Explore Your August DeSoto Magazine Online

Sweet Music

My father was a talented acoustic guitar player, and my mother was an accomplished pianist. Although I took piano lessons as a child, those musical genes skipped me. I loved music, but I was better at listening to it than playing it. From my dad, I inherited a love of bluegrass music while my appreciation for classical music came from my mom. In between, there was a “whole lotta shakin’ going on” as I discovered rock ‘n’ roll.
Growing up in Mississippi it was impossible not to know about the legendary Jerry Lee Lewis, one of our biggest musical icons. It was a very exciting moment for all of us at DeSoto Magazine when The Killer granted an interview to Karen Ott Mayer at his current home in Southaven. His former ranch opened to tourists a few months ago, but we wanted to catch up with Lewis himself. While he has slowed down a little, Lee’s charisma and personality still have that magical spark that Karen eloquently captured in her story.
Unbelievably, it’s been 40 years since Elvis Presley left us, but his spirit will live on at celebrations commemorating his life in Memphis and Tupelo this month. Writer Jill Gleeson takes us inside the new Guest House at Graceland and gives us a preview of Elvis Week.
If you’ve been listening to Elvis and Jerry Lee music for a long time, chances are you had a few vinyl records. Although phonographic records gave way to CDs and iTunes, record stores are making a comeback. Music promoter Mark Parsell takes us on a tour of several Southern retailers where music lovers are discovering timeless reminders of a rich cultural past.
As we planned this Southern Music issue, we had to make hard choices. The South has a rich musical heritage, and it was impossible to include everything we wanted. We believe we captured something for everyone, though, from our musical legends to our up-and-coming artists. So, turn on your stereo or open up your iTunes and listen to your favorite music while enjoying this month’s issue.

Happy reading!
Mary Ann