Today we are very excited to announce that the Memphis & Shelby County Room is the new repository for WREG Channel 3’s broadcasts of the Memphis in May Sunset Symphony. Late last year WREG graciously donated their broadcasts to the library and we have been hard at work preparing these to go up on Dig Memphis for your enjoyment. The broadcasts span a 12 year period from 1988 -2000 and include such highlights as the 20th Anniversary concert (1996), performances from Ruby Wilson (1992) and Isaac Hayes (1994), a symphonic work composed by the King of Thailand (1995) and, of course, many renditions of “Ol’ Man River” by the inimitable James Hyter (1988-1998).
We are going to be rolling out all these broadcasts over the next few weeks but today you can view both the entirety of the 1994 and 1998 broadcasts on Dig Memphis (all the broadcasts will also be available on our Vimeo channel). While every concert is a treat, we have chosen to post these two broadcasts first because of their special significance: the 1994 broadcast features a special performance from Isaac Hayes (including the “Theme from ‘Shaft'”) and the 1998 broadcast represents the end of an era with the final performances of both Maestro Alan Balter and James Hyter.
We would once again like to give a large and sincere Thank You to WREG for the donation of these videos, insuring that, although the Sunset Symphony is no longer a part of Memphis in May, music lovers the world over can watch these incredible performances whenever they desire. Enjoy!
The 1994 broadcast may be viewed by following these links: Part 1, Part 2.
The 1998 broadcast may be viewed by following these links: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
2013 marked the 175th anniversary of the Memphis Chamber, and to celebrate the Chamber donated this digital collection to the Memphis Room. Our many thanks to the Chamber’s Director of Operations, Eric Elam, for scanning all of these files for us.
Included are annual minutes and publications, photographs, resolutions, news clippings, marketing materials, and more from across the years. (Additional photographs and newspaper clippings will be added in the coming months.)
We’re really not supposed to play favorites, as everything in this collection is pretty awesome, but… The film footage from this collection is just incredible!
In 2004, the library’s TV station (WYPL) first aired a new show called “Memphis Sounds with George Klein.” Each month George Klein would sit down with local musicians, legends and others related to the music industry to discuss the past, present, and future of our city’s musical heritage. We have digitized a few episodes of that show and they are now available for your viewing pleasure on Dig Memphis. They will eventually be added to our Vimeo channel as well. So if you’d like to hear from Jerry Lee Lewis, Isaac Hayes, Jim Dickinson, Sid Selvidge, Sam the Sham, Kallen Esperian and many, many more… take a look and listen.
Memphis Sounds with George Klein – Episode 32 from Dig Memphis on Vimeo.
As G.K. would say, “Rock on, Memphis!”
Hallelujah!, the first movie musical to feature an all-black cast, was released in 1929 by MGM Studios. Filmed in part on location in the Memphis area, several Memphians were featured in the cast, including Georgia Woodruff. Woodruff’s daughter, Ruby Woodruff Carter, donated this collection to the Memphis and Shelby County Room. The collection includes personal photos, publicity photos, newspaper clippings and correspondence about the film and the life of Ms. Woodruff.
In 1986, the library received special permission from MGM for a one-time screening of the film, and several programs and discussions were held in conjunction with that showing. Two events were videotaped and are available here as well:
Hallelujah!: A Discussion, Historically Speaking: The “Hallelujah!” Collection at the Memphis Room (Visit our Vimeo Channel by clicking here.)
Our thanks to Katy Tait and Candice Joyner for their hard work to digitize this collection! Click here to view it now.
Each Wednesday in October we are offering free genealogy workshops here at the Central Library. Thanks to Justin Thompson and the fine folks at our TV station, WYPL, you can watch the programs you missed:
African American Genealogy with Lanny Ross:
Preserving Family History with Willy Bearden:
Genealogy on the Internet with Laura Cunningham: