Beale Street, When it was the Center of Black Culture

Rufus Thomas, of the “Funky Chicken,” once said of Memphis’  Beale Street that it was heaven. “I told a white fella,” Thomas  said, “that if you were black for one Saturday night on Beale Street, you would never want to be white anymore.” It’s one of my favorite places in the world, and even though it’s all touristy now, you still can get a sense of when it ruled the world. Musically, at least for rock ‘n’ roll, this is Mecca. Here’s my review of an excellent new book on the history of Beale Street, and the black power lord who ruled its sin palaces for many years.

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