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The Blues A Musical Journey: The Road to Memphis

Lovely, subtle, low key film from Pearce, a director whose qualities are not much in demand in Hollywood. An oasis for African Americans in the cultural desert of the segretated South, Memphis - and in particular Beale Street - was central to the development of the blues. Pearce tells the story by following Bobby Rush, still grinding out funky R&B after decades on the road, still dreaming of crossover success; BB King, moved as he recalls the first time his audience turned white; and Rosco Gordon, a '50s star who disappeared when Elvis took the blues into rock'n'roll - there's a brief but pointed exchange about this between Sam Phillips and Ike Turner. You can argue about the impact white patronage had on the music, but ultimately this is Gordon's film, a poignant figure dismayed by the face Beale Street puts on today.

Release details

Duration: 87 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Richard Pearce
Screenwriter: Robert Gordon
Cast: Bobby Rush
BB King
Rosco Gordon
Rufus Thomas
Calvin Newborn
Hubert Sumlin
Chris Spindel
Don Kern
Louis Cannonball Cantor
Cato Walker III
Little Milton Campbell
Sam Phillips
Ike Turner
The Coasters
Fats Domino
Little Richard
Jim Dickinson
Howlin' Wolf
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