rock n roll.

(RoadTripSports.com photo by Kendall Webb)

I preordered the book that Peter Guralnick has been writing about Sam Phillips for 25 years. My goal is to learn more about Sam Phillips from his close friend.  Peter Guralnick is the definitive Memphis music historian. I can’t wait to get back to Memphis and continue the music discovery.

sphillips

Nashville Skyline  will be Part 2, stay tuned….

Preston Lauterbach, Memphis Music Journalist

Walking in Memphis with my feet 10 feet off of Beale is fundamental to the successful completion of my bucket list.

Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee was officially declared the Home of the Blues by an act of Congress in 1977. “Walking in Memphis” is a song by American singer-songwriter Marc Cohn, from his self-titled 1991 album. It has always romanticized my soul to experience Memphis.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I happened upon a forthcoming book (3/30/15) by Memphis music journalist/historian, Preston LauterbachBeale Street Dynasty. The book’s subject matter establishes a sharp contrast to the general perceptions held about the most iconic street in America. (USA Today, National Poll)

Robert Church, who would become “the South’s first black millionaire,” he was a mulatto slave owned by his white father. Having survived a deadly race riot in 1866, Church constructed an empire of vice in the booming river town. He made a fortune with saloons, gambling, and—shockingly—white prostitution. But he also nurtured the militant journalism of Ida B. Wells and helped revolutionize American music through the work of composer W.C. Handy, the man who claimed to have invented the blues.

In charting the rise of Memphis, Lauterbach adds to the rich library devoted to the “old, weird America” established by writers such as Michael Ventura, Peter Guralnick and Greil Marcus.