Culture Grits : A Mouthful of Memphis Culture

THE LATEST

Battling Polycystic Kidney Disease

- by Jon Devin

Karyn Waxman of East Memphis had one of those moments that everyone fears, sitting in a doctor's office, test results in his hands, and he says to her, "I think you should call your husband."

Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) had erupted painfully across six organs in her lower abdomen causing massive swelling. Though it's been almost a decade since the day when she was diagnosed with this relatively unknown, life-threatening disease, there is still no cure or treatment. Still Waxman says her glass has always been half-full.

MORE »

The Man from Macon: The Otis Redding Story Part IV

- by Joe Nolan

The best things that happened at Stax happened by accident, and the discovery of their biggest talent was no different. Many legends surround the recording of "These Arms of Mine", but every one jives on the fact that Otis wasn't supposed to be recording anything that day.

Johnny Jenkins had a hit with an instrumental called "Love Twist" that eventually became so popular that Atlantic bought the record for national distribution. Having made an investment in Jenkins, they were itching to capitalize and arranged the session at Stax in order to cut a follow-up single.

MORE »

Photo Essay: Admire Sublimity - A Serving of Barcelona

- by Joe W.

In this photo essay, [Joe W.] wishes to show you some of the odds and ends of a Barcelona, Spain you might not be familiar with. But his hope is that when you visit Barcelona, you will find yourself in similar situations and enjoy them as much as he does. From La Paella to La Playa, Barcelona has many stories to tell. And sometimes the best stories cannot be written down.

MORE »

Music: The Man from Macon - The Otis Redding Story Part III

- by Joe Nolan

Every week Swain hammed it up on air, introduced acts, played saxophone, and – week after week – he announced Otis Redding as the winner of the variety program. The program got Otis noticed by the young ladies who listened to the program every week to hear the tall, clean-cut, Redding sing in his modified Little Richard style. Otis also caught the attention of another Macon music legend with dreams of his own.

MORE »

Travel: Wanderlust

- by Joe W.

This is the introduction to a travel series written by Memphian Joseph Weintraub, who will be traveling through Europe this summer. This piece was written previously while he was studying in Germany. As you look through his stories, please try and take a look through his eyes. It is not his purpose to inform as much as it is to enlighten - to spark your curiosity in another culture and to make you aware of the relevance each culture pertains to your own life.

MORE »

Essay: Watch Your Speed - The Legend of the Real Casey Jones

- by Joe Nolan

By the time Casey pulled his six cars out of Memphis, it was 12:05 a.m., and he was 95 minutes late. With a big engine, a reliable fireman, and a drizzling rain, conditions were perfect for a hurtling run to Canton. Steam engines ran better in damp weather, but as Jones sounded his whistle on the way out of Memphis, the tell-tale mist of a coming fog swirled in his wake, foretelling a deadly tragedy to come.

MORE »