This week is dedicated to an explanation of gender identity terminologies and concepts which Jess O’Rear explains both from an academic perspective and from his personal experience transitioning from being assigned female at birth to identifying as a genderqueer transgender man. Jess is a PhD student at the University of Texas in Austin.
Radford Ellis is a Memphis singer known for his Elvis tribute on Beale Street. Radford knew Elvis for many years from care-taking at Graceland, initially cutting the yard. He was a confidant to Elvis, sometimes sitting on the roof together talking all night. Radford was also a body-double decoy for Elvis after concerts a few times. A musician in his own right, Radford was so often compared with Elvis that he was compelled to perform his songs. Music in this episode is used courtesy of Radford Ellis.
Tim Sampson is communications director for the Soulsville Foundation which runs the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the Stax Music Academy and the Soulsville Charter School in Memphis. We discuss the history of Stax Records including artists Booker T. Jones, Otis Redding, Jean Knight, the Staple Singers and Isaac Hayes as well as the establishment and operation of Soulsville which Tim has been involved with since day one.
Miss Joyce is a Memphis soul/R&B singer with an inspirational story. Joyce Howard-Hemans was a preacher’s kid who found a secular spirituality and left home at fourteen to carve out her own place in the world. She’s faced hardships including a period of homelessness and losing multiple friends to gang violence and she’s channelled her experiences into her music and songwriting.
Don Cusic is Curb Professor of Music Industry History at Belmont University in Nashville. He’s been in the music business for 45 years as a journalist, record producer, artist manager and songwriter. Don explains the development of the Nashville Sound and discusses country stars Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Roger Miller, Dolly Parton, Keith Urban and others and he shares what it was like working with Roy Orbison at Monument Records.
Lotta Haegg is a talk-radio producer living in London. We discuss what it’s like being a radio producer and Lotta tells of her first radio shifts during major news events. Lotta also shares stories from her years growing up in regional Australia and Sweden and speaks of her experience as a step mum to teenagers.
Davis Rivera is an Oxford scholar specialising in Film Aesthetics. He wrote his dissertation on the Hungarian director Béla Tarr. Davis is originally from Port Arthur, Texas. He fields my questions about his origins as a cinephile, the state of Texas, Southern rap, and various filmmakers and actors including an in-depth discussion about his favourite actor Warren Beatty.