Local Color - Dec. 20, 2012

Uploaded by WKNOPBS on 21.12.2012

>> female announcer: This is a
production of WKNO, Memphis.
Production funding for this
program is made possible in part
>> (instrumental music)
>> Shannon: Hi, I'm Mamie
Welcome to "Local Color."
I'm glad you guys are with me
So I've got Kevin Kern coming in
and we're going to talk about
Graceland for the holidays and
Elvis's birthday coming up.
The Icons Exhibit which is
quickly approaching it's exit.
Who do you have today?
>> Davis: You need to talk to
We're just talking about New
Years Eve.
>> Shannon: We're talking about
New Years Eve.
Chris is the New Years Eve man.
>> Ford: The party!
He's always a party.
>> Davis: Where ever I go.
>> Shannon: That's it.
A legend in his own mind.
>> Ford: I have Alice Rainey
Berry coming in from Voices of
the South to talk about what's
up for them, what's new.
>> Shannon: Do you guys ever go
to the Liberty Bowl parade?
>> Davis: Not in a while.
>> Shannon: See, we go every
It's December 30 on Beale
It starts at 4th and goes all
the way down.
And they've got-I don't even
know who's planning the Liberty
Bowl this year.
This is awful.
>> Davis: We are always out of
town that week.
>> Shannon: Are you really?
>> Davis: Yes, we have family in
Louisiana, family in Middle
So we are over five states in
the course of about three days.
>> Shannon: Oh, gosh!
Well, we are on Beale Street and
we usually hang out right in
front of the New Daisy Theater.
But, you know, the parade is
really cool because it's almost
like you get to go to something
that's not in your hometown but
it's in your hometown.
You know because the teams are
always from out of town and
they've always got the
cheerleaders and the football
players and everybody on the
floats and the marching bands.
I love the marching bands.
But we do have local bands that
are in the parade as well.
Yeah, so that is Sunday,
December 30 at 3:00.
And then they turn this Liberty
Bowl in to an entire weekend of
You know, there's the bash on
Beale which after the parade,
it's a huge pep rally for the
two teams and it's in the
pavilion at Handy Park.
Yeah, you need to take the kids
down there.
It really is a lot of fun.
>> Ford: They would love that.
>> Shannon: And that is Sunday,
December 30 at 5:00.
So as soon as the parades over,
you just kind of wander in to
the plaza at Handy Park.
And then, it's the 54th Annual
Liberty Bowl.
>> Ford: That's so amazing.
>> Shannon: Yeah and then of
course, that's at Liberty Bowl
Wish I knew who was playing but-
I'm sure we could figure it out.
And that is on Sunday-Monday,
December 31.
So that's on New Years Day.
So we're going to talk about
things going on for New Years in
a little bit.
>> Davis: Partying downtown,
mid-town, all around the town.
>> Shannon: Fun!
So later on we'll talk about
that but in just a moment, I'll
be talking with Kevin Kern about
plans for Elvis's birthday at
>> (instrumental music)
>> Shannon: Kevin, I'm so glad
you came at this time of year
Graceland looks beautiful as
usual all dressed-up for the
>> Kern: I know.
We were just finishing putting
up the decorations and wrapping
the presents and wrapping
presents for Christmas and
Elvis's birthday.
Everything's right around the
>> Shannon: Now, home for the
holidays is the theme for this
holiday season.
Tell me what you have going on.
>> Kern: Well, we've got all the
traditional decorations that
were up when Elvis was living.
It's truly like stepping back in
time when you walk through the
front door of Graceland but
especially this time of year.
One of the things that's most
unique when you do step through
the front door is Elvis
typically had blue curtains in
the living room but he had
special red curtains just for
the holidays.
>> Shannon: No way!
>> Kern: Yeah.
>> Shannon: And you put them up
for Christmas?
>> Kern: We do put them up.
The original curtains, they go
And it's really neat to just
walk through the house and see
how the Presley family as a
whole lived.
It was Elvis's favorite time of
So the house is decorated top to
He really loved the season, so
much so that the decorations
actually stayed up through his
birthday which is January 8.
So we maintain that tradition
So we lit up Graceland earlier
this year and it's always a fun
When we light up Graceland
there's always 100 percent
chance of snow.
The king let us buy a snow
But we always have fun during
the holidays and it's a great
time to come and see Graceland.
You know, if the kids are out of
school, it's something to do.
You can be a tourist in your own
hometown and can go see what
600,000 people annually come to
see right here in Memphis.
>> Shannon: So tell me the hours
of operation for the tours in
the daytime.
>> Kern: Right, we operate from
10:00 to 4:00.
And you can go to elvis-dot-com
for more information on the
Our operating days change
throughout the season.
Right now we're open seven days
a week.
As we cross in to the new year,
we start to close on Tuesday so
we can do some of our routine
The king's castle has to have
some preservation.
It is a historic home so we use
the solar time in our winter
months to do some of that
necessary work.
>> Shannon: And now you talked
about the birthday which is
January 8.
And I know that you have a few
hours like two or three days on
the weekend, in the morning, and
then the afternoon.
>> Kern: Everyday actually at
Graceland we allow folks the
opportunity to walk up the
driveway at Graceland and go to
the grave and pay their
And during the busier time,
around Elvis's birthday, we do
that in both the morning and the
evening hours.
And it's just a way to let folks
go pay their respects to the
king of rock and roll without
having to pay an admission to
It's just the right thing to do.
It's what Elvis would have
But, you know, you're right.
We are gearing up for the
We're going to have one heck of
a birthday cake as we always do.
Birthday cake fit for a king.
And, you know, as we enter 2013
it's the 40th anniversary of
Elvis's "Aloha from Hawaii"
television special which that
sounds like it was so long ago
but it was television history.
It was the world's first
satellite televised concert.
And more people saw Elvis than
the man landing on the moon and
it truly was a monumental
television and music event.
>> Shannon: So you've given me
kind of a little glimpse of what
the special things are going on
for the birthday.
Tell me more.
>> Kern: We're actually having
the Memphis Symphony Orchestra
is doing part of their Pops
series is the Elvis-yes, at the
Cannon Center.
And that is on Saturday, January
5 at 7:30 PM.
Tickets still available.
And it will be a great show as
But they're focusing on the
music of the Aloha from Hawaii
>> Shannon: Oh, that's going to
be beautiful.
>> Kern: Special guest Terry
Mike Jeffery is going to of
course do the vocals as he
traditionally does and always
does a great job.
And the MSO just does a
fantastic job paying tribute to
Elvis every year.
>> Shannon: And if I'm not
mistaken, the birthday
celebration was like at 9:30 in
the morning.
And then the public is invited.
>> Kern: Yes, January 8, 9:30 in
the morning we're going to-we
have our Elvis Presley Day
Mayor Wharton traditionally
joins us and does his poetic
tribute to Elvis Presley which
has always entertained the fans.
>> Shannon: You can tell he's a
fan, too.
>> Kern: He truly is.
And the fans who come here from
around the world love to see
Mayor Wharton and they often
times chant AC because he writes
these just poetic tributes to
And then we cut the cake.
>> Shannon: Everybody gets a
piece of cake.
>> Kern: Everybody gets a piece
of cake.
It's an awfully big cake so all
the fans from around the world,
all of the Memphians that come
out can have a free piece of
And also that day, we open up
our new exhibit which is called-
we're going to open up our new
exhibit which pays tribute to
Elvis's time in Hawaii.
So it's how he vacationed there.
He filmed two movies but
focusing on this Aloha from
Hawaii concert which is just a
monumental year as we celebrate
this groundbreaking television
>> Shannon: Well, listen.
You've told me that I've got to
go see Icons.
Tell me about Icons.
>> Kern: Time is running out on
And sometimes Memphians don't
want to go to Graceland because
all the tourists are there but
this is one of those exhibits
that Memphians have to come and
Come and see it.
Come and check it out because,
you know, theres so many artists
that have been influenced by
Elvis Presley.
