Category Archives: Audio

Now Open: Memphis and Shelby County Room Listening Station

listening station

Today we are pleased to announce the addition of a Memphis Music Listening Station to the Memphis and Shelby County Room. This listening station, which contains 594 CDs, will allow easy patron access to our large archive of Memphis Music.  This listening station contains materials representing every stage of music written and recorded by Memphians and in Memphis.  From the Memphis Jug Band, to Justin Timberlake; from Memphis Minnie to Packy Axton; classical, country, jazz, soul, rockabilly, R&B and more can all be listened to and enjoyed in one spot. Additionally, many rare and out-of-print albums are included in the listening station along with local independent releases (of course, Elvis and Stax are here too!).

Feel free to browse through the Guide of available music and come by anytime to listen to some great tunes!




Filed under Audio, Elvis, Music

New Episode of the Memphis Room Music Show — Packy Axton


While many people are familiar with the music of the famed Stax label, the story of its earliest day isn’t one that’s frequently told.  In our latest podcast episode, we explore the life and music of Charles “Packy” Axton, son of Stax co-founder Estelle Axton.  It’s not an exaggeration to say that the music of the Stax label would’ve been very different if not for Packy’s early involvement.  If you’d like to read more about Stax and southern soul music be sure to check out Respect Yourself by Robert Gordon, Sweet Soul Music by Peter Guralnick, and Soulsville U.S.A., by Rob Bowman.

Need some music to listen to while you read?  Check out our Packy Axton playlist on Spotify.  Other Memphis Room Music Show episodes are also available at Dig Memphis.

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Filed under Audio, Dig Memphis, Memphis History, Music

Memphis Room Music Show – Episode 2 – High Water Records


In this episode, Dr. David Evans sits down with us to discuss the creation and history of the University of Memphis’ High Water Records.  Since 1979 Dr. Evans has been recording local and regional blues, jazz, and gospel artists for the label.  Listen as we discuss his personal interest in blues music, play some tracks, and discuss the importance of preservation in the digital era.

After you listen, be sure and check out our Spotify playlist of music discussed in the show.  Additionally, Dr. Evans will be giving a presentation in the Memphis Room on April 23rd at 6pm.  Dr. Evans will be playing music and discussing the revitalization of blues music in Memphis during the 1980s.

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New Podcast! Memphis Room Music Show!


Check out the first episode of our new podcast – the Memphis Room Music Show.  Eldon “Chip” Holliday has been hard at work creating a show that will allow everyone to get to know more about Memphis’ musical heritage. The first episode is all about the history of the Memphis Jug Band, and several of their tracks are included.

After you’ve listened to the show, be sure to check out the Spotify playlist of music mentioned in the episode and a bibliography of bonus materials related to the episode.

Many thanks to Gil Worth at OAM Audio for production assistance.

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Audio Files

silver play (1)

We’ve just added our first audio recordings to Dig Memphis!

Judge Robert Lanier donated these five recordings to us, and we are thrilled to share them with you.  The first four are interviews with legendary members of the Memphis legal community: Lucius Burch, Jr., Leo Bearman, Sr., A. Longstreet Heiskell, and Albert Riley.  These interviews were conducted in 1980 for a Memphis Bar history project, with the interviewees sharing their memories of practicing law in the early part of the 20th century.

If legal history isn’t your thing, you might like the fifth recording.  In 1991, NPR’s Weekend Edition dedicated a show to Memphis.  Herenton had just been elected, the “pagan” Pyramid was just about to open, and Graceland was… well, Graceland.

Happy listening!

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Filed under Audio, Dig Memphis, Memphis History