VOL. 11 | NO. 18 | Saturday, May 5, 2018
May 4-10, 2018: This week in Memphis history
1989: The Beale Street Music Festival is a two-day affair spread across nine nightclubs on Beale, the stage in Handy Park, a tent and First Baptist Church on Beale. J. Blackfoot and Nighthawks featuring Jimmy Hall as well as Rufus Thomas and Ruby Wilson are the headliners in a mostly local, blues-centric lineup with some zydeco and blues-flavored rock thrown in.
The church stage is open only on Sunday and features an afternoon and evening lineup of gospel singers and groups. Among the other Memphis performers are Joyce Cobb, Larry Raspberry and the Highsteppers, Don McMinn and the Rum Boogie Band, Human Radio, Kaya & The Weldors, Jimmy Davis and Fat Man & The Maniacs.
(Memphis News File/Lance Murphey)
1974: Grand opening of the Everett R. Cook Convention and Exhibition Center. The $29 million center opened with the “Mid-American Exposition,” featuring 11 themed areas showcasing products and services from Memphis and the surrounding area. The exposition included a “Memphis in May” exhibit with live entertainment to promote events held in Memphis each May. Three years before the inaugural Memphis in May International Festival, those events included the annual visit of the Metropolitan Opera, Memphis Cotton Carnival, The Danny Thomas Memphis Golf Classic at Colonial Country Club and the St. Jude Shower of Stars program.
And Billy Joel plays Lafayette’s Music Room in Overton Square. Joel is still new to audiences even though he recorded his first hit, “Piano Man,” a year earlier on his first album with Columbia Records. Joel’s first album, “Cold Spring Harbor,” gets little traction in Memphis and other markets because the record is mastered at the wrong speed.