I mean, we heard from Bruno Mars
over the weekend who just
professed his love of Elvis
Presley who used to come here
with his family when he was a
little kid shaking his hips as a
young Elvis tribute artist back
in the day.
Now he's a big star on his own.
But you know, from the likes of
Bruce Springsteen to Trisha
Yearwood to Vinch Gill and Amy
Grant, a variety of celebrities,
big Elvis fans.
So over 75 artifacts that have
been loaned to Elvis Presley
Enterprises and Graceland for
displays as well as artifacts on
loan from the Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame.
>> Shannon: From the artists who
were Elvis fans, correct?
>> Kern: Exactly.
>> Shannon: Oh my goodness!
>> Kern: So the artists and also
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
helped us complete this
exhibition by loaning us
artifacts from James Brown, the
Beatles, as well.
It's a fantastic exhibit.
The Beatles tremendously
influenced by Elvis Presley.
John Lennon said without Elvis,
there would be no Beatles.
And it's certainly true and
those are the types of things
that we explore.
So there's really no Elvis
memorabilia there.
It's just rock and roll icons
that have represented Elvis.
>> Shannon: I'm going to have to
Please come back and see us.
>> Kern: We will definitely.
>> Shannon: Thank you, Kevin.
We'll be right back with Tracey
and Alice Berry from Voices of
the South.
>> (instrumental music)
>> Ford: Alice, thank you so
much for stopping by.
I so appreciate it.
So, I want to catch up with
Voices of the South.
What do you guys have going on
in December?
>> Berry: Well, we've got a lot
of stuff going on in December.
And our final thing-we're
wrapping up the month Friday
night at 8:00 with Glory
Glory Stories is a piece that
celebrates the real reason for
the season as it were-
forgiveness and grace, the
blessings that we all have in
our lives.
And it is written by Geoffrey
>> Ford: Oh, who used to be here
in Memphis!
>> Berry: He's actually still
here in Memphis.
>> Ford: Oh, good!
Good, good, good!
And he went to U of M.
>> Berry: He did.
And he also went to New Mexico
to get his masters.
But he's a published writer.
He writes Christian fiction.
He has The God Cookie is out and
Leaper .
>> Ford: Is this a show of
monologues or is it a full-blown
>> Berry: It is a pure story
telling piece.
It is just him on stage by
himself telling a story that he
wrote that he feels very close
to in the type of writing that
he does.
Now, Geoff has also written some
of our children's pieces because
he wrote Kallahoney Kids vs. the
Shadow Monsters.
So he's not new to Voices.
So we've worked with him before.
He was actually an actor in Wild
Legacy and went to Alaska with
And so he came to us and said
he's really love to bring out
this piece that he had done back
in New Mexico several years ago.
>> Ford: I look forward to
seeing it.
So I can come-
>> Berry: Friday night, 8:00,
Theatre South which is 1000
South Cooper which is at First
Congregational Church.
>> Ford: Diagonal from Cooper
and Young.
>> Berry: Right across from
Stone Soup.
>> Ford: Right!
Oh, perfect!
Well, I will be there.
And then you have some fun new
things happening in January that
I want to put on my calendar.
Nancy Apple is involved.
Tell me what's going on.
>> Berry: We met her and she's
so beautiful and energetic and
She's just-she just kind of took
over the room.
And we're like-yes, we want you!
Yeah, so she's going to do
January 6 will be our first ever
monthly singer-songwriter
>> Ford: Not smack down!
>> Berry: Not smack down but
I have to do the guns to
remember it's a showdown.
Actually it will be Nancy Apple
will be singing and she's going
to bring in a local talent each
month along with someone who's
on a national tour.
>> Ford: Wow, so all different
>> Berry: All different singer-
And they'll come in and they'll
sit down.
And it will just be a fun.
They'll just be singing and
talking to one another.
And it kind of has a nice kind
of folksy feel about it.
>> Ford: Right and it will be so
nice in that space.
Theatre South is such a nice,
small, intimate space to see
something like that.
>> Berry: Yeah and we've been
doing a lot of kind of
enhancements to the space, too.
