More on Strut Memphis

Longtime Fox 13 News anchor Mearl Purvis is one of nine local celebrities who will be slinging cocktails for party-goers tonight (October 27) at Strut Memphis, a benefit for the Community Legal Center, a nonprofit that provides pro bono legal services for the city’s working poor.

When asked why she decided to leave her seat at the anchor desk to pour drinks behind the bar for the evening, Purvis said, “”Almost every day during our newscast, it pops up – a story about crooks who scam innocent people. Today, a report surfaced about a 95-year-old lady whose identity was stolen. That senior citizen may end up having to hire an attorney to get the mess straightened out. If she is living on a fixed income and above the poverty level, but can’t afford an attorney, the Community Legal Center is her best chance for relief. When I think about a predicament like that for a senior citizen, getting a little bubbly wasted on my skirt to help out is a no brainer.”

Harold Ford. Jr. on “Occupy” movement

Former Memphis congressman Harold Ford Jr. was on “Meet the Press” Sunday for an appearance during which he tried to give President Obama some economic advice.

He also seemed to suggest that Obama and the rest of the Democratic party needed to “look beyond” the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Said Ford: “We Democrats can’t criticize Republicans for catering to the tea party and not be–and not say to our Democratic Party you’ve got to look beyond Occupy and be willing to do what’s in the best interest of the country.”

Ford is the former U.S. Rep. for the Ninth Congressional District. He’s currently a Bank of America Merrill Lynch executive.

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Sales at Four-Month-Old Habitat ReStore Top $300K

This Saturday, Oct. 29, marks the end of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis’ fall building season.

The nonprofit will have completed 390 new homes since its founding in 1983.

But that’s not the only success that Memphis Habitat has seen this building season. In October, the nonprofit’s sales at its new 45,000-square-foot ReStore – which open June 9 at 7130 Winchester Road – surpassed the $300,000 mark.

“Having the ReStore there is a great revenue stream for us,” said director of sponsorship and community relations Jessica Hord. “It’s is a funding source for Habitat, so it’s kind of a support system for us in order to help with our program, with operations and also with homebuilding.”

Items at the ReStore usually sell at 50 to 90 percent off of the original retail price, offering a cost-effective alternative for people who are looking to update their homes or renovate, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Memphis’ executive director Dwayne Spencer told The Daily News in May.

“It offers a way to make a tax-deductible donation of usable materials they no longer want or need and divert usable material from landfills,” Spencer said. “In a down economy, those sort of plans often fall by the wayside, and the ReStore will allow people to tackle many projects, even when on a budget.”

The store is open Thursday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and plans for new extended hours will be announced soon.

“We’ve been trying to figure out are there some extra hours we could add on to get some people in that haven’t been able to stop by just yet,” Hord said.

On New Photos of Old Times


For a while now, Joe Spake has been going through a considerable cache of photographs he took in the mid 1970s and posting them on Facebook.

And they are an interesting look at a city in the making – not that Memphis wasn’t in the act of becoming before and after these pictures were taken. Hopefully, Memphis will never be completed.

Most of you know Joe these days as a Realtor.

But some of his photos from 1974 are from a different part of his life when he was part of a community radio station at what was then Southwestern at Memphis and is now Rhodes College.

The radio station was WLYX FM 89. And it was run 24/7 by volunteers who did four hour air shifts.

When Joe began posting these pictures, I was more than a little interested since I too was at the radio station for the first seven years of my 22 years doing radio news. These pictures are about a year before I showed up at the top of the gymnasium at Southwestern where the radio station was located and accessible only by climbing a lot of stairs. That was after someone at the top threw down a set of keys so you could unlock one of the front doors to the gym to come up after hitting a buzzer by the door to alert the person upstairs.

Over that many years, some memories begin to fade.

Such is the case with a picture that has stumped many of us who were there – or in my case, just about there. It’s become a real source of fascination. It shows someone being interviewed, probably a musician with a gig and a record deal. But none of us can place the face.

UPDATE: Go to the comments below to see Joe’s link to the mystery photo and a link to his other photos. In the mystery photo, we know who the guys to the left and center are — Dave Weil and Gil Rossner, who also worked at WLYX. It’s the figure to the right that is the mystery.

Some think there is a resemblance to a young Steven Tyler. Others think it is someone from Mott the Hoople. And still others think it is someone who had a record deal and put out a record but may have never been heard from again after a brief splash of touring.

All three are possible. Because the radio station was non-commercial it didn’t have the playlist that is still the core of organization at any commercial radio station that plays music. And we had a hellacious record collection that took up two rooms and covered every kind of jazz, bluegrass, rock, rock and roll, fusion, reggae and classical music you could think of. We had the old stuff and the new stuff.

One of the few rules was don’t play the hits that everybody else was playing.

As a result, there were a lot of up and coming musicians who came through the doors as they made their way across the country.

Joe has another picture in his collection of Frank Zappa doing a newscast.

John Prine bummed a dime off me for a grape soda a few weeks before he turned up on Saturday Night Live.

Supertramp had the run of the place before they played the old Auditorium. The show got moved to the smallest hall in the Auditorium and the opener, Crack The Sky, was the better known of the two acts.

Black Sabbath had an eventful trip up the stairs. All four band members, including Ozzy Osbourne, showed up on time and ready to talk except the drummer, Bill Ward, who fell down the stairs on his way up. For a few very anxious seconds in which his hosts wondered if they had killed the drummer for Black Sabbath, Ward didn’t move but then dusted himself off and caught up with the rest.

Shortly after catching the movie Slaughterhouse Five on the late show on television, I was amazed one day to see the daughter from the movie being interviewed. Holly Near, the actress, was the kind of singer-songwriter who was right up the radio station’s very broad and eclectic alley in those pre-MTV days.

One late night while looking in the older records I came across the Big Star album and wondered why I had never heard of them. The band had done what turned out to be its final gig in our studios maybe a few months before I got there. The bootleg is still floating around on the Internet.

There are lots more stories that should and shouldn’t be told. Some fall into both categories.

It’s funny how microphones, obsolete equipment and sound tiles can translate into blurry memories that may or may not be the way it was, but it’s the way you remember it even if you don’t remember all of the faces.

Lady Bugg Bakery Opens 1st Storefront in Hernando Tuesday

After almost eight months of elbow grease in Midtown, Lady Bugg Bakery is opening its own storefront today in Hernando, Miss.

The mother daughter team of Lady Bugg Bakery – who’s menu consists of cakes, cupcakes, muffins, scones, breads, pies, cookies and vegan treats – partnered with Yolo Frozen Yogurt in March.

Lady Bugg sold its baked goods at Yolo Midtown’s location off Madison Avenue and Cooper Street (the Memphis-based FroYo company’s highest performing location of all 10 Memphis-area stores, mind you), while also providing toppings like cheesecake, brownie and cookie bites for the self-serve frozen yogurt.

Now, Lady Bugg is setting up shop at 205 East Commerce St. just down Highway 55, “with the edition of a bread baker ready to go for it full force,” according to the group’s Facebook site.

Lady Bugg focuses on made-from-scratch, local ingredients, including cage-free, pasture-raised eggs and homegrown herbs, according to its website.