- Music Of Mississippi -

Grammy Museum Event 2015

Review by Joan & Paul Gansky

An EIN Spotlight

EIN contributors Joan and Paul Gansky report back from the recent ‘Celebration Of Music of Mississippi’ at the Grammy Museum last week..

We were thrilled when we heard that there was to be a program featuring A Celebration Of Music from Mississippi in their Education series of Grammy Museum events.  I was especially excited to see the names of James Burton, Gene Chrisman, Norbert Putnam and Bobby Wood as featured guests!

We were thrilled when we heard that there was to be a program featuring A Celebration Of Music from Mississippi in their Education series of Grammy Museum events. 

I was especially excited to see the names of James Burton, Gene Chrisman, Norbert Putnam and Bobby Wood as featured guests!

We arrived at the museum for the morning Education seminar for local school children, and Grammy members, and met our Elvis fan friend, Carole Drexler

While waiting for the program to begin, we chatted with James Burton - which was a huge thrill! James was there with the other guys in the band for their rehearsal. 

Paul and Joan Gansky with James Burton and Linda Thompson

Drummer Gene Chrisman mentioned to Carole that the band would be rehearsing all morning, therefore they would not be on stage until the evening.  We were so disappointed!  The evening event was for invited VIP's and patron members only.  When Carole explained this to Gene, he warmly invited all of us to attend as his personal guests! How amazingly thoughtful - we were so thrilled!

The morning session was informative and fun, so delightful to observe Delta Music Institute Director, Tricia Walker, teach the grade school children about Mississippi music - emphasizing its roots - and the "Blues". Tricia had some of the children come on stage, then helped them write and perform a "Blues" song!  Mentors from the Grammy Museum, Tricia Walker and Norbert Putnam all gave recognition to Mississippian Elvis Presley, detailing Elvis' family's struggles. Elvis' early life experiences, including the many different kinds of music that he was exposed to in Mississippi, resulted in Elvis' unparallelled contribution to - and the resulting change, a revolution in popular music.

Norbert Putnam answered questions from the school children and audience members.  The young children seemed to soak up the information and so enjoyed the music shared with them provided by talented music students of the Delta Music Institute (DMI All Stars).

The children learned how Elvis' style impacted other entertainers and musicians 60 years ago and continues to do so today! 

During the short break between the morning and evening sessions we had the chance to speak with many guests who were involved in the Music industry in some way. We found everyone so easy to talk to!  Maybe it was because most were from the South! - many were from Cleveland, Mississippi!  They were so excited to be at the Grammy Museum on this occasion honoring Elvis and their state's musical history and performers.  They were proud to inform us the second Grammy Museum was to be opening in their state - in Cleveland, this coming September!

Soon it was time to retire to the Clive Davis Theater for the evening's special entertainment program.  We were thrilled to have Linda Thompson and her friends seated next to us in the second row! 

The lights dimmed, a movie screen appeared, and the faint sound of familiar music! We were enthralled watching the short (10 minutes) movie "The Gift" on screen (Screenwriter/Director-Gabriel Robertson). It was a heartfelt portrayal of 11-year old Elvis going to Tupelo Hardware with his mother, really wanting a rifle for his birthday gift, which his Mother vehemently opposed.  Mr. Forrest Bobo, the owner of Tupelo Hardware, carefully plants the idea in young Elvis' head to convince the boy that choosing a guitar was the way to go! (We have heard from Roy Turner that this short film is to be shown at the Tupelo Film Festival this year!).

This "young boy Elvis" movie short made us eager for the program ahead! 

We were treated to the fabulous guitar playing of CMA Award winner guitarist/performer Mac McAnally!  The talented students (DMI All Stars) from Delta Music Institute returned to the stage.


Charismatic Keith Johnson, (right) the great-nephew of Muddy Waters, has definitely inherited some musical gifts from his Great Uncle! He was pure dynamite performing on rhythm guitar!


Bob Santelli, Executive Director of the Grammy Museum, was introduced. He spoke about the many Mississippians in the music industry past and present, particularly focusing on Elvis. Bob emphasized that this special Celebration of Music from Mississippi Grammy event was also to honor Elvis. It would have been his 80th birthday last month.

