Walking in Memphis - Umfassende Materialien zu Marc Cohns Song
Walking in Memphis - Comprehensive Materials on Marc Cohn's Song

Was Sie schon immer über "Walking in Memphis" wissen wollten, aber bisher nicht zu fragen wagten
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About "Walking in Memphis" * But Were Afraid to Ask
Zusammengestellt © 2017 von Volker Pöhls
Compiled © 2017 by Volker Pöhls This is meant to be a collection of primary materials.
You are welcome to quote from the material, but I would appreciate it, if you mentioned my part in it
WARNING: Reading the following material on "Walking in Memphis" may be rewarding and informative. However it may have the effect of taking away the magic and secretive aura from the song for you. In Marc Cohn's words: "You want to write something personal but have it resonate with the audience and allow them to have their own interpretation." (...) "Look, what these songs mean to me is really only important to me," Cohn said. "What's more important is what it means to someone else."

Iceberg-Theory of Marc Cohn's "Walking in Memphis"

The iceberg theory of Marc Cohn's "Walking in Memphis" states that good song lyrics are like an iceberg: 90% of an iceberg is below the surface of the water. [Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iceberg] This means that only a little bit of good song lyrics is in the open. A big part of it is hidden and needs to be figured out. The underwater part of WiM is large since WiM contains a lot of puzzles, unsolved mysteries and unanswered questions. Fans can project their own interpretations into the lyrics, even explanations that may sound far-fetched. The fuzziness enriches the lyrics, strengthens them and makes them interesting. The more parts can be added to the whole puzzle the more fascinating the song becomes. Iceberg-theory

Bitte springen Sie mit einem Klick auf die Flagge in der Tabelle zu dem gewünschten Text! (Zurück zur Übersicht mit Zurück-Taste) German
Please jump to the article you want by clicking on the corresponding flag in the table! (Back to the table by Back-Key) English