Yeah, coming in there and
getting some stuff done so it
looks even more exciting maybe
than the last time you were in
>> Ford: Well, that sounds
Now, I know you guys always
produce in May the Memphis
Children's Theatre Festival.
But then you have something new
on your season for March.
>> Berry: Yes, we have a new
piece called "Threads" and it's
written by Jerry Dye.
>> Ford: It will be great.
>> Berry: It will be awesome.
And so Jerry is the same person
who wrote Cicada.
And it's a monologue piece.
And so Jerry's written a series
of monologues for certain voices
here in town, different
actresses in town and actors in
>> Ford: Voices from Voices of
the South.
>> Berry: That's right!
>> Ford: Okay, great!
>> Berry: And so, it's-Jerry has
a wonderful talent for taking
someone else and writing things
that sound like they naturally
came out of their mouth. like
You know, writing that part for
Cecilia-It sounded so natural
coming out of her mouth.
And so he ahs a really great
talent for that.
So, and that's what Threads is.
He's written a series of
monologues and short scenes.
And it's based around a woman
who is agoraphobic who doesn't
leave her home who sews.
She makes specialty clothing
like wedding dresses and little
girls, you know, dress clothes.
And then you have monologues
from different people who are
wearing the clothes that she's
>> Ford: Oh, you guys do such
great work bringing new works to
light and then also finding that
crossover between the written
word and the performed word.
So I really appreciate the work
you do.
I look forward to seeing Glory
Stories by Geoff Wood in
December from Voices of the
Remind me your website again.
>> Berry: Its just
>> Ford: I can remember that.
>> Berry: it's not hard.
>> Ford: I can remember that.
Thank you so much for coming in.
I so appreciate it.
>> Berry: Yay!
Thank you for having me.
>> Ford: No problem.
We'll be right back with Mamie
and Chris to discuss plans for
New Years Eve.
>> (instrumental music)
>> Shannon: So Chris, are you
sure that there's nothing that
you have to say about the
Liberty Bowl?
>> Davis: Other than it's Tulsa
versus Iowa State?
>> Shannon: You rock.
I don't care what Tracey says
about you.
>> Ford: But I always say it to
your face.
>> Shannon: She does.
She does.
>> Davis: It's comforting.
>> Shannon: And you know what?
I really was interested in the
Voices of the South.
I can't wait to go to the show
and check it out.
I've never gone.
>> Ford: It is such a great
space at Theatre South.
Don't you think?
It's really intimate.
>> Davis: It's very intimate,
very small.
They've been on a roll by not
just doing their own stuff
lately but by bringing in other
people and sort of letting other
writers and artists have an
opportunity to explore.
>> Shannon: And you know I
really do want to go see the
Icons exhibit at Graceland.
>> Ford: Sounds so fun.
>> Shannon: It really does.
Think about it.
Everyone that comes here says
Elvis was such an inspiration
and the reason why I play.
And I think it's really cool
that these people have donated
their memorabilia to be a part
of the exhibit.
So what are you doing for New
Years Eve?
You're going to be out of town.
>> Davis: Well, I will be back
in town by New Years Eve.
And you know, I think that
someone-maybe even someone on
this set-once spoke about
Amateur's Night Out.
I spend so much time going out
to eat and doing all the things
that a lot of people just do one
night a year that we actually
have a long standing tradition
of staying home and making some
extraordinary meal, getting all
dressed up for only us to see
and counting down.
>> Shannon: We love to have
family and friends over and we
have bored night.
Yeah, and it's usually, you
know, trivia games.
And if it's music trivia, my
husband likes to pride himself
in winning.
But my niece and I won one year
and I was very-that was really a
good New Years Eve for me.
You know that the countdown on
Beale is the 31st.
And it shows on WKNO at 11:00
So if you're on Beale and you're
waving at the cameras and
hollering and hooping it up, you
can actually be seen.
And it's shown all over the
So you know-
>> Davis: Because we are
downtown, we may be down for a
little bit of that before
heading back before things get
too crazy.
And there's a lot of great stuff
going on for people who do want
to go out.
