Take Me To The River

Carla Thomas 2

Down by the banks of the muddy, mighty, meandering Mississippi, in Memphis, lies a street that is short in length but very, very  long in musical tradition and history.

Beale Street…”Home of the Blues”.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beale_Street

On November 7, 2013 I was asked to attend and photograph the Memphis Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
As has been mentioned before, I have been involved in many photography assignments for Mike Curb in the last few years…music, racing, family, etc.

I often have little idea of what I am attending or shooting until I am there.  I assumed that this was one in a string of events where Mike was either presenting or receiving an award. (In this case, the award is called the Mike Curb award, or the “Mike” )

It turned out to be both, but…. much, much more for me, a child of the 60’s.

I could write thousands of words on this evening… but I will try to sum up the event with a few words and pictures.

Where to begin….

The ‘house’ band for the night was the Hi Rhythm section.  That means the ‘cats’ who played on the Al Green records of the 60’s…along with many others. (They had played on 20 gold and platinum records through the 70’s)
This is Teenie Hodges, who also wrote “Take Me to the River” (Al Green, Talking Heads, etc) and “Love and Happiness”…. Still tight after all these years!!!!
Teenie Hodges
One of the recipients was the Bar-Kays.

BarKays 1

Two of the original members, James Alexander

James Alexander 1

and Ben Cauley

Ben Cauley

brought the house down with a rousing rendition of their first hit “Soulfinger”.

Here’s the original of that… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfK1IPLpcqs
and were joined by their lead vocalist, Larry Dodson for “Freakshow on the Dance Floor”

Larry Dodson

Check Dodson out in this 80’s video.

Ben Cauley was the sole survivor of the plane crash that took Otis Redding and the rest of the original  Bar-Kays…(except James Alexander, who was fortunate enough to have been on a different plane.)


The “Mike” was also handed to Carla Thomas who at 70 years of age performed her hit “Gee-Whiz (Look at His Eyes)” and still has the crystal clear voice of the 17 year old girl who first cut the record.

Carla Thomas 1

Also honored, David Porter who wrote the songs “Soul Man”, “If Something Is Wrong With My Baby”, and “Hold On, I’m Coming” for Sam and Dave.  His music was performed by 2013  “The Voice” finalist Kris Thomas.  The award was presented by Jimmy Jam (producer for Janet Jackson, etc.)

Kris Thomas

Whether you like Gospel music or not,  recipients The Blackwood Brothers can ‘flat out’ sing!!!!

Blackwood Brothers

Johnny Cash was inducted and Memphis blues icon Bobby Rush performed “I Walk the Line” in tribute.


Mike Curb did present an award to Knox Phillips, son of Sam Phillips of Sun Records. Also included were Phineas Newborn, Jr., Rev. Herbert W. Brewster, Roland Janes, Memphis Jug Band, Sid Selvidge, and Kay Starr.

David Porter, Jimmy Jam, Mike CurbMike Curb with David Porter and Jimmy Jam

The last inductee of the evening was the late Albert King.  With the Hi Rhythm section to back him, Paul Rodgers (Free….Bad Company) took the stage to perform “Born Under a Bad Sign”.  Unbelievable!

Paul Rodgers 3

Paul Rodgers 2

Paul Rodgers 1

The show was produced by Boo Mitchell who is certainly no stranger to the Memphis sound.


I’m not sure that I have ever enjoyed a photo assignment as much as this one.  To sum it up…..Wow!  What a treat!

~ by rkpowers on November 25, 2013.

2 Responses to “Take Me To The River”

  1. Wow Randy…what a treat to see and hear all these artists and their music. I would have been thrilled to have been a fly on the wall for that event.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: