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Memphis? Where the hell is Memphis?

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Joe Jackson couldn't sing that line much anymore -- Memphis is everywhere.

Wednesday at the House of Blues, for instance, Cyndi Lauper is performing. She'll do her big hits, no doubt, but she'll also be peeling songs from her new album of -- get this -- Delta blues classics. "Memphis Blues" is her latest CD, released last week, and it features Miss She Bop playfully reading tunes such as "I'm Just Your Fool," "Early in the Morning," "How Blue Can You Get" and "Crossroads," with an impressive array of guests including Allen Toussaint, B.B. King, Charlie Musselwhite and Jonny Lang. "I knew from the moment Allen Toussaint hit the keys in 'Shattered Dreams' that we were creating something really special," Lauper said upon the album's release. The disc closes with "Wild Women Don't Get the Blues," a recording that must become a bookend to her most famous hit, "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun."

Here's a sampler:

In other Memphis assaults on pop culture ...

The winner of Best Musical at the recent Tony Awards was a show called "Memphis." The show -- co-written by Bon Jovi keyboard player David Bryan -- is loosely based on Memphis DJ Dewey Phillips, who dared cross the line and play black records for a white audience in the 1950s.

On TV, the TNT cable network just premiered a new series, "Memphis Beat," starring Jason Lee as a police detective. His name is Dwight Hendricks. It's got a "My Name Is Earl" folksy-humor edge, but it also looks very Jim Rockford.

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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on June 28, 2010 8:00 AM.

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