Southern Music Week: Memphis Slim

7 07 2011

Memphis Slim

Sometimes, great as new music is, you just gotta reach way back in your iTunes to those old classics. Memphis Slim is a true Southern original that isn’t to be missed. Though John Len Chatman, known as Memphis Slim passed in 1988, his music lives on.

Born in, where else, Memphis, Tennessee, Memphis Slim was a Southern composer and singer through and through. He came from a line of blues artists including his father, Peter Chatman. Memphis Slim recorded over 500 songs, including his most famous 1947 song, Every Day I Have the Blues, which has been recorded by B. B. King, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, and a host of other names you’d recognize.

Well, if he had the blues, then I’m sure glad! He lead Slim and the House Rockers, playing in the 1940’s. Apart from his music, he led a rich life around the South, up into Chicago, and even Paris for years where he acted in films and liked to be called “Ambassador for the Blues.”

Good music like this endures, no matter the time. So stick a few Memphis Blues songs on your summer soundtrack. You won’t be sorry. But you might be blue.




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