“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

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Recording with The New Beale Street Sheiks

" ….I called Crosthwait and asked him if he had ever thought about playing the washboard. We went to a hardware store down by Memphis State and got a Zinc King washboard and half a dozen sewing thimbles to use as picks.  We drafted our friend George Gillis who had played bass on my Home of The Blues session to play wash tub and the New Beale Street Sheiks were born.
         We rehearsed once, played a gig Friday night at The Pastimes Peanut Bar, and showed up at Sam Phillip’s Studio Saturday morning for the session.  Nobody was there except Scotty Moore, Bill Black, and Rowsey, the repair man.  Justis had failed to nail down the booking for the session, and Scotty wasn’t buying it.  We looked pretty bad.  Crosthwait had hair trailing down his back and Gillis and I were hung over.  I told Scotty to call Justis in Nashville, which he did.  After he got off the phone, Scotty okayed the session and it fell to Rowsey to engineer.  I found out later it was his first and only session.  We set up around a couple of RCA 77s and laid down four songs as fast as we could.  While we were cutting, Bill Black was calling people on the phone and having them come over and laugh at us from the control room.
          When we finished Bill Black was shaking his head.  “Dickinson, this is the wildest thing you’ve ever done,” he chuckled."
(From The Search for Blind Lemon copyright by Jim Dickinson)

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