Veteran author and documentary filmmaker Robert Gordon discussed his book Memphis Rent Party: The Blues, Rock & Soul in Music’s Hometown (Bloomsbury) on the March 9 edition of Greasy Tracks.
Following in the footsteps of legendary music writers Peter Guralnick and Robert Palmer, Gordon’s latest effort is a collection of dispatches from across three decades with the common link being the wide range of individuals and musicians he’s encountered and their link to Memphis.
Oddly, it shares some similarities of his first book, It Came From Memphis, which came out 25 years ago as many of the people featured — Furry Lewis, Jim Dickinson, Junior Kimbrough and Mama Rose Newborn — may not be household names, but each have fascinating stories that are related by the author.
Gordon has written six books and produced or directed eight documentaries, including the Emmy-winning Best of Enemies – about the televised 1968 debates between William F. Buckley, Jr. and Gore Vidal — which took honors for Outstanding Historical Documentary in 2017.
He won a Grammy for his essay for the four-CD Big Star collection, Keep an Eye on the Sky and four of his documentaries have earned Grammy nominations, including Johnny Cash’s America; Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story; Muddy Waters Can’t Be Satisfied and The Road To Memphis which was an episode of Martin Scorsese’s The Blues.