Happy Juneteenth, ya’ll! As we all celebrate America’s newest federal holiday, here’s a roundup of some of the biggest Memphis music news from the past week, which unsurprisingly features plenty from the weekend’s many amazing Juneteenth celebrations.
Memphis celebrates Juneteenth with music and style
Throughout the city, Memphians celebrated Juneteenth, the holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Many gathered at Health Sciences Park in the Edge District for the 29th Memphis Juneteenth Festival, while other notable events were held at the Overton Park Shell, Beale Street Landing, and Orange Mound Tower, where artists such as Talibah Safiya, Duke Deuce, and Bodywerk performed for a lively crowd.
Remembering Alan Hayes, Electronic Music Pioneer
This week, the Memphis Flyer’s Alex Greene wrote a moving tribute to Alan Hayes, a key figure in Memphis’ electronic music scene. Hayes, a founding member of the groundbreaking ’80s synth-pop band Calculated X, passed away last month at the age of 65. In the article, Greene explains how Hayes not only helped to usher in our current era of electronic music dominance, but was also instrumental in helping early hip-hop stars make their first professional recordings.
Garden & Gun magazine profiles the Memphis Listening Lab
This week, “Garden & Gun” ran a piece about the Memphis Listening Lab, the extensive musical library nestled in the Crosstown Concourse. The Lab, which opened last year, has earned tons of praise for their extensive and well-curated music offerings, which include 30,000 45 rpm singles, 10,000 LPs, and 20,000 CDs in virtually every genre.