Sadly, Chicago's own Bernie Mac passed away this weekend, but we were really bummed in our house about losing Isaac Hayes. Our family got hooked on Memphis soul music when we took a family weekend trip there a couple winters ago. My son wrote a report on Memphis Soul for his 5th grade music class and got an A+. He wanted to sample his favorite song, "Theme from Shaft" but decided it wasn't "school appropriate" ("Who is the black private dick who's a sex machine to all the chicks? Shaft!") Son declared Isaac Hayes' gold plated, fur lined, peacock blue stretch Cadillac on display at Stax Records, "the coolest car ever."(Daughter's reaction, "Mom? What does Superfly mean?")
Here's Sam and Dave performing Soul Man, written by Hayes when he was a studio musician at Stax. Son did sample this for his school report:
Seriously, everyone should take their kids to Memphis. We had a blast. We went to the Civil Rights Museum (excellent, but an emotional and difficult history to share with our children); toured 2 very famous recording studios: Stax and Sun records; visited the Smithsonian Rock and Soul museum; saw Elvis' digs at Graceland; experienced the birthplace of the Blues on Beale Street; ate at the delicious historic Fourway Restaurant where Dr. MLKing, Jr. had his last meal in Memphis (not a great neighborhood, but don't be nervous. The proprietors were friendly and the soul food was terrific.)
Another winter, we gotaway to Nashville and found it to be very bland. The economy is better in Nashville, so the city had far less seedy areas, but the country music just didn't have the same allure for us as the rock, blues and soul of Memphis. We like going to cities and seeing social and political history, but it was hard to find any of this in Nashville, except that one of our Presidental homes is there and that was a great tour.
Gadzooks, I ramble! My grammar gets worse and worse. I did find my camera and I finished that sailboat quilt. Stay tuned!