Twenty-five years ago, the song "Walking in Memphis" was climbing the charts. It would hit number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and chart around the world before winning a Grammy for singer-songwriter Marc Cohn. The song would become Cohn's signature song and would further fuel the Bluff City tourism industry.
Cohn will return to Memphis this fall to perform at The Buckman Performing & Fine Arts Center. He will play two shows on October 15 at 8 p.m. and October 16 at 7 p.m. The shows will be intimate with Cohn playing his debut record from start to finish. It will also feature photographs and videos from Cohn's personal archives. Tickets start at $35 for each show.
Memphis has inspired musicians for generations. Cleveland-born songwriter Marc Cohn was familiar with the city, having admired recording artists like Elvis, Al Green and David Porter, and recording studios like Hi Records and Stax. Cohn has said he came to Memphis in search of inspiration. He hoped it would help him write an amazing song that would launch his career. He got what he was looking for and maybe a little more. Cohn said "Walking in Memphis" is truly autobiographical. He frequently tells the story that he did the regular touristy things when he arrived, but had also been told to do two other things. Cohn, who is Jewish, attended a church service at the Full Gospel Tabernacle Church, where the Rev. Al Green preached. Cohn says the service brought him to tears. He also visited the Hollywood Café in Robinsonville, Mississippi, to meet with a retired school teacher named Muriel Wilkins who sang gospel standards. Cohn ended up singing with Wilkins, and the interaction inspired a line in the song.