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Tag Archives: william faulkner

TAYLOR HAGOOD – BEALE STREET & BEYOND

Memphis, for me, first and foremost emerges as neon signs either created in the 1950s or made to look so. Certain ones stand out as iconic: the Peabody Hotel spelled out in big red letters on its roof; Poplar Tunes with its arrow-head-tipped musical staff of notes; Leonard’s Pit Barbeque’s top-hatted, cane-twirling pig. But mostly all those twisted glass tubes of glowing light, with their colors balanced on a razor edge of cool and warm, emerge like a grand Dale Chihuly sculpture, redolent of Memphis’s heyist of heydays, when Elvis Presley was living and breathing and at any moment walking down Beale Street decked out in pink, cream, and black, his sleeves rolled up. Meanwhile, only blocks away Johnny Cash was moaning his halting way through a new record, Wanda Jackson was shimmying in her oh-so-tight fringed dress while nitroglycerin-growling her cute voice, Carl Perkins was hacking his way around a new run on his home-rigged electric guitar, or the brilliant and maybe deranged genius Jerry Lee Lewis was banging away on the piano after arguing religion with Sam Phillips in