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Rhodes and U of M To Present Chitlin’ Circuit Symposium

Publication Date: 10/14/2011

The Chitlin’ Circuit Symposium will be presented Oct. 27-28 on The University of Memphis and Rhodes College campuses. The symposium is a joint venture between Rhodes’ Mike Curb Institute for Music and the U of M’s Marcus Orr Center for the Humanities. Events include:

  • Keynote Lecture by Memphis Author Preston Lauterbach: “The Chitlin’ Circuit and the Road to Rock and Roll”
    University Center Theater at The University of Memphis
    Oct. 27, 6 p.m. reception, 6:30 p.m. lecture
    Free and open to the public


  • Panel Sessions
    McCallum Ballroom, Bryan Campus Life Center on Rhodes campus
    Oct. 28
    1 p.m.-Student Research Presentations
    3 p.m.-Panel Discussion: Blues/Rhythm and Blues Artist Bobby Rush, Music Educator Emerson Able, and Music Promoter Julius Lewis, will discuss the influence of the Chitlin’ Circuit on the development of Rhythm and Blues and Rock and Roll, as well as its importance today. The discussion will be moderated by Author Preston Lauterbach. Reception to follow
    Free and open to the public


  • Blues/Rhythm and Blues Artist Bobby Rush in concert with special guests, the Bo-Keys
    The Warehouse, 36 E. G.E. Patterson
    Oct. 28, 8 p.m.
    Tickets are available to the public for $10 beginning Oct. 17 at noon through www.alumni.rhodes.edu/bobbyrush

The Chitlin’ Circuit refers to a string of venues—diners, night clubs, juke joints, roadhouses and theaters—throughout the eastern and southern United States from the 1920s through 1960s that provided African American entertainers a place to perform during the era of racial segregation in the United States. Little Richard, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Etta James, Billie Holiday, B. B. King, and Bobby Rush were among these entertainers. Not limited to musicians, the circuit also included comedians and stage actors.

Preston Lauterbach’s book The Chitlin’ Circuit and the Road to Rock and Roll explores the blues, R&B, and soul-oriented touring circuit before the birth of Rock and Roll. Lauterbach portrays a wealth of individuals who made up the Chitlin’ Circuit and gives readers a view of how deals and careers were made and destroyed.

A Louisiana native who has lived in Chicago and Jackson, Miss., Bobby Rush has been called a dynamic showman and blues legend. He had his first hit in 1971 with “Chicken Head” that was followed by a string of other hits. A Grammy nominee, Rush was presented the Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Award for his 2007 album “Raw.” His most recent work is his CD titled “Show You A Good Time.”

Other sponsors of the event include The Spence L. Wilson Chair in Humanities, the Center for the Outreach and Development of the Arts, and the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Rhodes, as well as the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music at The University of Memphis.

Those with specific inquiries about the concert may contact Dr. John Bass, program manager of the Mike Curb Institute for Music, at (901) 843-3786 or bassj@rhodes.edu

Tags: Arts/Performances, Campus Life, Events, Lectures


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L. Watts October 20, 2011

Way cool....and scholarly, the best of both worlds!!!