NO. AUTHOR SOURCE DATE ENGLISH GERMAN
01 Marc Cohn Song Stories: Walking in Memphis, Keyboard Magazine 04/08/2014 English German
02 Ben Wisch Song Stories: Walking in Memphis, Keyboard Magazine 04/08/2014 English German
30 Marc Cohn Intro to "Walking in Memphis", wxpn 88.5 in Philadelphia, Mountain Stage 09/14/2007 English German
18 Marc Cohn Intro to "Walking in Memphis", Chautauqua, Boulder, Youtube 07/10/2008 English German
15 Marc Cohn Intro to "Walking In Memphis", Songwriting Contest Finale, at the Bitter End, NYC. 11/06/2008 English German
17 Marc Cohn Intro to "Walking in Memphis", Solo Performance in Peekskill, NY, youtube 05/05/2009 English German
55 Marc Cohn Intro to "Walking in Memphis", Mountain Stage, Charleston, W.Va. 07/06/2010 English German
14 Marc Cohn Intro to "Walking In Memphis", FTC Fairfield CT, Youtube 01/14/2012 English German
54 Marc Cohn Intro to "Walking in Memphis", Minneapolis Zoo 07/14/2012 English German
56 Marc Cohn Intro to "Walking in Memphis" 02/02/2013 English German
57 Marc Cohn Intro to "Walking in Memphis", Mary Chapin & Marc Cohn, Brownfield, ME 07/23/2013 English German
52 Marc Cohn Intro to "Walking in Memphis", Eddie's Attic, Decatur, GA 07/09/2014 English German
19 Marc Cohn Intro to "Walking in Memphis", City Winery New York, Youtube 02/14/2015 English German
49 Marc Cohn Intro to "Walking in Memphis", City Winery New York 03/27/2016 English German
09 Marc Cohn Intro to "Walking In Memphis", Carl-Orff-Saal, Munich, Germany, Youtube 06/12/2016 English German
53 Marc Cohn Intro to "Walking in Memphis", Union Chapel in London 06/14/2016 English German
58 Marc Cohn Intro to "Walking in Memphis", City Winery NYC 02/14/2017 English German
71 Marc Cohn Intro to "Walking in Memphis", Memorial Hall Cincinnati 04/08/2017 English German
36 N.N. English wikipedia on Muriel Davis Wilkins   English German
04 N.N. msbluestrail.org about the "Hollywood Cafe"   English German
29 Brown, G. Denver Post 11/15/1991 English German
16 Marc Cohn Interview with Q Magazine 00/00/1992 English German
50 Marc Cohn Marc Cohn accepts the GRAMMY for Best New Artist at the 34th GRAMMY Awards in New York 02/25/1992 English German
37 Meredith Berkman Marc Cohn shares his secret, Entertainment Weekly 03/27/1992 English German
05 Geoff Gehman The Morning Call 03/03/2007 English German
21 N.N. A talk with Marc Cohn (Part 2 of 2), Portland, Youtube 11/13/2007 English German
10 Whoopi Goldberg Spotlight Live, Wake Up With Woopi, Part 1 of 2 03/01/2008 English German
39 Eric Sutter Toby Lightman & Marc Cohn, Colonial Theater, Pittsfield 08/28/2008 English German
35 Mike Kerwick Marc Cohn appearing at bergen, PAC, The Record 02/08/2010 English German
07 Mike Ragogna Huffington Post 07/30/2010 English German
03 Steve Knopper Chicago Tribune 07/21/2011 English German
20 Mike Adam Talks facial scruff, AMP Radio (NYC), Youtube 10/28/2012 English German
46 Marc Cohn Marc Cohn on Cher's cover of 'Walking in Memphis' 00/00/2013 English German
59 Bob Rivers The Bob Rivers Show, Seattle oldies station KJR-FM 03/21/2013 English German
51 David Kerns Side by side: Two singer/songwriters at Uptown 07/17/2013 English German
11 Derek Gentile The Berkshire Eagle 07/20/2013 English German
24 Jake Griffin Daily Herald 09/25/2013 English German
06 Dan Armonaitis Spartanburg Herald-Journal 07/10/2014 English German
12 Holsey D Wilkins Interview by Cathy Shapiro on Youtube 08/05/2014 English German
26 Lee Zimmerman Goldmine Magazine 09/28/2014 English German
23 Eric Alan KLCC 89.7, telephone interview 01/13/2016 English German
33 Ross Altman folkworks.org 01/16/2016 English German
42 Storme Warren SiriusXM Music, The Highway, The Storme Warren Show - The Voice's Barrett Baber and Marc Cohn 02/00/2016 English German
41 Randy Cain B 98.5 Little Rock, Wildwood Park for the arts 04/23/2016 English German
60 Annie Reuter The Writers Round with Marc Cohn, Sounds like Nashville 04/28/2016 English German
34 N.N. SWR3 Die größten Hits und ihre Geschichte 06/05/2016 English German
13 Frederike Arns Interview for MoPo, Hamburg, Germany 06/08/2016 English German
31 Jim Monaghan Marc Cohn On "All Mixed Up", WDHA 105.5 06/26/2016 English German
25 N.N. Elmore Magazine 07/14/2016 English German
38 Ezio Guaitamacchi Intervista a Marc Cohn - Il cantautore si racconta 07/15/2016 English German
22 Harald Mönkedieck Interview auf Radio Bremen, Popwelt Nordwestradio 07/17/2016 English German
08 Jonathan Clarke Q104.3 - New York's Classic Rock 07/19/2016 English German
40 Jamie Grout & Sarah Marc Cohn interview, The morning jolt 08/00/2016 English German
43 Ron Jolly City Opera House, Traverse City, Show interviews Grammy award-winner singer song writer Marc Cohn 09/23/2016 English German
27 Mike Greenblatt Goldmine Magazine 10/27/2016 English German
32 John Carney The Carney Show: Marc Cohn talks about “Walking in Memphis” and getting shot in Denver, 550 KTRS 11/03/2016 English German
28 Kevin C. Johnson St. Louis Post-Dispatch 11/16/2016 English German
44 Mark Richens 'Walking in Memphis' warms up inaugural crowd, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee 01/19/2017 English German
45 Marc Cohn Marc Cohn on facebook concerning 'Walking in Memphis' at inauguration 01/20/2017 English German
48 Michael W. Perry, Karen Keawehawaii KSSK 92.3 Hawaii Exclusive: Marc Cohn interview & performance 02/08/2017 English German
47 Dave Lawrence HPR / Hawaii Public Radio's All Things Considered 02/10/2017 English German

Link zur Tabelle mit weiteren Materialien 60+
Link to the table containing further materials 60+

Marc Cohn's "Walking in Memphis"

No.
Q or A

Questions and Tentative Answers

0.0
 
A good work is smarter than its author.
0.1
Q
Marc Cohn's "Walking in Memphis" is based upon a trip Marc Cohn made to Memphis. When exactly did this trip take place?
 