>> Shannon: One thing-I've never
gone down on Beale to see the
guitar drop.
>> Ford: Yeah, I haven't either.
>> Shannon: And this year
because of, you know, you heard
Kevin talk about Blue Hawaii and
Aloha Holidays and all of that
and Elvis's birthday-the Aloha
The guitar's going to be
decorated extra special this
>> Davis: Is it going to have a
>> Shannon: Or two.
>> Ford: Aw, so fun!
>> Shannon: I know, I know!
>> Ford: The girls would love to
see that!
>> Davis: They absolutely would.
>> Ford: You know that we do on
New Years is a lot of times we
take the kids to the Children's
>> Shannon: Oh, that's right!
In the afternoon.
>> Ford: Yes, it's really,
really fun.
>> Davis: The other twelve.
>> Ford: Yeah, that's right!
That's what it is.
They do it at noon.
And so they do it in the
They have a big celebration for
New Years for kids.
>> Shannon: Well, and an all
ages show is at the Daisy if you
wanted to go down on Beale but
not be out on the street-Todd
>> Davis: It's not just Todd
It's Todd Snider.
It's Will Kimbrough, another
favorite ex-patriot of the
Memphis scene.
Cory Branan is going to be on
that bill, too.
>> Shannon: Is he in Nashville
>> Davis: He is in Nashville
So like people who like clever,
funny, smartly written singer-
songwriter folk, that's where
you want to be.
>> Shannon: Well, have you guys
heard about-
>> Davis: The show at the Shell,
the Todd Snider show at the
Shell-the most recent one-was
really well attended.
Clearly his legend has grown
since his residency at the Old
Daily Planet ended.
>> Shannon: You know, we talk a
lot about our kid-centric
activities because we are all in
that area of life right now.
But have you heard about the 21
and up cocktail tour?
>> Davis: Oh, no.
Tell me about this.
>> Shannon: I know you have to
have at least six people and
they take you to four different
locations and you get to sample.
It's like you get to go beyond
Beale and sample southern
And they tell you historic facts
and about the cocktails.
And they tell you the reason why
Memphis during prohibition was
known as the wettest dry town.
You know, and just fun facts
like that.
But I think that's pretty cool.
>> Davis: I don't know why I
don't find that remotely
>> Shannon: I know!
And you just make-you schedule
whenever you want to do it and
it's a two hour tour, 21 and up.
Again, get six people together
and book your tour.
We'll have it online at WKNO-
dot-org-slash-localcolor where
you can book your tour.
Also, Lord T and Eloise are
>> Davis: I was going to say
yeah, at the Peabody.
That's where that show is going
to be.
So I would suggest-do you have
some nice boots?
>> Shannon: Definitely!
>> Ford: She's wearing a pair.
>> Davis: Are they million
dollar boots?
>> Shannon: No, I do not have
million dollar boots.
>> Davis: If you've got million
dollar boots, you might want to
put them on so you can show them
off when they break that number
But yeah, if you like your hip-
hop performed by aristocrats
with gold skin and big rings,
I'd say that's the show to be
>> Shannon: That's a cool New
Years Eve party.
But you know, the thing that I
like about the Peabody is every
restaurant, every room, there's
different parties going on.
And the lobby bar is the melting
pot where you will have the
black tie gala folks hanging out
with the Lord T and Eloise folks
with the-
You know, you never know who's
in town and who's going to be
hanging out there.
I just love sitting in the lobby
bar and people-watching.
It's fun, too.
And you know the Hi-Tone is
>> Davis: Yeah, you know, the
Hi-Tone is, you know, now-I
would say it defines a
generation of music in Memphis.
It's been with us for sometime.
It's evolved from a club that
mostly booked swing and
Americana acts to a much more
broad approach to booking.
And it's closing.
Hi-Tone Productions is still
going to produce shows around
It's only the building that's
going away and the opportunity
to go get pizza and see
something there every night.
So if the Hi-Tone is where you
grew up, if that's where all of
your Memphis music memories are
located, this is going to be
your last opportunity to ring in
a new year on Poplar Avenue
across from the park.
