Dewey and Elvis: The Life and Times of a Rock 'n' Roll by Louis Cantor

By Louis Cantor

Beginning in 1949, whereas Elvis Presley and solar files have been nonetheless nearly unknown--and complete years sooner than Alan Freed famously "discovered" rock 'n' roll--Dewey Phillips introduced rock 'n' roll to the Memphis airwaves by way of taking part in Howlin' Wolf, B. B. King, and Muddy Waters on his nightly radio exhibit Red, scorching and Blue. The mid-South's hottest white deejay, "Daddy-O-Dewey" is a part of rock 'n' roll heritage for being the 1st significant disc jockey to play Elvis Presley (and as a consequence to behavior the 1st reside, on-air interview with Elvis). This ebook illustrates Phillips's function in turning a tremendous white viewers directly to formerly forbidden race tune. His zeal for rhythm and blues legitimized the sound and set the degree for either Elvis's next good fortune and the rock 'n' roll revolution of the Fifties. utilizing own interviews, documentary resources, and the oral historical past collections on the middle for Southern Folklore and the collage of Memphis, Louis Cantor offers a really own view of the disc jockey whereas arguing for his position as an important a part of rock 'n' roll history.

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Until that time, virtually no one on Main Street had been overly concerned with the black dollar. indd 38 2/8/05 1:51:20 PM Dewey Arrives at the Five-and-Dime statistical information on the new purchasing power of the local African American community. Nonetheless, by the time Dewey started stirring things up at the five-and-dime almost any casual observer could see the changes. Following World War II a more urbane, affluent black community began to appear on the streets and in the shops of Memphis and the Mid-South.

60 It is true that he delighted in taking his show to the edge of what was then considered to be acceptable broadcast norms. But he always carefully avoided the traditional four-letter words, choosing instead to get most points across by ambiguity, innuendo, and suggestion. ”). K. 61 Dewey was also extremely fond of double entendres, which may have allowed his audience to share a feeling of subversive camaraderie, one of the many bonuses for tuning in to the show. In addition, Dewey liked to play songs that had obviously risqué lyrics, sending them out especially for the benefit of Lloyd T.

31 Grant’s manager quickly sensed that the explosive Dewey Phillips was the best enticement he had to lure black customers into his establishment. Vassar Slate, the black bartender at the Variety Club of Memphis, a spot Dewey frequented often after he joined the radio station, remembers the lure Dewey used to attract African Americans to Grant’s. Slate, a veteran observer of the Memphis entertainment scene, dates his long-time friendship with Dewey to the days he first encountered him at Grant’s.

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