Sunday, March 16, 2014

A 'Memphis' Story

I have a story.
 Last week my husband and I were out running errands and he told me something about his life that I had never heard.  I've known him since August of 1970 so I was surprised that there was something in his history that I did not know.  We both grew up in Memphis, my family coming from Clarendon, Arkansas by way of Basmore Road in Cordova and 1291 Pera Road in Frayser to our Whitehaven address of 24 years - 410 Bonita Drive, in 1952.  EC's family came from Coffeeville, Mississippi by way of Jackson, Mississippi for a short while, then to Hattisburg, Mississippi and finally to Memphis in 1951 to Byrd Street where EC grew up.  His Dad, Durwood Wilbourn worked for the Memphis Press Simiter down on Union Avenue.
And this is from where the story comes.
I knew I wanted to share this story when EC told me. I let him know that I wanted to repeat it.  Friday my new copy of  'Elle Decor' for April arrived and earlier today I was glancing through.  There is a story about Memphis.  It mentions the music industry roots of 'blues & rock n' roll', Sam Phillips and Sun records, and the music legends that recorded there - Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley.
This is a small story but I want my Grand Children to know about it even though they may not know (right now) who any of these people may be.
My father in law was quite a character.  He was known to take a drink now and again.  Back then if you left the Memphis Press Simiter and crossed Union Avenue and went up the hill through the park you ended up on Madison Avenue and a bar that the fella's hung out in until they caught the bus to take them home.
Durwood never met a stranger and he 'took up' with a guy he met in the bar - a good old country boy come to town to make his fortune.  He didn't have a place to stay and he told Durwood that he was going to Sun Records the next day to sing for Sam Phillips.
Well, as it turned out, Durwood's cousin, Sally Wilbourn, worked for Sam Phillips and Durwood wanted his new friend to be 'in the know' and of course told him about Sally.  Since the 'new friend' didn't have a place to stay, Durwood took him home with him to spend the night.  I'm sure my Mother in law, Jewel, was not surprised.
Since this 'country boy' would be going in to Sun Records, Durwood wanted him to make a good impression, especially since he would be seeing Durwood's cousin, Sally.  He loaned him a sports coat.
Well, that's the story.  Durwood never saw his sports coat again.  The 'country boy' did make good.
It was Carl Perkins.  The recording he made at Sun Records that day was 'Blue Suede Shoes', and he was wearing Durwood's sports coat.
I like this story, even though it is a small one.  You never know who's life you may touch or where they got the sports coat they may be wearing.
We'll talk again - - -
Carol Ann Boshers/Wilbourn - former Memphian


Anne Godwin said...

It was so good to meet you today in Mobile. Your quilts are gorgeous! I love your creative spirit. I hope we can get you back for a retreat!

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