Joe Gaston, L.T. Lewis & Lee Baker
- Television Shows
- News Features
On Wednesday mornings from October 5, 1988 to March 22, 1994 the Center presented a lively 30 minute radio program on Memphis's community radio station WEVL. 89.9. Looking back at the inventory of interviews reconnects us with friends who've taught us about themselves and their communities. We learned about Russian and Jewish Foods from Tsylia Sadetsky, Mexican Food from Bea Gonzalez, Barbecue from Chuck Hauer, Candymaking from Dinstuhl's candy, Indian food from Sammy Riar. Members of the Italian Community shared secrets of playing Italian Round Ball at their Bocce Club while Joe Mixon talked about the difference between Jump Checkers and Checkers. Artist and art dealer Paul Edelstein talked about
collecting. Amazingly this show generated our first fan mail (when
mail was Mail!) A fan of the show wrote about our discussion of the art
by Theora Hamblett which Edelstein had brought to talk about in the
Many musicians were featured on the program. Harmonica great Pete Pederson talked about his early days performing with the Harmonicats on The Ed Sullivan Show, saxophonist Fred Ford performed and talked about traveling with B.B. King and many other musicians on the road, Evelyn Young brought her sax and made the studio reverberate with her version of Misty and many other tunes, blues piano players Booker T. Laury and Mose Vinson talked about early blues clubs where the piano player was one night the shill for the gambling game in the back room and the next night the featured entertainer at clubs and cafes. Pianist Rozelle Claxton talked about playing at the White House, Joyce Cobb shared stories of early performances in Nashville before moving to Memphis, The Compulsive Gamblers - the entire group all showed up at 8:00 in the morning for their interview. The list of performers - blues, gospel, folk, soul, r&b, all came and talked and performed on the program.
In the mid 1980s we also began producing a television program broadcast on Memphis Library Channel 18. The library program, The Center for Southern Folklore Presents ..., continues to this day and is aired numerous times during the week.
These programs feature interviews with artists, performers, craftspeople, local historians and folklorists. From food demonstrations to musical performances these programs provide some of the most outstanding talkers sharing their particular knowledge of Southern Life and culture such as Wood Bell, Othar Turner, Joe Scott, Charlie Musselwhite and Evelyn Young to name but a few.
Since our early interviews with news media, the Center has collected film and video copies of news and features broadcast about the Center. This provides a history of the Center and many of the artists and performers with whom we've worked. Whether it was a feature on CBS about the blues, a BBC interview about Memphis, or a local feature on a craftsperson copies of these interviews are stored in the Center's archives .
This 30 year plus collection of videos and films about
the Center for independent productions, local and national news media include many interviews that provide insights in the history of the
Center while showcasing events, artists and special programs.