Mojo Triangle: Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans: Birthplace of Country, Blues, Jazz and Rock'n'roll Hardcover – 1 Jul 2005
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
But this well-written book is no dry history. It comes alive with interviews with the people that made music history in Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Muscle Shoals and the Mississippi Delta--Johnny Cash, B.B.King, Garth Brooks, Bobbie Gentry, Dr. John, Bobby Bland, Chips Moman, etc.
Any book that can make sense of William Faulkner's and Tennessee Williams' connection to Elvis Presley and Howlin' Wolf is OK by me. This book kept me awake for three nights.
"If you're trying to find somebody who truly epitomized Memphis
music, he did it better than any other person." - Knox Phillips, "Memphis Commercial Appeal," 7/26/95.
"He will be remembered as a musician's musician...I've never
seen anybody else span the musical spectrum the way he did...
nobody, nobody, nobody ever exceeded him in versatility, in
what he could do with music." - Sam Phillips, "Billboard Magazine," 8/5/95.
"It is doubtful that any artist in the "All Music Guide" presents more of a challenge to pigeonhole than him. His roots
stretch across racial boundaries and genres in a totally
unselfconscious way." - Hank Davis, "All Music Guide," 1st edition.
"For the next two hours, in the blasted heat of that afternoon, he played the blues...his voice rolled out of that mickey mouse
P.A. system like honey and I sat in that cow pasture transfixed,
with tears in my eyes." - Michael Bane, "White Boy Singin' the
Re: James Talley:
"He writes with a skill and a sociological relevance that places
him far above most of the current hit-makers in country music." -
Robert Hilburn, "Los Angeles Times," 3/28/76.
"What sets James Talley apart most of all is his earnestness.
The albums are testaments to the best that Nashville and country
music have to offer." - Peter Guralnick, "The Village Voice," 3/15/76.
"A true American Original sings some of the most affecting songs
imaginable..." - Gil Asakawa, "Westword Denver," 11/6/85.
"Tryin' Like the Devil" establishes Talley as one of the most
compelling, perceptive and haunting of all country and folk singers. The stories are of workingmen, their wives, their pasts, and maybe their futures. This is an honest man making honest music." - Nat Hentoff, "Cosmopolitan," 7/76.
Mr. Dickerson has a fine book and, of course, he couldn't put
every deserving artist in his book but I think the two men above should have been included. They are definitely within his "triangle." Rich was born in Colt, Arkansas, about twenty miles from Memphis, lived about the same distance in Forrest City, Arkansas for many years and then spent decades living and recording in Memphis(Sun; Hi labels) and recording in Nashville (Groove/RCA; Epic/CBS). His early career for about fifteen years was playing clubs all over the South and clubs such as the Vapors, Sharecropper and Rivermont in Memphis. Of course, he spent 1958-1962 at Sun Records in Memphis, and eventually performed all over the world. He has numerous awards and honors including the University of Memphis "Distinguished Achievement Award" in the creative and performing arts and, unfortunately to date, two deserved honors that are missing - induction into the "Rock and Roll" and "Country Music" Halls of Fame. Many
fans of his hits have no idea Rich was an excellent jazz pianist.
James Talley has lived, worked and recorded in Nashville for decades. He is a true American troubadour who writes and sings about common people and their lives. He hasn't had any "number ones" but if you can resist a ballad like "Little
Child" or the upbeat "Up from Georgia" (both from "Love Songs and the Blues" CD, Bear Family Records, 1989) with his fine voice and guitar skills, I would be mystified.
I am not going to "knock" any artists mentioned in the book but I
certainly do not agree with the "inclusion" of a few and the "exclusion" of these two brilliantly talented singers, songwriters and musicians. I would also liked to have seen a mention of Fred Ford, longtime Memphis saxman, who played with Charlie Rich, B.B King and many others.