>> Shannon: Do you know the last
I think it's in February.
I think they're closing in
>> Davis: I don't think there's
a hard date for the closing.
I know it's going to be around
for another, you know, month,
two months or so.
>> Shannon: Well, and you know-
>> Davis: But definitely the
last New Years Eve.
>> Shannon: And you know, a lot
of people don't far from home
and you could go downtown.
If you live downtown, you can go
to Ernestine and Hazels, of
You can go to Alchemy and Cooper
You know, if you wanted to go
somewhere like The Beauty Shop.
They all have parties that are
going on on New Years Eve but I
would suggest that you make a
reservation because once people
get to wherever they're going on
New Years Eve, they kind of
don't turn over the tables.
>> Ford: It's probably the one
night of the year in Memphis
that you should get a
And then you're going to walk in
and get seated.
>> Davis: And if you can't, ask
about take-out.
If it's something you really,
really love and you're
determined this is what you want
on New Years Eve, a lot of times
if you can't get a table, you
can get a table to go.
>> Shannon: Well, and I liked
your idea of even going to the
Black Lodge.
>> Davis: Oh, yeah.
You know, with Netflix and
iTunes and all of this stuff
when we want to watch movies,
it's just so convenient now.
But we've got this great
resource in Black Lodge movies
in midtown where, you know, it's
less like a video store and more
like a curated library where you
You know, you don't know-you
don't walk in there knowing what
you want to see.
You walk in there knowing you're
going to see something that's
going to jump out at you.
>> Ford: It's still right there
along Cooper, right?
>> Davis: It's right there on
If you're going to stay at home
and watch movies, there's just
not a better place to go.
And they will help you.
You walk in and say-I want to
see something funny that I've
never seen before.
They'll give it to you.
>> Shannon: And you know, now
we've got some new options over
at Overton Square.
We've got Le Chardonnay.
And we've got the Bayou and
Memphis Pizza Café and Golden
But now we've got Local
Gastropub is there.
You know, have you been inside
of it?
It's gorgeous.
I've just driven by.
It's gorgeous.
I can't wait to see the inside.
>> Davis: I'm familiar with the
downtown one because that's
where I am most of the time.
But I'm looking forward to
checking out the new one, too.
>> Shannon: And you know, on
Broad Avenue, if that's your
neighborhood, head over to the
>> Ford: Broadway Pizza is so
>> Shannon: Oh, it really is.
>> Ford: It is so awesome.
My son, who eats like a horse,
could only eat two pieces of
pizza because it was just
stacked so thick.
>> Shannon: Their barbecue pizza
is insane.
It looks like a barbecue
You know, and then if your
neighborhood is High Point, you
could go to the High Point Pizza
or the High Point Pub which is
right there or Cheffies.
Have you guys been to Hog and
Hominy on Brookhaven Circle?
>> Ford: I haven't been yet.
>> Shannon: You've got to go.
>> Ford: I've read so much about
>> Shannon: It's really good.
We went and had the best-I know
I've talked about their corn
before but they cut the corn off
the cob and had tarragon with it
and fresh cream.
>> Davis: Do they do that at the
Is it an "at-table" sort of
>> Shannon: No, no.
But it's really cool because
it's like a bar window and the
kitchen is right there so you
can just watch the chefs making
your dinner.
And then there's a little pizza
oven area on the other side and
it's like a little farm house.
It's adorable.
>> Davis: So what about
>> Shannon: Well, most places
have champagne but if I'm going
to have champagne, I do the
cheap pink champagne with the
sugar cube and bitters.
>> Ford: Oh, gosh!
>> Shannon: My grandmother did
that and we still do it.
It's awful.
I love it.
Bitters on a sugar cube with
cheap pink champagne.
>> Davis: I've never heard of
such a thing.
>> Shannon: Thank you guys.
>> Ford: There's probably a
>> Davis: I wish I hadn't heard
of such a thing.
>> Shannon: Thank you guys so
much and thank you for coming.
Please go out and enjoy your
local color.
>> (instrumental music)