Mind’s Eye: Bob Williams

About this series: Memphis has played muse over the years to artists across the spectrum, from the music of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Al Green, and the collective at Stax Records, to the prose of Peter Taylor, Shelby Foote, and John Grisham. But what about visually? The look of Memphis has been described equally as gritty, dirty, active, eerie, beautiful, and captivating. 

In this series, titled “The Mind’s Eye,” Memphis magazine will be taking a closer look at some of this city’s most prominent photographers, a few homegrown, many transplanted, but all drawn in by that grittiness, that activity, that beauty. 

Is there something special about the look of Memphis? We’ll ask each and, along the way, learn what makes these photographers tick, what got them started on their professional paths, and what it is that keeps them looking around every corner and down every alley. We’ll turn the camera on the cameramen, as it were, capturing their portraits and seeing what develops. 

At the same time, we will be showcasing each photographer’s own remarkable work. Hopefully, that will speak for itself. 

Richard J. AlleyREAD MORE


Q&A with Charles Lloyd

Charles Lloyd was born in Memphis on March 15, 1938. In his formative years he played with B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf, and Johnny Ace, among many others. It was a time of mentoring under Phineas Newborn Jr. and with the strains of Willie Mitchell’s horn in his ears, Lloyd left for California and USC before making his way to New York. His 1966 album Forest Flower: Live at Monterey became a sensation and was one of the first jazz albums to sell a million copies. Along this meteoric rise, he was asked to play the Tallinn Jazz Festival in the Soviet Union in 1967 and his quartet was the first jazz group to play the storied Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco. At the height of his career, in the early 1970s, he walked away from it all, retreating to Big Sur to lead a reclusive life. In the past years he’s come out of that self-imposed exile to again tour the country and the world. He is the subject of the 2012 documentary Arrows Into Infinity, was named an NEA Jazz Master earlier this year, and was invited last month to Rhodes College to work with students and to perform at the Levitt Shell. This interview about his early life in Memphis took place in his suite at the Madison Hotel with a view of the Mississippi River.READ MORE