David Dye

Star & Micey brings a fresh perspective on the Memphis music scene, where the band currently thrives; it was listed at No. 1 on Paste magazine's list of "12 Tennessee Bands You Should Listen to Now," and it was also our World Cafe: Next artist this week.

"Suspicious Minds" by Elvis Presley. "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" by Aretha Franklin. "Son of a Preacher Man" by Dusty Springfield. "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond. All of these legendary songs were recorded at Memphis' American Sound Studio, the last of the five studios we're featuring in our trip to Memphis as part of the quarterly "Sense of Place" series.

Lucero On World Cafe

Jan 16, 2013

In this "Sense of Place" installment, we meet the blue-collar Memphis rock band Lucero, which performs a stripped-down session in Ardent Studio A, where they worked on their album 1372 Overton Park.

In the beginning, Lucero was all about combining a punk aesthetic with Tom Waits' lyrical sensibility. Over the years, the Memphis sound has crept into the band's music, including a horn section on its last two albums.

Our "Sense of Place" visit to Memphis, Tenn., moves away from soul music to the place where some of the seminal American power-pop records were created. Ardent Studios is where the Memphis band Big Star made three albums that helped define the genre.

Graceland On World Cafe

Jan 15, 2013

In this installment of "Sense of Place: Memphis," we pay a visit to Graceland, Elvis Presley's storied estate. We hear from Kevin Kern, PR director for Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc., and Elvis' daughter Lisa Marie Presley.

Kern gives us a personal tour of The King's estate, shares how Graceland was really a home to the singer, explains why it might seem small to us today, and offers up a few facts listeners might not know.

As part of World Cafe's "Sense of Place" series on Memphis, Tenn., we've dug up archival interviews with two legendary Stax Records performers: guitarist Steve Cropper and organist Booker T. Jones, both of Booker T. & The M.G.'s.

Isaac Hayes On World Cafe

Jan 14, 2013

As part of our "Sense of Place" series on Memphis, we dug into the World Cafe archives and pulled out a 2003 interview with Stax Records' best-selling artist, the late Isaac Hayes.

Before Hayes became known for the theme to Shaft, he was an in-house songwriter and producer for Stax; along with David Porter, he wrote the iconic hit "Soul Man" for Sam & Dave.

Here, host David Dye speaks with Hayes about his beginnings at Stax, his work with Booker T. Jones and the Memphis scene in general, which he called "wonderfully incestuous."

Soul music, barbeque and Elvis Presley. World Cafe is spending this week getting the vibe of Memphis, Tenn., a city that — like New Orleans — has had an undeniable influence on all of American culture. Our "Sense of Place: Memphis" radio journey takes us to the five major studios where much of the music that came out of radios from the '50s to the '70s was made.

In addition to leading Phish, one of rock's most beloved jam bands, Trey Anastasio has built a successful solo career in the past 10 years with his Trey Anastasio Band.

This segment, from Jan. 18, 2008, is part of our Vintage Cafe series, in which we revisit some of our best studio performances. Here, we remember an Americana legend and drummer for the '60s rock group The Band, Levon Helm, who died in 2012.

Levon Helm first picked up a guitar at age 8, but soon switched to drums. Though best known as the famous drummer for the rock group The Band, Helm continued to influence music with his collaborations and solo works.

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