A
Memory is volatile. It was either in 1985 [01][04][30][33][40][41][60] or 1986 [05][13][21][40]. (The numbers in brackets refer to the number of the materials below.)
0.2
Q
Did Marc Cohn walk through Memphis all alone?
 
A
Marc Cohn once talked about "the three of us",[17] "me and my three white friends" [59] at Al Green's church. Holsey Davis Wilkins said: "The lady that brought Marc Cohn was from Memphis. I met her a couple of years ago. She brought Marc Cohn. She just said he was a friend, a family-friend.". [12] And Marc Cohn's "girlfriend at the time" sems to have been involved [23].
0.3
Q
Is "Walking in Memphis" "100 percent autobiographical" [03]?
 
A
"Walking in Memphis" is autobiographical, but not "100 percent". Marc Cohn took poetic license, which is absolutely legitimate. The part "Tell me: Are you a Christian, child" is fictitious (cf. [06]) See also 1.2
1.1
Q
Who/what does "Put on my blue suede shoes" refer to?
 
A
a) Carl Perkins b) Elvis Presley cf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Suede_Shoes
1.2
Q
Has Marc Cohn ever been asked, if he a) literally put on blue shoes or b) said this with a twinkle in his eye?
 
A
??? Anyway, at a concert in Brownfield, ME, on 2013-07-23 Marc Cohn showed the audience his newly bought blue suede shoes. [57]
2.1
Q
Who is "W.C.Handy"?
 
A
W.C. Handy is a blues legend. His most famous recording is “St. Louis Blues,” but he also recorded “Beale Street Blues” and “Memphis Blues.” There is a statue in his honor at 200 Beale Street in Memphis.
W.C.Handy home and museum is located at the corner of Beale Street and Fourth Street.
2.2
Q
Why does it say "W.C.Handy, won't you look down over me"?
 
A
a) Figurative sense: Look down from heaven b) Literal sense: The W.C. Handy statue (at 200 Beale Street, Memphis, TN) stands on a pedestal. So the figure looks down on the spectators.
2.3
Q
"Yeah, I got a first class ticket" - How could he afford a first class ticket, if he was a struggling musician?
 
A
Did he have wealthy supporters??
3.1
Q
What is the meaning of "Was walking with my feet, ten feet off of Beale"?
 
A
Beale stands for "Beale Street" in Memphis. a) Marc Cohn was not literally walking ten feet off the ground. b) But it is a metaphor for him feeling elated [01], elevated [10], walking on air (another metaphor), feeling as if he was floating [40]. (The numbers in brackets refer to the materials below.)
3.2
Q
Try to find evidence for the idea, that "walking in Memphis" might be a story of a singer high on drugs in Memphis!
 
A
 
4.1
Q
What could be the meaning of "Saw the ghost of Elvis / On Union Avenue / Followed him up to the gates of Graceland / Then I watched him walk right through / Now security they did not see him"?
 
A
a) He really had an apparition. b) He saw an Elvis impersonator. c) This happened in his phantasy, his imagination. d) He felt the spirit of Elvis e) Could be an allusion to the myth "Elvis lives"
4.2
Q
What's the role of Union Avenue?
 
A
Sun records, where Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, BB King, and Roy Orbison began their careers, is located at 706 Union Avenue. The studio itself is still used by recording artists, with recent recordings being made by John Mellencamp and Chris Isaak.
4.3
Q
Is "security they did not see him" a comment on one Bruce Springsteen story? [906]
 
A
Bruce Springsteen once successfully scaled the wall at Graceland, trying to deliver a song he wrote. Apparently Elvis wasn't there. Further info here. However, Marc Cohn has not mentioned the Springsteen event, so there is no evidence supporting this idea.
4.4
Q
What's meant by "his tomb"?
 
A
Elvis' tomb is in Graceland. They open the graves to the public for free from 7:30 -8:30 in the morning for the people who can't afford the tours. [906] Pictures here.
4.5
Q
Does Marc Cohn want "Walking in Memphis" to be an Elvis tribute?
 
