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Thursday, March 4, 2004

Brown Bag Discussion Examines Memphis Soul Music

SALISBURY, MD---The music of Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding could be a key to ending racial tensions in parts of America, Salisbury University history professor Donald Whaley says during the third installment of the Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts’ Brown Bag Lunch Discussion Series.  Whaley speaks on “Memphis Soul Stew: Race Relations in Memphis Soul Music” at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 16, in the University Gallery in Fulton Hall. An expert on Memphis soul music, the professor has published several essays on the genre and its historical context. These include “Memphis Soul Stew: Black Nationalism and the Memphis Sound of Soul Music” in 1991’s Tennessee in American History and “Black Nationalism in Pop: Memphis Soul Music” in 1995’s Tennessee State of the Nation. He also authored the soul music section of the African American Encyclopedia. During the discussion, Whaley challenges the idea, popularized by author Peter Guralnick, that Memphis soul music is the product of desegregation due to its integration of African-American singers with Caucasian musicians. Instead, Whaley argues that Memphis soul is the embodiment of African-American nationalism. He also says the music—popular with both African-Americans and Caucasian southern fraternities in the 1960s—provides a common heritage for most southerners regardless of race, a realization that could help further race relations today. Admission is free and the public is cordially invited. Light refreshments are provided. For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU Web site at www.salisbury.edu.

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