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“Time To Play B-Sides”- Chuck Berry. “Memphis, Tennessee” was the b-side to ‘Back In The U.S.A.” and was released in 1959. The song was written by Chuck Berry. “Back In The U.S.A. peaked at #37- “Memphis, Tennessee” never entered the charts. The first time I heard this song was by Buck Owens. It was a surprise to me when in the last verse it was revealed that Marie was the singer’s six year old daughter. It has been a much covered Chuck Berry classic- Lonnie Mack had a #5 hit in 1963 with it and the following year Johnny Rivers cover  “Memphis” became his first it- going to #2. This is also a song that an up and coming group in the early 60’s from Liverpool- The Beatles would play often in concert- and they played it at the BBC- it is on the Live At The BBC collection.  There are a lot of songs out there with Memphis in the title- this one has to be the best.

Memphis with apologies to Cleveland is where the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should have been located-but the folks up in Cleveland came up with an abundance of funds and ended up getting it. Memphis is where it all began at 706 Union Avenue.


    • If they had the Hall of Fame it would have been in a safe area and would have been well protected… Cleveland for four months a year at least I would bet the Hall of Fame is pretty vacant- winters along the lake are brutal.

    • Cleveland does seem like a weird place to have it.

      In general I’m the kind of person who would go to a place like that, if I could just google whatever it was I wanted to see, so I’ve never given it much thought except to think, “well that’s a working man’s town and that sort of personifies most rock ‘n roll.”

      But I can see your point about Memphis, and agree.

      Hey, btw, yesterday was the 31st anniversary of “Stop Dragging my Heart Around.” Watched a great clip on Instagram last night of Jimmy Iovine, Tom Petty and Stevie in the studio.

      I don’t think Iovine gets enough credit.

  1. Totally agree about Memphis. Memphis is a great city to visit…There’s a lot of music on the streets…When I was there last, there was this guy who was doing “Hey Joe” in this park by Beale Street…It was so awesome. In my opinion, Memphis is a better music city than Nashville. It’s a lot less corporate and I prefer Blues and R&B to Country.

  2. Excellent tune, and I think Memphis (or Nashville) should have been the choice for the R&RHoF, as Memphis is the heart of so much music. I’ve never been to Memphis but have wanted to go there ever since seeing the Jim Jarmusch film, “Mystery Train” which is set in Memphis:

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