Every state in the South has contributed to the grand narrative of American music, but few can match Tennessee’s deep roots in the blues and jazz, gospel, soul and r&b, rockabilly, rock & roll, and country—or its tremendous concentration of historic record labels and music industry visionaries.
While my sister is, inarguably, an “obsessive country-music fan,” she is not a crazed fan. She doesn't stalk people, has never been arrested, doesn’t do drugs, has never auditioned for a reality TV show.
With its haunting melody, pressing rhythms, and determination, in the face of the grief that inspired it, to look on the positive side of things, Hebb’s recording of “Sunny” captured the spirit of its time.
Memphis was bursting with music. It was a hot stew of musical urgency: blues and Southern gospel, rock & roll, the “hillbilly” music that came to be called “country,” and the new strains of rockabilly.