Memphis gave birth to music that changed the world - Memphis Mayhem is a fascinating history of how music and culture collided to change the state of music forever
"David Less has captured the essence of the Memphis music experience on these pages in no uncertain terms. There's truly no place like Memphis and this is the story of why that is. HAVE MERCY!" - Billy F Gibbons, ZZ Top
Memphis Mayhem weaves the tale of the racial collision that led to a cultural, sociological, and musical revolution. David Less constructs a fascinating narrative of the city that has produced a startling array of talent, including Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Al Green, Otis Redding, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Justin Timberlake, and so many more.
Beginning with the 1870s yellow fever epidemics that created racial imbalance as wealthy whites fled the city, David Less moves from W.C. Handy's codification of blues in 1909 to the mid-century advent of interracial musical acts like Booker T. & the M.G.'s, the birth of punk, and finally to the growth of a music tourism industry.
Memphis Mayhem explores the city's entire musical ecosystem, which includes studios, high school band instructors, clubs, record companies, family bands, pressing plants, instrument factories, and retail record outlets. Lively and comprehensive, this is a provocative story of finding common ground through music and creating a sound that would change the world.
Detective Mervin Pratt is enjoying a quiet dinner at his favorite Italian restaurant when he's called in to assist at a murder scene at a popular downtown nightclub. The manager has been stabbed to death in his office. The lead investigator, Detective Gordon, no friend of Pratt's, sees it as an open-and-shut case. He has the suspect, motive and even the murder weapon. But Pratt is unwilling to jump to conclusions.
When Pratt's young partner, Dave Ellis, arrives on the scene uninvited and quietly tells Pratt that the suspect is his half brother, Pratt finds himself in an ethical dilemma. Ellis can have nothing to do with the investigation, and his connection to the case should be reported. On the other hand, Gordon's attempt to railroad the suspect and his outright antagonism to Pratt's involvement rub the detective the wrong way. The only solution, of course, is to solve the crime.
Fishing for barracuda from a kayak in the Florida Keys. That's what Jim Webb thinks this resort vacation with his grandfather should be about. Except the dying resort owner holds the key to legend about a generations-old crime. A crime that is worth way too much to those who want the legend to be true. Webb soon discovers that what lurks in the sun, sand and shallow waters of the Keys is much more dangerous than a slashing game fish. And along the way, he learns an important truth about himself and his own past.
In this exciting prequel to Devil's Pass and Tin Soldier, the musically gifted and tenacious Webb finds himself caught in a dangerous mystery.
Neil plays guitar with his family's band, the Family McClintock, even though he can't stand the Celtic music they play, he doesn't dance, he hates the outfits, and every single performance reminds him that he isn't as talented as the rest of the family.
When his buddy Bert convinces him to form a rock band and enter a local talent show, Neil's playing improves and everyone notices, including a girl who shares his musical interests. He starts to think that all those years of practice might come in handy after all. But it all comes to a head when Neil has to choose between an important gig with the family band and the talent show. He's only sure of one thing: whatever he decides to do, he's going to be letting someone down.
The Dunces-Josh, Magnolia, Wang and Wilmot-are back, and this time they're going up against a formidable foe: Principal Hale, who has canceled their school's drama and music program just when Wilmot needs it most. He has a guitar (given to him by a teen named Headcase), but no teacher and nowhere to practice (his dad hates rock 'n' roll). The Dunces' plan to convince Principal Hale to reinstate the program involves Josh's reluctant participation in a hockey team, Magnolia's enthusiastic role-playing and Wang's disillusionment with a suspicious character named Hui Bing (aka Larry). But can the Dunces really rock, even when they rebrand themselves as Cousin Willy and the Wang Dang Doodles?