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Morning Song – Plantation Inn

December 5, 2016

The Plantation Inn in West Memphis (Memphis’ even-less-law-abiding twin city across the Mississippi) actually started out as a plantation house before it became first a gambling hall and then a roadhouse, finally turning into a fashionable nightclub in the early 1940s (whites only, of course) with the South’s largest dance floor.

But the musicians were black. And sometimes they were black and white, on the same stage at the same time. And underage white kids like Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn could sneak in to listen.

So, you should hear The Mar-Keys’ “Plantation Inn” as something of a collective childhood memory—filled with magic and mystery, excitement and danger—as a group of young men, black and white and Southern and on the margins of society, recall their own adolescent years when they pressed up against (and beyond) the taboos of race and sex and music in their own little corner of the world, and came out with something called, appropriately, “soul”.

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From → Music

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