The Research

Blank white book w/pathThere are several people I must thank. Without their help it would have been impossible for me to write this book.

Memphis historians Gene Gill and David French lived in that city during the time this story takes place and they cheerfully answered my many questions.

Ruth White’s career in the Nashville music industry began in 1947 as a song plugger of sheet music at Stroebel’s Music Shop. She later worked in publishing on Music Row and co-authored the life story of her husband, the renowned steel guitar player, Howard White, as well as R&B legend, Ted Jarrett. Ruth took my phone calls and provided insight into Nashville of the 1950s as two separate music cities: one white and one black.

Abdul Amin grew up outside West Memphis during the 1950s, a fact I was not to learn until some time after we met. As I approached the latter stages of writing my manuscript, I asked him to read it. Abdul graciously accepted my request and I value the candor he expressed in speaking to me about the story and what it was like to live in a segregated society.

Several other people, in addition to Abdul, read earlier drafts and I gladly thank Chris Rudolf, Dave Anolik, Jeff Marks and Ruth White for their encouragement. I also thank Ray Johnston for his generosity and advice.

I thank Jud Phillips of Hi Lo Music Inc. and the Sam Phillips Music Group, as well as John Singleton of Shelby Singleton Music, Inc. and Sun Records for their support.

I express my appreciation to Steve Donatelli for his superb design work on the cover.

And to my wife and son, I thank you for your love and patience.