George Klein Interviews in Memphis
August 2, 2013


The WYPL TV-18 studio in Memphis - Aug. 2, 2013

Photo James V. Roy

We converged on Memphis on Thursday the 1st for events surrounding the release of Scotty's new book and tribute guitar. Scotty and Gail drove in from Nashville along with Pete and Stella Pritchard who had been vacationing with them from London for the last week.  Pete as you may recall has been a friend for years and played bass for Scotty with his UK band.  For the last 10 years he had been touring and performing with Alvin Lee.


Scotty in the "green room" - Aug. 2, 2013

Photo James V. Roy

I flew into Nashville and drove in about an hour behind them. They attended a dinner with the people from Gibson while I dug in at the library after which Pete, Stella and myself roamed Beale St. where we checked out Jerry Lee Lewis' new club, stopped in to visit Scotty's 63 Super 400 on display across the street at the HRC and then spent the rest of the night at Blues City Cafe listening to my buddy Brad Birkedahl and his band. Brad, you may remember from The Dempseys, is also the online host this year for EPE during Elvis week 2013.


George interviewing Angela Jackson from V101 on the studio set - Aug. 2, 2013

Photo James V. Roy

We spent most of Friday with Scotty as he did interviews with George Klein, starting with a trip to WYPL-TV at the Memphis Library on Poplar Avenue for taping of what was supposed to be a 12 minute segment. The station is Memphis' local public access channel and operates as a service of the Memphis Public Library and Information Center. Viewers in the Comcast Cable viewing area can tune to WYPL TV-18 for programs about library events, health, folklore, and much more, including a series on Memphis Music and artists hosted by George Klein.


Jim Dickerson with a copy of Scotty's solo album - Aug. 2, 2013

Photo James V. Roy

Jim Dickerson, the writer of Scotty's book, was also there to be interviewed by George also.  The book was officially released a couple of weeks ago with a signing at a book store in Jackson, MS. Both Scotty and Jim attended, though Scotty had presigned most copies of the book ahead of time to be able to meet the demand. Jim was a writer for the Commercial Appeal and had written about several Memphis area musicians.  He met Scotty through Scotty's daughter Vikki who had been trying to get them together for a long time for Scotty to tell his story.  Scotty finally gave in.


 Jim Dickerson, Nate Whitlock and Scotty in the "green room" - Aug. 2, 2013

Photo James V. Roy

While George was busy interviewing guests in the studio the rest of us were treated to lunch while we waited in the "green room" where we talked and enjoyed the company of several other local "historians."  One of the gentleman we had seen the night before at Jerry Lee's place. They exchanged stories about Sun, Sam Phillips, the Burnette brothers and professional wrestling.


Nate Whitlock, Scotty, Gail and Stella in the "green room" - Aug. 2, 2013

Photo James V. Roy

One of the other guests there and interviewed by George was Norman West.  Formerly of The Del-Rios, he was a member of various quartets and groups in his formative years and later formed The Soul Children. Working for Isaac Hayes and David Porter they filled the gap that Sam & Dave left after leaving Stax and Atlantic, scoring 15 R&B hits between 1968 and 1978. West still tours with his solo career, and released a single in 2008 called "Long Ride Home."


George Klein interviewing Norman West, formerly of the Stax group The Soul Children - Aug. 2, 2013

Photo James V. Roy

Wrestling has always been a big sport in Memphis, like elsewhere, and the topic came up when someone mentioned seeing Scotty and Elvis perform once at Ellis auditorium in a ring between matches. Coincidentally, the photo on the cover of Scotty's new book is from that event.


George Klein and Scotty in the "green room" - Aug. 2, 2013

Photo James V. Roy

Nate Whitlock worked as a Memphis area manager for wrestling for years and used to work with Jerry Lawler.  He is also a musician and guitarist and formerly played with the band at Jerry Lee's club.  His brother is keyboardist Bobby Whitlock who you may know from Eric Clapton's Derek and the Dominoes. Nate shared with us several wrestling techniques and tricks of the trade used for their entertainment value.


