Justin, B.B. Hail Memphis - Rolling Stone
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Justin, B.B. Hail Memphis

Tennessee city to host yearlong anniversary festivities

Justin Timberlake, B.B. King, Isaac Hayes and Scotty Moore — four
musicians with ties to Memphis, Tennessee — have been selected as
Musical Ambassadors for the city, as it plans a yearlong
celebration in 2004 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of rock &
roll.

While the birth of rock is oft debated, for the purposes of its
celebration, Memphis has chosen the recording of Elvis Presley’s
“That’s All Right” as the music’s big-bang moment. Among the events
planned is a Global Moment in Time on July 5th (the day Presley cut
the song), with radio stations worldwide encouraged to play the cut
simultaneously.

Presley serves as the focal point for much of the year’s
festivities. His sixty-ninth birthday would have been on January
8th and Elvis Week (set for August 7-16) concludes on the day of
his death. Memphis is also planning to host several other events
throughout 2004.

Though born outside the city, Moore, Hayes and King all have
connections to Memphis’ early music industry. Moore played with
Presley on numerous early recordings for Sam Phillips’
Memphis-based Sun Records. And Hayes was an in-house songwriter and
keyboardist for the city’s legendary R&B label Stax Records.
Earlier this year, the theater where Stax was initially housed was
reopened as the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. King was once a
popular radio disc jockey in the city, earning the name Beale
Street Blues Boy, which was shortened to Blues Boy and eventually
the iconic moniker he performed under for more than a half century.
The freshest face of the bunch, Timberlake, was born and raised in
Memphis, and his family still lives there.

In This Article: B.B. King, Justin Timberlake

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