I grew up with music, especially my dad’s Hank Williams records. Hank’s music seeped into me even when I was four, five years old. Later I would travel through Alabama to the Hank Williams places – his birthplace, his grave in Montgomery – and write about it. I’d go to Nashville and have a beer in Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, just like Hank did, and ask the musician to sing a Hank Williams song. ‘I’m So Lonesome I could Cry,’ he chose, and I wrote it all down.
I lived just outside Liverpool, a teenager when the Beatles came along. My first LP was their first LP. I saw them play a concert at the Liverpool Empire. Later I would go to Hamburg and write about the Beatles’ time there.
Later I’d go to Jamaica and visit Bob Marley’s home in Kingston, I’d go to Memphis and see Graceland and Sun Studios, I’d visit the BB King Museum in Mississippi and the Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville. Also in Nashville I would stand in RCA Studio B where some of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll records of all time were recorded.
A visit to Chicago could only mean a stop at Chess Studios. New York? Staying at the Washington Hotel where Bob Dylan and Joan Baez stayed, standing with a heavy heart outside the Dakota Building, and walking the streets of Greenwich Village to see the famous clubs, and find the street where the cover of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan was shot (Jones and West 4th).
I love writing about travel and music. Often personal emotions come through, and sometimes I’m just star-struck. Here are some of my travel/music pieces:
Gip’s Backyard Shack of Blues.
Walking in Memphis.
Elvis, the Beatles, and Me.
The Beatles Slept Here.
The Birthplace of the Blues: Dockery Farms in Mississippi.
Black, White, and Blues: Memphis, music, and black history.
Memphis’s Top Ten Music Sites.
Music, Music, Music: The amazing Museum of Musical Instruments in Phoenix.
Nashville: a short feature in Priority magazine for Singapore Airlines.
Nashville Cash: The Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville.
Elvis was my Buddy: Meeting a childhood friend of Elvis’s in Tupelo.
King of the Blues: A visit to the BB King Museum in Mississippi.
BB King Stayed Here: The Metropolitan Hotel in Paducah, Kentucky.