In Memphis in the early 1950s, young Elvis Presley would sometimes help out the upstairs neighbors, Rabbi Fruchter and his family, by acting as a "Shabbos goy," -- that is, by doing tasks that Jews may not do on the Sabbath. (The rabbi's son Harold, then a toddler, recalls the arrangement in an audio interview.
) Yet Elvis knew he had some Jewish forebears. Tablet Magazine notes that his "great great maternal grandmother was Jewish
and had a daughter who had a daughter who had a daughter that was Elvis’s mother." Though he embraced Christianity, he often used to wear
a Chai necklace
(sometimes paired with a cross), saying "I don't want to miss out on going to heaven on a technicality." In that spirit, a Hasidic Elvis impersonator named Dan Hartal
, aka "Schmelvis,"
recently recited Kaddish at Graceland and traveled to Israel to plant a tree in Elvis's memory.
posted by GrammarMoses
on Aug 27, 2014 -
magazine looks into Toronto police shootings of the mentally ill
and the Memphis Crisis Intervention Team model:
Memphis, one-quarter of Toronto’s size but with a homicide rate nine times higher, has developed a progressive approach to de-escalate high-tension confrontations, improve police attitudes toward those suffering from mental illness, and divert them from the criminal justice system. The Memphis Crisis Intervention Team model centres on dispatching specially trained beat cops to emergency calls as quickly as possible, and giving them the authority to take charge of the scene. That approach triggered a revolution in policing that has now been emulated in 2,700 jurisdictions across the US, including large urban centres such as Chicago and Los Angeles. A handful of Canadian cities, among them Hamilton and Vancouver, have also adopted the CIT model. While the TPS has not, senior officials claim that all of its 5,500 uniformed officers receive some training in how to handle mental illness, which makes the recent proliferation of shootings that much more perplexing.
posted by porn in the woods
on Jul 3, 2014 -
Fans of classic southern R&B and soul, and I'm talking the Stax variety, should get down on their knee and genuflect toward Norway, and then sing the praises of the BBC down every corner and alleyway of the city of Memphis. Why? Well, for hosting and for documenting a sweaty, burning, solidly funky evening back in 1967: Otis Redding & Friends Stax Volt Revue
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Feb 4, 2014 -
Though the original Peabody Hotel
in Memphis, Tennessee opened its doors nearly 150 years ago, many would place its true birth at around 1940 when they first began the Peabody Duck March
. The tradition has drawn people from far and wide to watch the mallards in residence make their morning commute
from their rooftop palace to the fountain in the lobby. If you can't get to to Memphis, there is another Peabody in Orlando that also holds a Duck March, but don't bother with Little Rock (The Peabody there held their last march
in May before being converted to a Marriott). Oh, and if you happen to shell out enough dough to stay the night, don't forget your complimentary duck soap
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI
on Aug 17, 2013 -
Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me.
With drummer Jody Stephens as their sole surviving original member, "the definitive story of the greatest band that never made it" is finally in theaters around the U.S.
and on iTunes
. One of rock's most mythic acts, the music fanatic's secret handshake, and (in the words of Robyn Hitchcock) a letter written in 1971 that didn't arrive till 1985 -- whatever metaphor best conjures up the mixture of beauty
, and tragedy
that defines the band, newcomers and long-standing members of the cult also shouldn't miss Don’t Lie to Me: An Oral History of Big Star
. [more inside]
posted by scody
on Jul 9, 2013 -
When we reach these, the bleakest and coldest days of winter, my mind inevitably turns towards the warm days of summer and one of America’s favorite pastimes: Barbeque
. [more inside]
posted by shiu mai baby
on Feb 17, 2010 -
The man behind the classic sound of Al Green, Memphis producer and soulmeister supreme Willie Mitchell
has passed on
. Many of the Al Green sides are legendary, of course, and very well known (as is the fantastic "I Can't Stand the Rain, by Ann Peebles), but be sure and head over to the excellent Funky 16 Corners
where you can hear three of his lesser-known but deeply
grooving productions. Fat stuff. So long, Willie Mitchell, and thanks for the wonderful music.
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Jan 6, 2010 -
...an American(a) photographer takes intensly colorful photographs of junk, hotel rooms, road sides. Its been done by lots of photographers, and unintentional imitators, but he's made a real name for himself. So much depends upon a red wheel barrow glazed with rain water beside the white chickens.
posted by celerystick
on May 1, 2009 -
in the case of the West Memphis 3
claims that "there was no DNA from the three defendants found at the scene, the mutilation was actually the work of animals and at least one person other than the defendants may have been present at the crime scene." [previous thread]
posted by billysumday
on Oct 30, 2007 -
proves that Jesus Christ is Lord over America, he is Lord over Tennessee, he is Lord over Memphis."
posted by naomi
on Jul 5, 2006 -
The best guitarist you never heard in your life
. Shawn Lane is an underground hero in guitar circles. Born 1963 in Memphis Tennesee, he joined Black Oak Arkansas at the age of 13 , beat Ted Nugent in a cutting contest, and made Billy Gibbons fall off his bar stool.
Shawn now plays with the Jonas Hellborg Trio
- Windows media clip here.
I admit that fusion and guitar heroics are not to everyone's liking. But, if you like this kind of thing, you must agree that this guy is the the real deal.
posted by crunchburger
on Sep 20, 2002 -