“There are cool cats and there are cool Memphis cats but no one, not
Elvis, not Jerry Lee, not even the Wolf came close to epitomizing Memphis
and cool like Jim Dickinson did. He was the Top Cat Daddy, an
inspiration, a mentor and my friend.

If you knew his music and understood his role as one of the links between
black and white culture and between blues and rock and roll, you know what
I'm talking about. If he is unfamiliar to you, now's as good time as any
to get to know him, even though he's checked out of the motel.”

--Joe Nick Patoski

For more about Jim go to

Monday, October 10, 2011

Jim Dickinson and the Hardly Can Playboys

Jim Dickinson's first appearance with his very young sons at the Overton Park Shell in 1989 (Cody Dickinson we are told was 13 but looks even younger which makes Luther just almost old enough to drive maybe ...?) also includes Jim Lancaster on bass and Jim Spake on sax on this way-rocking version of J.B. Lenoir's "Down in Mississippi". The "Hardly Can Playboys" left no doubt from the start that the younger Dickinsons could keep up with their legendary Dad. Some of the most formative shows for all involved have taken place at the Shell and the younger Dickinsons have made many more appearances on this stage over the years while developing into North Mississippi All-Stars. 

This performance was part of the "Memphis Medicine Show", series of live radio broadcasts over WEVL-FM from the stage of the Overton Park Shell for two years in the late '80s.

The historic Memphis amphitheater was fully renovated in 2008 thanks to a generous grant from the Mortimer Levitt Foundation and the renamed Levitt Shell now sponsors 50 free concerts every year devoted to developing community through the performing arts.