Musical highlights history of Beale Street

Musical highlights history of Beale Street

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Are you ready to go on a musical journey that takes you back in time? A time when Beale Street was the place to be and the center of African-American entertainment in the Mid-South. It was more than just a street. It was the place that gave birth to the blues.

The musical Down on Beale highlights the historical Beale Street history and the citizens.

Places like Palace Theatre and Pee Wee's Saloon were some of the most happening places to spend one's time where you could meet Ida Cox, B.B. King, W.C. Handy and many more.

On March 10, Blues City Cultural Center will present Down on Beale at 6:00 p.m. at Clayborn Temple, located at 294 Hernando Street.

Down on Beale celebrates the musical heritage of Beale Street. Man, the lead character, guides the audience through the lives of W.C. Handy, Bessie Smith. B.B. King and other legendary artists who have left a historic footprint.

The performance features special guests and a reception. See some of the most iconic symbols of American music come to life through depicting notable musicians and see the birth of the blues.

The blues is a music genre that was originated by African-Americans in the Deep South. The roots of the African rhythms, spirituals and field songs, are a reflection of the hard times and the experiences African-Americans endured living in segregated and disenfranchised society.

W.C. Handy is quoted as saying that, "the blues did not come from books. Suffering and hard luck were the midwives that birthed these songs. The blues were conceived in aching hearts."

Down on Beale has been presented on numerous stages throughout the Mid-South and at the Richard Allen Cultural Center in New York. It was first performed in 1973 at the LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tennessee.

Over the decades, Down on Beale has been viewed by more than 100,000 people during live performances and cable television. Down on Beale was written by Levi Frazier, Jr, directed by Curtis Jackson and Choregraphed by Kellye Crawford. Tickets are $35-$75 and are available at Eventbrite.com. Click here to purchase.

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