A
No, not really. [11][29][41][49][55]
5.1
Q
What might be the meaning behind "But there's a pretty little thing, waiting for the king / Down in the Jungle Room"?
 
A It might be a reference to
a) Elvis' daughter Lisa Marie Presley: "It's actually a reference to Lisa Marie. As soon as he was done having the room built in 1978 he had a custom oversized jungle chair put in the room. And that's where he would always find Lisa Marie napping with her stuffed animal. Lol He couldn't keep her out of the room. The stuffed animal is still sitting in that chair I believe. Elvis always knew when he'd get back in town, if she wasn't running around the house she was in the Jungle Room." [Source: Brandon Roman's comment on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK5YGWS5H84&lc=z12evtgpanysj1kcu22iwxhiuvinhnxua ],
b) to his wife Priscilla Presley [cf. comments on [907]],
c) to a groupie [34],
d) the teddybear who is sitting next to a guitar in an armchair
e) to an object, e.g. a small pill.
The "king" refers to Elvis, who was called the "king of rock and roll". The "Jungle Room" was a room in Elvis' mansion Graceland.
5.2
Q
Is the mention of the "king" a pun on "Elvis, the king" and "B.B.King"?
 
A
It is true that B.B.King also lived in Memphis. However, Marc Cohn never seems to mention him as one of his heroes. So there seems to be no evidence for a double meaning.
6.1
Q
Has Marc Cohn used "catfish on the table" as a metaphor for sexual intercourse? [906]
 
A
No evidence
7.1
Q
Who is "Reverend Green"?
 
A
"Reverend Green" is a real person: Al Green, a musician and a reverend, whom Marc Cohn met at his "Full Gospel Tabernacle Church". To get an impression of how it must have been, when Al Green preached to Marc Cohn, check out a video here. In the church, Marc Cohn and his friends were asked to stand up [17][30][59]. After church, Marc Cohn was invited to a barbecue [17][30]
7.2
Q
How did Al Green become a reverend?
 
A
Two incidents made Green change from Saulus to Paulus: a) On Oct. 18, 1974 Al Green was doused with a boiling pot of grits by girlfriend Mary Woodson. Green was about to shower at his Memphis home when Woodson scalded him, causing third-degree burns on his back. After the attack, Woodson retreated to a bedroom and shot herself dead with Green’s gun. [Source: 'Pure Agony': Al Green Scalded by Hot Grits 40 Years Ago | http://theboombox.com/al-green-hot-grits-scalded/?trackback=tsmclip] b) In 1979, Green injured himself falling off the stage while performing in Cincinnati and interpreted this as a message from God. [Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Green#cite_note-brunner-18]
7.3
Q
Has Al Green always been a saint?
 
A
“Ob all die Mädchen, mit denen ich etwas hatte, in meine Kirche passen würden?” [I wonder if all the girls I've ever dated would fit into my church. I doubt it. - VP] fragte er sich einst in einem stern-Interview selbst. “Ich bezweifle es.”
[Source: http://tonspur.tv/de/blog/memphis/grunsonntag/]
In 1983, two years before Marc Cohn met him in Memphis, the marriage between Al Green and his wife Shirley Kyles was divorced due to alleged domestic violence throughout their marriage. [Source: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1995-01-03/features/9501030138_1_spousal-abuse-domestic-violence-marriage]
7.4
Q
What's behind "When you haven't got a prayer"?
 
A
When you cannot pray, because you are not a believer / not a Christian???
7.5.1
Q
Does the "Full Gospel Tabernacle Church" still exist?
 
A
Yes, so far it does.
Full Gospel Church, Memphis, Tennessee
Address: 787 Hale Rd, Memphis, TN 38116, USA
Telephone: +1 901-396-9192
7.5.2
Q
In his explanation MC talks about railroad tracks near Al Green's church. [52][57]
 
A
You can see the railroad tracks parallel to McCorkle Rd on Google Maps.
7.6
Q
What was special about an Al Green service?
 
