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Beale Street Dynasty: Sex, Song, and the…

Beale Street Dynasty: Sex, Song, and the Struggle for the Soul of Memphis

by Preston Lauterbach

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A fascinating, vivid history of politics, corruption, race relations, and music in old Memphis. ( )
  Sullywriter | May 22, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393082571, Hardcover)

The dramatic rise and fall of Beale Street, the legendary Memphis thoroughfare that shook American culture.

Between Reconstruction and Prohibition, Beale Street in Memphis thrived as a cauldron of sex and song, greed and race hatred—a strip with unique soul that inspired folk legends, scandalized Faulkner, and reshaped American politics. Preston Lauterbach tells this thrilling story through the life of the South’s first black millionaire, an ex-slave named Robert Church, who built an underworld dynasty in the booming river town. With a compromised fortune gleaned from brothels and gambling houses, Church and his son bankrolled the militant civil rights activism of Ida B. Wells, furnished the venues where W. C. Handy invented the blues, and built a powerful black political machine. Fighting to redeem themselves and their city, these vice kings clashed with the forces of Jim Crow to create a hotbed of black culture. Brilliantly researched and swiftly plotted, Beale Street Dynasty evokes a lost world of swaggering musicians, glamorous madams, and ruthless politicians on the fabled Memphis strip. 8 pages of illustrations

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:12 -0400)

Documents the rise and fall of the legendary Memphis thoroughfare that indelibly shaped American culture, documenting its story through the life of former slave and first black millionaire Robert Church.

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