Music History

Mojo Triangle

Birthplace of Country, Blues, Jazz, and Rock ‘n’ Roll

By James L. Dickerson

Non-Fiction | American Music History

At long last—the truth about the birth of the blues, rock ‘n’ roll, country and jazz! Draw a straight line from New Orleans to Nashville, then over to Memphis and back down to New Orleans, following the curves of the Mississippi River, and you have the Mojo Triangle, a phrase coined by the author in the early 2000s. Contains interviews with recording artists and rare photos. Winner Independent Publishers award for “Best New Book” from the South.

“A rich and rewarding book.” – Beth Goehring, The Literary Guild

Mojo Triangle is a very good book. Author James L. Dickerson, a Southerner himself, has written a great, in-depth history of the area and its musical background … all aimed at the birthplace of American music. He hit it right on the button.” – Scotty Moore, Elvis Presley’s first guitarist and manager

“In the search for a unified-field theory of American popular music, few journalists come as well equipped as James L. Dickerson. Blessed with the scene-setting panache of a natural storyteller, an eye for the telling detail, and the audacity to reach for the big picture, Dickerson has walked back out of the jungle bearing this remarkable, pioneering compendium … Again and again, Dickerson dredges up forgotten or suppressed histories and teases out connections that other historians of southern music have missed. I learned a great deal from this book.” – Adam Gussow, author of Mister Satan’s Apprentice: A Blues Memoir

Mojo Triangle Travel Guide

By Mardi Allen

Non-Fiction | Travel Guide

Mojo Triangle Travel Guide presents a road map for tourists to explore the historic music triangle for the purpose of understanding America’s impressive contributions to music. Each chapter lists music venues, restaurants, and hotels. Sprinkled throughout the book are entertaining stories and photos of musicians native to the historic music region. The book is divided into seven chapters:

Chapter 1 New Orleans
Chapter 2 Natchez
Chapter 3 Natchez Trace
Chapter 4 Mississippi Delta
Chapter 5 Memphis
Chapter 6 Muscle Shoals
Chapter 7 Nashville

From the bright lights of the major cities in the Triangle to the country crossroads of Mississippi, this book provides you with the information you will need to plan a memorable vacation or a weekend adventure you will never forget.

“This is YOUR guide to the best grits, groceries, blues and BBQ to be found ANYWHERE on the planet! Enjoy and learn about the best of Mississippi (and Memphis and Nashville and New Orleans and Muscle Shoals) as you travel the area’s lost highways in search of a King, a Singing Brakeman, a Cross Roads or just a nice, cold glass of sweet tea” – Rambling Steve Gardner, Mojo-born recording and performance artist

Available formats: Paperback and eBook

Memphis Going Down

A Century of Blues, Soul and Rock ‘n’ Roll

By James L. Dickerson

Non-Fiction | American Music History

Previously published in 1996 by Simon & Schuster under the title Goin’ Back to Memphis, this book was a finalist for the prestigious Gleason Award for being the first comprehensive history of Memphis music. Wrote Publishers Weekly: “[Dickerson’s] engaging chronicle sizzles with the energies that transformed American music and popular culture.” The updated edition has new information and photos.

“Memphis native Dickerson sifts through more than 100 years of musical, political, and cultural heritage in this work of history-as-memoir to provide a captivating profile of the one-time murder capital of the world. Beginning with the impact of bluesman W.C. Handy in the early 1900s, Dickerson combines sordid tales of brothels, racism, and political corruption with the role Beale Street played in the simultaneous evolution of both the city and American music. Chapters spanning a decade at a time cover the early influence of blues women Alberta Hunter and Memphis Minnie, backwater politician E.H. Crump, the rise of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash, the founding of the Sun and Stax record labels, famous artists drawn to Memphis (including U2, ZZ Top, and Stevie Ray Vaughan); and even fellow Memphians Justin Timberlake and former Survivor vocalist Jimi Jamison. Dickerson references personal connections—Elvis’s father worked in a store owned by one of the author’s family members—and first-person accounts of his own role in the Memphis music scene as a journalist overtake the final third of the book. Nevertheless, all musical cities deserve a biography this thorough.” – Publishers Weekly

Available formats: Paperback and eBook

The Rock Trenches

Journal of a Music Industry Executive

By Phillip Rauls

Non-Fiction | Music History

Written by a former promotions man for Stax Records, EMI Records, Atlantic Records, and 20th Century Fox. As a music executive, Rauls worked with recording artists such as Led Zeppelin, YES, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Bette Midler, Jackson Browne, the Eagles, Robert Palmer, Natalie Cole, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and many Stax artists, including the Gentrys, for which he was the road manager. A native of Memphis, he now lives in Seattle, Washington.

Good Girls, Bad Girls

The Rise & Fall of Women in Music

By James L. Dickerson

Non-Fiction | Music History (Women’s Studies)

Originally published as Women on Top by Billboard Books, this updated and expanded edition provides a history of women in music, with photos. The book features author interviews with Shania Twain, Pat Benatar, Brenda Lee, Ann and Nancy Wilson, Tanya Tucker, Melissa Etheridge, Tammy Wynette, Bonnie Raitt, members of the Bangles, June Carter Cash, and others. The focus is on overcoming male prejudice, sexual harassment, and industry reluctance to accept women as equals with male artists. Lots of insight from successful women on how to beat the system.