The term ‘fangirling’ is defined in the urban dictionary as “the reaction a fangirl has to any mention or sighting of the object of her "affection." These reactions include shortness of breath, fainting, high-pitched noises, shaking …” This Memphis trip has seen many of us use the term fangirling on a regular basis as one adventure leads to another equally fascinating adventure.
This morning began with a tour of Ardent Studios led by yet another icon of the Memphis music scene, Jody Stephens, formerly the drummer for Big Star and now part owner of Ardent Studios. We cruised through the studios hearing stories of who recorded in each studio, some of the challenges that needed to be overcome and listening to explanations surrounding equipment all delivered by a man who belonged to a band that became an important contributor to the growth of the music industry. Despite his busy schedule, he answered every question in a quiet, measured fashion and was happy to pose for a group photo before dashing off to his next meeting.
Next came a little retail therapy on Beale Street before a tour of Sun Studio where the likes of Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash grew and developed into the artists we remember. A museum on the second floor houses pictures, clothing and recording equipment from back in the day while on the main floor, the still-functioning recording studio holds a treasure trove of memories that our tour guide was happy to share.
Last but not least on today’s itinerary was a return visit with the students of the Stax Academy. After a pizza dinner, students from SHDHS played for students from the Stax Academy before the tables were turned and we heard from the talented Stax students. Students from both schools happily sat in with each other as the performances continued under the watchful eye of Wayne and Amy Jackson who enjoyed every note of each piece. Several of the pieces performed by both groups were live streamed on Facebook so be sure to head over to our Facebook page and listen to the archived copies.
Back at the hotel, we prepare for one last day in Memphis.