Internet Radio Station is all-Memphis Sound

Entrepreneur digs into area's music trove to showcase diverse heritage

Ardent Studios recording studio - Kerry Crawford
Big name acts like Led Zepplin, The White Strips and Bob Dylan have all recorded at Ardent Studios. Photo by Kerry Crawford.

The original article appeared in The Commercial Appeal on Wednesday, August 2, 2006. 

Imagine a radio station that plays nothing but Memphis-area music, from old blues to the latest rock, with all that soulful stuff in between. Or, just log onto your computer and listen. A new Internet radio station - allmemphismusic.com - is bringing the sounds of the city and surrounding area to the world. During a recent listen to All Memphis Music, Booker T. & the MGs' "Time is Tight" was followed by Robert Johnson's "Traveling Riverside Blues," which was followed by Charlie Rich's "Lonely Weekends." "The idea of Memphis, my hometown, came to me because it has such a deep catalog of music," said Jon Scott, Memphis native and former FM 100 disc jockey during the 1960s and '70s, now Los Angeles-based music-industry veteran and pivotal figure behind Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' late-1970s star-making radio breakthrough. "Radio's changed so much. You cannot hear what we're doing anywhere."

Scott's partner is his friend David Fleischman, Memphis-based record promoter and fellow music-industry veteran whose resume includes Atlantic Records and MCA. It's a business, with plans to sell banner advertising and radio spots, but Fleischman said, "It's sort of like a labor of love. We figure it's an opportunity. We want to help new artists, to whatever degree that's possible. We hope to continue to expose the music of the city." The station is a work-in-progress, with new music being added almost daily. Currently, most of the tunes come from the city's heydays - the soul titans of Stax and Hi, the rockabilly kings of Sun, plus classics by outside artists who came here to record, a la Dusty Springfield's "Dusty in Memphis." But the "next phase," Fleischman said, is adding contemporary local music.

"I can't guarantee that every single person who makes a record is going to get it on there," he said. "You have to make programming decisions in that respect. "But we want to, and plan to, play an awful lot of local Memphis music, old and new."

By David Williams 
The Commercial Appeal 
williams@commercialappeal.com

David Williams