A
Suddenly things seem to explode. A woman seated just in front of us begins to shake involuntarily, bending her upper body forward then jerking it back in quick, violent movements, one arm shooting up behind her back as if being twisted by an invisible assailant. A woman dressed in white rushes over and holds her until the fit begins to subside. But all over the room other women break into similar fits, as if in chain reaction. One woman begins to run around the outer aisle holding her arms aloft and shaking her head vigorously. She completes several circuits before being restrained by other “nurses”.
[Source: Nick Bollinger: A visit to the church of Al Green, Dec 23, 1991, http://www.nickbollinger.co.nz/articles/1004/praise-the-lord-a-visit-to-the-church-of-al-green/]
Hinter mir schwankt eine weiß gekleidete, korpulente Frau, stöhnend wirft sie ihren Oberkörper vor und zurück, Yes Sir, Yes Sir! Eine andere kommt ihr zuvor, in der hintersten Reihe geht sie zu Boden, zitternd, im Sonntagskleid. Ein Messdiener hilft ihr auf und fächelt Luft zu.
[Source: http://tonspur.tv/de/blog/memphis/grunsonntag/]
8.1.1
Q
What's behind "Muriel"?
 
A
"Muriel" was a real person: "Muriel Davis Wilkins". She was a schoolteacher from Helena, Arkansas. She has a son named Holsey Davis Wilkins [12].
8.1.2
Q
Did "Muriel" have a second name?
 
A
"Alberta" was her second name [Source: http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?gl=ROOT_CATEGORY&rank=1&new=1&so=1&MSAV=0&msT=1&gss=ms_f-2_s&gsfn=Roberta&gsln=Davis&msdpn__ftp=AR&geo_a=r&geo_s=us&geo_t=us&geo_v=2.0.0&o_xid=62916&o_lid=62916&o_sch=Partners].
8.2
Q
How old was Muriel, when they met for the first time?
 
A
Some sources have got it wrong: "a black woman in her 70s" [905]. "A chance encounter in a Mississippi honky tonk with a 70-year-old black pianist and singer named Muriel Davis Wilkins inspired the song that launched Marc Cohn’s career."[Source: http://www.legendsandlyrics.com/artists/Marc_Cohn], "There he met a 70-year-old black pianist and singer, Muriel, who played elegant versions of spirituals and R&B songs and with whom Cohn was soon in rapt conversation." ["The Encyclopedia of Popular Music" by Colin Larkin, Omnibus Press, 27.05.2011], "He told a story of a chance encounter with a 70-year-old black pianist/singer named Muriel Davis Wilkins who inspired the song that launched his career." [39] "Muriel, die damals schon Ende 60 war" [http://www.ndr.de/ndr1niedersachsen/sendungen/Marc-Cohn-Walking-in-Memphis,marccohn102.html], in her late sixties [55]
If it is true that Muriel was born on 6 December 1923 [904] and the trip happened in 1985 or 86, she must have been about 61 or 62 then.
8.3.1
Q
What's the story behind "plays piano every Friday at the Hollywood"?
 
A
Muriel Davis Wilkins made some extra money by singing and playing gospel music on weekends. [01][55][57][59]
"The Hollywood" stands for "The Hollywood Cafe", a small diner/music joint in Tunica County, Mississippi. Its name does not refer to Hollywood, California, but to the little community "Hollywood" near Memphis, Tennessee. The "Hollywood Café" still exists, see here and here. Cf. [66]
8.3.2
Q
Did Muriel Davis Wilkins play anywhere else?
 
A
Some Andy McWilliams claims that she played at Uncle Henry's at Moon Lake singing e.g. "Just A Bowl of Butterbeans.". [Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0AX0Ysy1Go]
5860 Moon Lake Rd, Dundee, MS 38626, USA. (not far from the Hollywood and Helena)
8.4
Q
"And I sang with all my might" - Exactly which songs did Marc Cohn sing with Muriel at the Hollywood Cafe?
 
A
At that time Cohn did not know all these songs, because - as a Jewish kid - he had heard other songs at temple. Therefore he cannot remember clearly which ones they sang together. However, he seems to be sure of "Amazing Grace" [01][04][05][08][52][53][55][56][59][905].
In other sources he claims to have sung "His eye is on the Sparrow" [30][12][52][53][55][56][57][58][59], "The Glory of Love"[01], "Nearer My God to Thee." [01][52][53][56][57][58][59], "Touch the hem of his garment" [52][53][56][57][58], "How Far am I from Canaan" [53]. Songfacts talks about "Hoagy Carmichael" songs [905], without supplying a source.
9.1
Q
"And she said "Tell me are you a Christian, child?"
Does it say "Christian child" [= a Christian kid] or "Christian, child" [= a Christian, my boy] ?
 
