The label has already preserved a number of classic records drawing on the city’s rich musical landscape by artists including Big Star, Alex Chilton, Sandra Rhodes, and Sid Selvidge. On April 14, Omnivore will add to that collection with the reissue of Beale Street Saturday Night, produced and curated in 1979 by the late Jim Dickinson in celebration of the city’s blues mecca Beale Street.
Produced for The Memphis Development Foundation (and with proceeds today going to benefit the Beale Street Caravan, a non-commercial radio series), the fourteen tracks on Beale Street Saturday Night featured many of the city’s best and brightest including Sid Selvidge (bandmate with Dickinson in Mud Boy and the Neutrons, who are also featured on the compilation), Sleepy John Estes and Furry Lewis. The original record helped save the Orpheum Theatre on the famous Memphis thoroughfare; the theatre is still happily showplace to musicals and concerts alike today.
Jim Dickinson’s son Luther, himself a consummate musician and member of North Mississippi Allstars, describes the very special music in the grooves of this album (which will, indeed, be available on vinyl with download card as well as on CD): “This is not a field recording. Jim produced these multi-tracked recordings in The Orpheum Theatre, at Ardent and Sam Phillips Studios, and in his home on his beloved Ampex 8-track. He loved the concept of a hi-fi recording of a lo-fi sound. He said Johnny Woods could read his mind in the studio. This is an example of the world boogie, the country blues masters and the crazy white boys, locking themselves in world class recording studios for late night recording sessions because they loved playing music together—Mud Boy & The Neutrons (Jim Dickinson, Sid Selvidge, Lee Baker, and Jimmy Crosthwait), Fred Ford, Sleepy John Estes, Prince Gabe, Furry Lewis, Teenie Hodges, Johnny Woods, and so many more.”
Preserving the vibrant blues-based music being created during a dark time for Memphis, Beale Street Saturday Night comes to life anew on April 14 from Omnivore on CD, DD and LP. You can pre-order the album directly from Omnivore now, and we will update with Amazon links as soon as they are active!
Various Artists, Beale Street Saturday Night (Orpheum O-101, 1979 – reissued Omnivore, 2015) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. TBD)
- Walkin’ Down Beale Street – Sid Selvidge
- Hernando Horn – Fred Ford
- Beale Street Blues – Grandma Dixie Davis
- Big Fat Mama/Liquor Store – Sleepy John Estes
- Ol’ Beale Street Blues – Prince Gabe
- Furry’s Blues – Furry Lewis
- Rock Me Baby – Teeny Hodges
- Rock Me Baby – Alex
- “Ben Griffin was Killed in the Monarch…” – Thomas Pinkston
- Frisco Blow – Johnny Woods
- On the Road Again – Mud Boy and the Neutrons
- “Mr. Handy Told Me 50 Years Ago…” – Thomas Pinkston
- Chicken Ain’t Nothin’ But a Bird – Furry Lewis
- Roll On, Mississippi – Grandma Dixie Davis