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Monday, April 4, 2011

Birthday on Beale

For my birthday outing yesterday, Mike and I went down to Beale Street for the unveiling of a brass music note for Jim Dickinson on the street’s Walk of Fame. Dickinson was a Memphis music icon who worked with, among others, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. ( He was a major influence on Memphis music.

The event was held in front of the New Daisy Theater which opened to the public in 1936 – that’s what we call “new” in the South. We were joined by our long-time friend, artist and singer John Robinette to hang out and visit with the many musicians who showed up to honor Dickinson.

Speakers at the event included Rep. Steve Cohen, Rep. Antonio “2 Shay” Parkinson, Knox Phillips (son of Sun Studio legend Sam Phillips), Mary Dickinson and her sons Luther and Cody (well known for their band the North Mississippi All-Stars).

Mike and John enjoyed reminiscing after the ceremony with Knox telling stories from back in the day when Mike and John were with Jimmy Day and the Knights. Knox’s younger brother Jerry played guitar with the band, and they did some recording at Sun. I remember sitting with Jimmy’s girlfriend Lucy in the control room while Knox worked the board. Seems like just a few years ago.

After the post-ceremony chatting, the crowd moved into the beautiful Old Daisy across the street for an acoustic concert. The Old Daisy was built in 1902 and has presented some amazing music over the years. You can read more about it at

On stage yesterday were Luther and Cody Dickinson and Sid Selvidge, all on guitars, and Jimmy Crosthwait on washboard.

We finished the evening by walking up to Main Street to the Majestic Grille for a wonderful birthday dinner. It’s been on our “go to” list since it was named Best Restaurant in ’08. After my excellent meal last night, we shouldn’t have waited so long.

The Majestic was originally built in 1913 as a silent picture house that entertained Memphians for 30 years. In keeping with the building’s original purpose, the interior has been beautifully restored in Beaux Arts d├ęcor and a large movie screen runs black and white cartoons and silent films.

It was a delightful dining experience. I just have one warning. Don’t plan on a big dessert. Their dessert tray features a variety of sweets – but they’re served in slightly oversized shot glasses. To have a “real” dessert, you’d need to order two or three. My view last night, however, was that they were saving me from myself. One “shot” of key lime pie was probably all I needed.

In the photos below: Mike & I; John Robinette & Knox Phillips; John & I' Mike & I with John.

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