Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Do You Have Downtown Memphis Memories?

Please see the following press release from WKNO:


In the role of the Mid-South’s storyteller, WKNO is planning a new Memphis Memoirs show and is looking for photos, films and stories of Downtown Memphis from the 1900’s to the 1970’s. You can help us collect the excitement of and recapture the timeless charm of Downtown Memphis for this upcoming documentary. To submit your memorabilia, call (901) 325-6525 or e-mail

“Downtown is always the heart of a city,” said producer Pierre Kimsey. “There’s so much history in Memphis’s downtown and it’s a great time to tell it during a period of such continuing revitalization.”

Memphis Memoirs is more than a local documentary series, more than a history series. It’s a nostalgia series, and its community appeal goes deeper than the love of learning a city’s history. The popularity of nostalgia programs has created a phenomenon called “a shared memory experience.” Nostalgia programs become a city’s scrapbook, of sorts.

The phenomenon in Memphis began in 1995, when WKNO called upon the city to send in its memories of fun places and events from Memphis in the 1930s, ‘40s, and ‘50s. Those memories became Memphis Memoirs: Remember When?, which premiered on Channel 10 in August, 1996. Since then, there have been seventeen Memphis Memoirs in all.

Pierre Kimsey has earned a Telly Award for his documentary Stax Music Academy: From Soulsville to Italy. He most recently produced The Least Among Us: The Prison Paws Project. Other WKNO productions helmed by Kimsey are Joe Scott: Memories of the Negro Leagues; It Matters: Are You Prepared? (both of which recently received a regional Emmy Award nominations) as well as Memphis Memoirs: WKNO – The First Fifty Years.
WKNO is a non-profit, private foundation serving the Mid-South for more than 50 years. An important community resource, WKNO uses the power of non-commercial public broadcasting to provide the Mid-South with quality educational and cultural programs that inform, entertain, and inspire. For more information:

Guest Blogger: A Diehard U of M Tigers Fan

Here are some thoughts on Calipari and the Tigers from a guest blogger:

"Being a student at Memphis State during the "Glory Days" of Tiger basketball when Keith Lee, Andre Turner, Baskerville Holmes, Bobby Parks and John Albright were playing was one of the most exciting things for us. The games were filled with screaming fans. Anyone who was anyone wanted to attend these spirited games. Winning was fun. Everyone loved Coach Dana Kirk. Life was good.

Once all of these guys left, we had a dry spell. Memphis State became the University of Memphis which brought on a peculiar sense of pride. Not long after that the University got a new coach, John Calipari. Who knew what this new coach would bring to not only the University, but the city of Memphis as well? Certainly a sense of pride but also a rebirth for the University of Memphis and excitement once again for Memphians. We were finally back on the map. Life was good.

On March 31st, 2009, we all received the shocking news that Calipari would be leaving for Kentucky and possibly taking several of the players with him. Now in the big scheme of life, if we put this into perspective, all will be just fine. But not for my husband and his Memphis State college friends. They have been texting, e-mailing, and calling each other all day and night. This is a BIG blow. Several potential coaches have been mentioned for a replacement for Calipari, but none that would make everyone happy. I pity the person that takes on the task of filling in after Calipari. It will be a hard road to travel. My husband and friends have taken this news like a death. In a way it is the death of Memphis basketball for a while.

Somehow, the University of Memphis always finds its way back to the top. Winning would not be so sweet if it were not for the hard times. I look forward to future winning days when life will be good again."

- Mrs. Tiger Fan and Today's Guest Blogger