Mr. Santelli then introduced James, Gene, Bobby and Norbert and invited them to the stage.  They had a great time recalling humorous stories of their times with Elvis - in recording sessions, and on stage.  One by one they came up with mostly funny stories - but the main focus always came back to Elvis' incredible voice, his professionalism to always give the best he was capable of, and his deep consideration of everyone he ever met. 

James Burton, Andy Childs, Gene Chrisman

We really didn't want the Q & A to end!  - but the guys were about to perform some of the great songs of Elvis Presley.  Country singer/song writer Andy Childs came on stage to front the band. Andy's warm personality and love for Elvis enhanced our experience of the magical music these awesome musicians produced on stage!

Norbert Putnam, Bobby Wood

"In The Ghetto", "Always on My Mind" and "Suspicious Minds" were stand-outs for me!

All too soon the performance was over. After a long, well deserved standing ovation, the band members and Andy stayed to chat personally with people in the audience.

We are so thankful to the Grammy Museum for their dedication to all music, and especially for continuing to feature Elvis Presley. We are thrilled to have experienced this awesome and unforgettable occasion - honoring Elvis along with other great musicians from Mississippi.

Joan and Paul Gansky

Review by Joan Gansky & Paul Gansky February 2015.
-Article Copyright EIN, February 2015.


Click to comment on this review

Elvis; Concert Review 1969: EIN 40th Anniversary special Spotlight: Forty years ago today Elvis returned to Live concert performances. All the media were there but so were the true fans. EIN contributor Joan Gansky was one of the lucky ones and wrote a delightful, personal review.
"The atmosphere throughout the entire hotel was nail-bitingly electric! It is difficult for me to describe and paint a true portrait of attending in person this unique occasion - but I'll try my best. I want, and hope, you will understand the excitement of what has to be the pinnacle of Elvis' career to date! I vaguely recall the Sweet Inspirations perform - followed by a seemingly lengthy act by comedian Sammy Shore. The audience grew impatient. At last! The curtains closed. A pause. . . . A white shoe, a hand "peeked" round the curtain - now open - the thrill of a lifetime as Elvis simply stood there. He smiled happily, looking far more dynamic than any photo I had ever seen of him! - attired in white, with a long sash (belt) and a splash of color in the red kerchief (scarf). . ."  

Click here for her unique eye-witness account & photos of this fabulous event.

(Spotlight, Source;EIN)

The '68 Special - 40th Anniversary Celebration: How lucky in life would you be to get to the recording of Elvis' 68 TV Special and also make it to the recent 40th Anniversary screening in L.A? EIN's correspondent Joan Gansky is one of those few very fortunate fans. Joan Gansky not only met Elvis multiple times - but being at the original NBC recording of the 68 Special truly changed her life! Here are her unique recollections of attending the recent 40th Anniversary celebration - as well as her thoughts on being there back in June 1968. This EIN exclusive features comments by Steve Binder, Priscilla, Bones Howe as well as great close-up photos by Paul Gansky.

Click here for the full article.

(Spotlight, Source;EIN/JoanGansky)

'Elvis-The King Of The Jungle' In-Depth Book Review: Featuring 546 pages the book includes a detailed look at everything that took place at the historic taping and recording sessions of Elvis' "Comeback Special". It also includes eye-witness reports from lucky fans that were present at the legendary NBC performances.
EIN's Piers Beagley checks out this gorgeous new book about one of the most important weeks of Elvis career.....
.... My expectations were high for this wonderful new production - but I am still absolutely stunned by its massive size and the impact. Yes, there are other candids and photos of Elvis in 1968 within the book but it is basically about ONE WEEK in Elvis' life presented over 500 pages - What a week! If you love Elvis in the 'Singer Presents Elvis' TV special then you will spend hours luxuriating in these glorious photos. Did I mention Elvis looked gorgeous in 1968!"...
Go HERE for the full-indepth review and plenty of magnificent photos. Now with added images, comments & purchase details.

(Book Reviews, Source;ElvisInfoNet)

Other EIN articles

The '68 Special - 40th Anniversary Celebration - By Paul & Joan Gansky

EIN review of FTD 'Elvis At The International'.

ELVIS: Vegas '69 - Ken Sharp and Elvis 1969

In-depth article on 'In The Ghetto' the 40th Anniversary.

'IN PERSON’ at The International Hotel' FTD CD review:

'From Elvis To Garth' Bobby Wood & The Memphis Boys 1969

The Night Elvis Reclaimed His Crown 1968

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