George, Norman West and Scotty posing on the set in the studio - Aug. 2, 2013

Photo James V. Roy


George, Scotty and Gail on the set - Aug. 2, 2013

Photo James V. Roy

When Scotty finally went in to do his segment we all went along and sat quietly out of camera range. Scotty insisted a chair be brought up for Gail since he sometimes has trouble recalling certain details and events and she can fill in the gaps. He has always been more comfortable letting her do the talking anyway, preferring to be more a man of the music than the words.  Though he's refrained from all appearances and interviews in the last few years he made exceptions recently as a favor to George and Jim Dickerson to promote his new book and the release of the series of tribute guitars from Gibson.


George, Scotty and Gail on the set - Aug. 2, 2013

Photo James V. Roy


George, Scotty and Gail on the set - Aug. 2, 2013

Photo James V. Roy

The guitars are made to the specifications of his original 1952 ES295, including his personal modifications, that he used on all but the last of the Sun recordings. Larry Moss, the owner of that guitar today was on hand and brought it to the studio for display during the interview.


The reputed Tupelo guitar in the studio - Aug. 2, 2013

Photo James V. Roy


George, Scotty and Gail with the guitars on the set - Aug. 2, 2013

Photo James V. Roy

Larry is now also the owner of the guitar that is reputed to be Elvis' first guitar, the one bought at the Tupelo Hardware store.  Though somewhat fragile, he brought that along also so they could be pictured together.  What was originally intended to be a 12 minute interview wound up running almost an hour.


Scotty with his original ES295 and the reputed Tupelo guitar - Aug. 2, 2013

Photo James V. Roy


Scotty and George pose with the guitars - Aug. 2, 2013

Photo James V. Roy


Scotty and Larry Moss with the guitars - Aug. 2, 2013

Photo James V. Roy


Stella, Gail, Scotty and Pete outside the WYPL studios - Aug. 2, 2013

Photo James V. Roy

George also hosts a show for Elvis Radio on SiriusXM in the plaza across from Graceland and later that day we were there with Scotty for another interview.


Scotty and Gail on Elvis Radio across from Graceland - Aug. 2, 2013

Photo James V. Roy


George Klein in the Elvis Radio booth - Aug. 2, 2013

Photo James V. Roy

Originally scheduled for 5:00 in the evening, we arrived early, about 4:15 and they went right on.  The size of the booth prohibited us all from going in and Jim Dickerson who showed up on time didn't get to go in until later.  He was scheduled to be a guest deejay the following day also.


Jim Dickerson waits to go into the booth - Aug. 2, 2013

Photo James V. Roy


Scotty and Gail in the Elvis Radio booth - Aug. 2, 2013

Photo James V. Roy

Though the interview and Scotty's presence wasn't formerly announced, or supposed to be, a small crowd naturally started to gather, understandably. They were parked in the lot around the rear of the complex, a good distance from the booth so I arranged with security to bring my car into the plaza close to the booth. This way when leaving Scotty wouldn't have to make the long walk to the car.  


George Klein in the Elvis Radio booth - Aug. 2, 2013

Photo James V. Roy

As was the case, the show ran long and they wound up talking for almost an hour and a half. Unfortunately there was little time to meet with the fans and Scotty's arthritis and impending requirements prohibited any signing. We're sorry for that.


The SiriusXM studio booth across from Graceland - Aug. 2, 2013

Photo James V. Roy

We met up with the rest of his entourage as they arrived and all ate ribs at Blues City with Kevin Kane, a definite must when in town. We spent that evening back at Scotty's hotel room conversing about the big day ahead.  It would start in the morning with Scotty having to sign a multitude of guitars at Gibson and then the release party that night.  More on that later.

James V. Roy
added August 6, 2013

 

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