Memphis TN

James Alexander reformed his band, the Bar-Kays following the plane crash that took the lives of  three members, and singer Otis Redding.  The new band was created in tribute to those killed with the help of Ben Cauley, the only survivor of the crash (James was on a second plane) and singer Larry...
Robert Averwater’s father, M. J. Averwater taught music, wrote a method book and opened up Amro Music in Memphis, TN, with a fellow music teacher. Robert recalls the early days after the war reorganizing the company as new products were once again being produced. He was proud that two of his four...
Pat Averwater has always been proud of the musical legacy of his grandfather, who established Amro Music in the 1920s. Since then, the Memphis based store has become a hub for the musical culture in the area. Pat and his brother, Chip, became the third generation to run the family business. They...
Mil Averwater was the founder of Amro Music in Memphis, Tennessee. His grandson, Chip, had the forethought to record his grandfather on audio tape talking about the early days of the store. Chip has donated this interview for the NAMM website to allow us to bridge each generation of Averwater’s who...
Chip Averwater took over the music retail business in Memphis, just as his father did and his son would one day, keeping the tradition in the family. Chip’s passion for the music business expanded beyond the store and out into volunteer positions for several organizations including NAMM. Serving on...
William Bell began singing in doo-wop groups before signing for Stax Records in Memphis, which is where his first hit was recorded.  In fact that song, "You Don't Miss Your Water" was also the first big hit for the newly formed record label that would go on to redefine soul music.  William wrote...
Al Bell was in the Stax recording studio in Memphis at the very moment Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed just a few blocks away. Ironically, the recording Al was producing at that time was a song he wrote encouraging Dr. King, whom he had known for years, to be cautious carrying...
Sonny Burgess was known as the wild man of rock and roll who brought a driving guitar style to early Sun recordings (the label that launched Elvis Presley). Among those recordings were “We Wanna Boogie” and “Feelin’ Good.” Sonny’s early days with Sam Phillips, the founder of Sun Records, were at...
Dave Campbell grew up in a household full of music! Both of his grandmothers were piano teachers and his father was a professional piano player. With such a strong background in music it was no surprise that Dave became a professional musician and made it his career until his early 30s. Dave also...
Ben Cauley can be heard on hundreds of Stax Record hits including those with Otis Redding.  Ben was a member of Otis's backup band called the Bar-Kays, which originated as the horn section at the Stax studio in Memphis beginning in the 1960s. Ben was the only survivor of the plane crash that took...

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