Robert Gordon (no relation) is the author of some of my favorite books on music, including It Came From Memphis, Respect Yourself: Stax Records and the Soul Explosion, and Can’t Be Satisfied, the best Muddy Waters bio, bar none. Gordon has a new tome that will be published on March 6th, 2018 titled Memphis Rent Party: The Blues, Rock & Soul in Music’s Hometown, an exploration of the great music made by legends like bluesman Furry Lewis, rocker Alex Chilton, and many others.
On March 9th, a few days after the publication of what promises to be another great book by Gordon, Fat Possum Records will release a soundtrack LP on glorious vinyl to accompany the book. Featuring a veritable “who’s who” of unsung Memphis musical idols, the album covers the genres and artists that make the Bluff City special, from the aforementioned Lewis and Chilton to Tav Falco’s Panther Burns, early rockers Charlie Feathers and Jerry Lee Lewis, and bona fide Memphis music legend Jim Dickinson.
Better than half of the Memphis Rent Party album is comprised of previously-unreleased material like Chilton’s reckless performance of reggae legend Jimmy Cliff’s classic “The Harder They Come”; a collaboration between the North Mississippi Allstars’ Luther Dickinson and Sharde Thomas, granddaughter of bluesman Otha Turner; and Big Daddy Jim Dickinson’s tongue-in-cheek track “I’d Love to Be A Hippie (But My Hair Won’t Grow That Long).”
No matter your taste in music, there’s something among the dozen tracks on Memphis Rent Party to tickle your fancy, the album’s creative diversity making it the perfect soundtrack to listen to while reading Gordon’s latest book!
Memphis Rent Party LP tracklist:
1. Jerry McGill – “Desperados Waiting For A Train”
2. Luther Dickinson and Sharde Thomas – “Chevrolet”
3. Junior Kimbrough – “All Night Long”
4. Furry Lewis – “Why Don’t You Come Home Blues”
5. Calvin Newborn – “Frame for the Blues”
1. Alex Chilton with the Randy Band – “Johnny Too Bad”
2. Jerry Lee Lewis – “Harbor Lights”
3. The Fieldstones – “Little Bluebird”
4. The Panther Burns – “Drop Your Mask”
5. Mose Vinson – “Same Thing on My Mind”
6. Charlie Feathers – “Defrost Your Heart”
7. Jim Dickinson – “I’d Love to Be A Hippie”
Buy the book from Amazon.com: Robert Gordon’s Memphis Rent Party
By the LP from Amazon.com: Fat Possum’s Memphis Rent Party