VOL. 133 | NO. 91 | Monday, May 7, 2018
Last Word: BSMF Notes, Political Dominoes and The Teacher Pipeline
By Bill Dries
Yes, it rained. There was even hail for a brief period. None of that appeared to make a dent in the run of the Beale Street Music Festival. We are still waiting on exact box office numbers. The park was sold out – Ticketfly and at the gate -- early Sunday evening. It wasn’t a sellout Friday and Saturday but ticket supplies were tight for Tom Lee Park with the festival estimating there were thousands more people Saturday than there were Friday. Much to be said for a lineup this year that managed to strike a balance between hipster, cutting edge nobody-knows-about-this-yet new and used-to-be-big-not-so-long-ago nostalgia.
In many cases, the middle ground this year was artists with a timeless appeal and those who are on their own journey with their music and lots of interest in where they are going as well as where they’ve been. Also some really good local music moments like Tav Falco and Panther Burns, Chinese Connection Dub Embassy and Porcelan from David Porter’s Made in Memphis Entertainment label who was added when there was a rare cancellation by Oh Wonder. And Valerie June made it after not being included in an earlier version of the line up.
Lots of credit to “ground reports” on social media – official and unofficial that allowed festival goers to get a good look at the ground conditions because it is rarely as bad as you think it is. There was about a 15-minute break in the music Saturday for the rain to roll through with Calexico doing an unplugged set. The key to the reports is to do the mud conditions not the weather so much.
This is the week that Tom Lee Park gets a break and toward the end of the week begins making the transition to the barbecue contest which opens May 16. This week is international week for MIM which is honoring the Czech Republic this year. Events are at various locations including a Thursday “One Night In Prague” event at the Orpheum.
Here is the rest of The Week Ahead.
And our “Around Memphis” reading list offers perspective from outside the city on the value of taking in Memphis and Nashville together to get a better idea of where modern music has been as well as a review of Robert Gordon’s latest effort.
This isn’t just an election year. And forget blue wave vs. red tide at least until early voting returns the last two weeks in July. This is more like an elaborate set up of falling dominoes with what happens across our three elections here affecting local elections for at least several years.
Let’s start with Philip Spinosa’s resignation late last week from the Memphis City Council to become vice president of the Greater Memphis Chamber’s Chairmen’s Circle. Spinosa’s departure could be one of four on the 13-member body depending on the results of three races in the August county general elections featuring current members of the council – Janis Fullilove, who is the Democratic nominee for Juvenile Court Clerk; Edmund Ford who is the Democratic nominee for the commission seat his cousin, Justin Ford, is giving up because of term limits and Bill Morrison, who is the Democratic nominee for Probate Court Clerk.
It’s not on any committee list as the week begins, but council members are likely to at least talk over a time table for filling the Spinosa vacancy at some point Tuesday. My guess would be that could be a very brief discussion in executive session Tuesday afternoon.
Should Ford, Fullilove or Morrison not make it in the August election results, they are off the council at the end of 2019 because of the existing city charter limits of no more than two consecutive terms of office – three of six council member up against term limits. That is unless Memphis voters approve a ballot question this November that would extend the term limits to three consecutive terms effective immediately and allow those now term-limited to run again in 2019. Spinosa was in his first term on the council.
The interim CEO of Fred's had his first earnings conference call with analysts just days after two more executives left the upper ranks of the Memphis-based corporation.
The pipeline for teachers in Memphis schools continues to take shape with new programs aimed specifically at getting teachers into inner-city schools.
Catching up to a New York Times op-ed by Steve Cavendish on the Bredesen-Blackburn Senate race and the ashes of a Blackburn expense report from the 1990s.
The new interim CEO of Memphis-based Fred’s Inc. makes his debut with analysts on an earnings conference call last week – about the time that two more Fred’s executives left the company. The presentation was 13 minutes long.
It was just about a decade ago that Kriner Cash became the last superintendent of Memphis City Schools and talked of an immediate goal of changing the teacher pipeline into Memphis classrooms – inner-city classrooms in particular. The pipeline is still under construction and Toni Lepeska documents the current state of it in the cover story for our weekly, The Memphis News.
Chalkbeat on students who move a lot and become teachers.
A follow up to our story about more Germantown city funding for deferred maintenance on school buildings there – now including the dollar amounts proposed by Germantown Mayor Mike Palazzolo in his budget proposal.
OZY on the Lorenzen Wright murder case.
Here’s the plan for the AutoZone Liberty Bowl's 60th edition, which will be carried on ESPN New Year’s Eve.
Coming in June, new music made in Memphis at Sam Phillips Recording by McKenna Bray. Here is the trailer.
Lewis Bobo Jr., the owner of the Gay Hawk restaurant, was laid to rest Saturday. He owned the Danny Thomas Boulevard landmark across the street from the football field at Booker T. Washington High School starting in 1963. It was a part of the city’s night life for decades mixing jazz with soul food and after hours visits by VIPs that these days are done in special rooms and lounges. Today the restaurant remains a landmark and is more of a lunch spot – and a worthy candidate for inclusion on the Memphis Heritage Trail we’ve been writing about recently.
The New York Daily News reporter who covers the Knicks has backstory on David Fizdale’s endgame with the Grizz and the locker room tensions.
The Memphis News Almanac: BSMF when it was actually on Beale Street, convention center opens with the original version of Memphis In May, and Billy Joel in the original Overton Square.