Pee wee saloon   tennessee historical commission
Pee Wee Saloon (P. Wee Saloon) Pee Wee's Saloon was the favorite meeting spot for Memphis musicians in the early 20th century. W.C. Handy used the cigar counter to write out copies of the Beale Street Blues for his band members. One of those songs, written for the 1909 political campaign was first named "Mr. Crump," for the Memphis mayor and political boss. Later with new lyrics it became famous as "The Memphis Blues."

In front of the Hard Rock Cafe on Beale Street, Memphis, TN, United States

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Rufus thomas jr   tennessee historical commission (obverse)
Rufus Thomas, Jr. Born March 26, 1917, in Cayce, Mississippi, this legendary entertainer known worldwide, began his career in the 1930s with the Rabbit Foot Minstrel Shows. He was the organizer and master of ceremonies of the amateur shows in the 1940s and 1950s at the Palace Theatre, which stood at this site. From these shows began the careers of many great performers, including B.B. King and Bobby "Blue" Bland. He had the first hit records for both the Sun and Stax labels. As a popular personality on WDIA, he was the first disc jockey to play Elvis Presley records on a Black radio station. He was the creator of two of the biggest dance crazes of the 1960s, “The Dog" and “The Funky Chicken."

In front of the Pat O'Brien's on Beale Street, Memphis, TN, United States

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Nat d williams   tennessee historical commission (2)
Nat D. Williams In 1948, Nat D. Williams became the first black radio announcer in Memphis when he began broadcasting for WDIA. He was a co-founder of the Cotton Makers Jubilee and is credited with giving the celebration its name. A history teacher in the Memphis City schools, Williams was best known for Amateur Night on Beale Street, which he began in 1935 at the Old Palace Theater. Williams was also a columnist for the Memphis World.

On Beale Street, Memphis, TN, United States

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