Music: Beale Street's Hero

A centre of celebration last week was Memphis' Beale Street, the garish Negro thoroughfare with its assortment of poolrooms and pawnshops, its gin parlors and its hot-fish restaurants. While Memphis whites were celebrating the annual Cotton Carnival, Beale Street was having its own fiesta, crowning its own king and queen, parading its own elaborate floats. The king was Undertaker Eddie Hayes. Queen was Ethyl Venson, pretty young wife of a Negro dentist. Highest honors throughout the fiesta were paid to a portly old Negro who had motored from his home in Manhattan for...

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