Various: The Last Shall Be First - The JRC Records Story Vol.1 (CD)
(Bible & Tire) 17 tracks, digipack
Pastor Juan D. Shipp sits behind a primitive mixing desk in a tiny quonset hut at 64 Flicker Street, just a stone's throw from the train tracks of Illinois Central, and crackles over the airwaves with an electrifying selection of the latest and greatest gospel quartet sounds. With an audience that spans the entire width of Bluff City, from truck cabs to cab stands, from Midtown to Orange Mound, from the Peabody Hotel to Payne's Barbecue, fans of Memphis' thriving gospel scene are locked up on "Juan D" at K-WAM, "the Mighty 990", the very station that twenty years earlier, during its first incarnation as KWEM across the river in West Memphis, Arkansas, had given sound engineer Sam Phillips the chance to hear the blues wizard Howlin' Wolf.
Now, two decades later, after revolutionizing the music world with Sun Records and his holy trinity of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash, the Wolf is still Phillips' favorite. "This is the place where the soul of man never dies," he had memorably declared about the six-foot-six pebble voice of nature, a description that might just as well apply to so many of the artists whose records Shipp is now swirling across the air.
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