It’s funny. Living in Memphis, growing up around the outer parts of the area, I never really knew about the Beale Street Legacy. As many times as I went to Beale Street when I was younger, I never really stopped and listened to the live music. I was so absorbed in the people, my friends, and the “club” that I failed to see the real Beale Street. After I moved back to Memphis, I began dating and married an amazing musician. He showed me a side of music I had never seen before. Just listening to the Blues and Soul that came out of the clubs he was playing in was life changing. I had to stay. Some people see Beale as a burden and a horrible place. I see it as a second home with an extended family. Our little girl has pretty much grown up there, singing on the various stages, playing drums, and playing a little trumpet (like her old friend Rudy Williams and her daddy). The musicians that play there every single day sometimes get jaded to the honor that they have because they are blessed too play there every day. People come to Beale Street with dreams of playing on a stage on Beale, playing that Southern Blues. My husband does it every day, in all different clubs on the street (there are only about 3 or 4 venues he has not played in on the street). I have been in the presence of great artists and musicians as if they were family. I get to live a dream. It may not be everyone’s dream, and many people do not understand my desire to just be a supporter, but it is my dream. If you ever come to Beale Street, look for what I see in Beale. Look for the real music, not just the loud noise. Look for the young musicians who are really standing out, the ones you will see all over the world in the future. Support them. Let their music support you. That is their gift to you. Don’t go to Beale just too get drunk or party. Let the music move you. Then, you will see my Beale Street.
June 29, 2013