A
The latter. Evidence: a) Muriel Davis was much older than Marc Cohn (born in 1923 and 1959 respectively). She's referring to him as "child," something that's often done in the United States when an older person addresses a much younger person [905]
b) In an article Cohn said that Muriel Davis had said: "Child, you can let go now." [01] "Go write yourself a record, boy!" [18][59] "It's alright, boy, after you have done singing it's time for you to move on now." [30][16] Nevertheless, the comma is missing. [01][03]
9.2
Q
"And she said "Tell me are you a Christian, child?"
Did she only ask Marc Cohn?
 
A
No, that seems to have been her usual question. [905]
9.3
Q
"And she said "Tell me are you a Christian, child?" And I said "Ma'am, I am tonight""
Is Marc Cohn a Christian (now)?
 
A
No, he's Jewish and has not converted. [01][03][15][67]
9.4
Q
What's the explanation of "And I said "Ma'am, I am tonight""
 
A
a) In the course of the evening Muriel has succeeded in converting him to Christianity.
b) He is an opportunist, who adapts to each current situation, in order to profit from it, i.e. who changes his religion temporarily like his insurance company. Maybe he thinks Muriel would not like him, if he admitted that he was (still) a Jew.
c) He is a son of a gun, who prefers not to confess openly that he is a Jew and who does not really lie, but does not put his cards on the table, either.
d) He says it with a twinkle in his eye.
9.5
Q
Did Muriel Davis Wilkins literally ask Marc Cohn the famous question "Tell me are you a Christian, child?" ?
 
A
“No, that came from my imagination,” Cohn replied with a laugh. “She didn't quite hand me that, but close. She did make fun of my name a lot, so that's where that came from — just funny dialogue we had together about my name.”" [06][01][47]
9.6.1
Q
Did Cohn meet Muriel only once or more often?
 
A
Cohn returned to the Hollywood Café to play his songs to Muriel.[01]
"We became best friends. She ended up singing at my first wedding." [17][34][59] On May 20, 1988, Jennifer George and Marc Craig Cohn were married. [Source: http://prabook.com/web/person-view.html?profileId=771321]
9.6.2
Q
How many months after the first meeting did Marc Cohn go back to the Hollywood Cafe to meet Muriel again?
 
A
The statements differ: 6 months [01], 8 months [17][52][53], 8 or 9 months [19]
9.7
Q
Was Muriel Davis Marc Cohn's only musical advisor, before his first record came out?
 
A
No, e.g. his father in law [34][cf. George W. George], Peter Koepke from Atlantic Records [01], Doug Morris from Atlantic Records [37], Jerry Wexler [http://fiveonthefive.edublogs.org/2014/09/28/five-minutes-with-marc-cohn/].
9.8
Q
Did Muriel live to congratulate Marc Cohn on the success of "Walking in Memphis"?
 
A
Muriel Davis Wilkins died 1 October 1990, five months before the release of "Walking in Memphis". [904]
9.9
Q
Are there any photos of Muriel on the internet or other media or somewhere else?
 
A
Yes, there are. A photo by Jim O'Neal can be found on the internet showing Muriel Davis at the piano at the Hollywood, November 10, 1978 [04]
Another photo shows Marc Cohn singing at the piano with Muriel watching him [here, (retrieved Feb 10, 2017). The same photo seems to have been part of article [1] (figure 3). It is one of the photos which are hanging at the wall at the Hollywood Cafe, retrieved Feb 10, 2017. The photo is also shown in [909].
Near the window at the Hollywood Cafe, there are two pictures of Marc Cohn on the wall. With a little luck you will find photos of Muriel's piano on the internet. Marc Cohn used to have a photo of Muriel in his living room [06]. Please let me know, if you know other photos of Muriel!
9.10
Q
What exactly is on display at today's Hollywood Café concerning "Walking in Memphis"?
 
A
Cohn's gold album [905], photos (showing exactly what?). There is photo of Marc Cohn, signed by him and saying "To Sterling and all my friends at the Hollywood. Thanks for the catfish, the pickles, and most of all - the inspiration, Marc C. Cohn" [Source: https://www.google.de/search?q=marc+cohn+hollywood+cafe&client=firefox-b&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjppK_F0IjSAhUEjCwKHbJgC3kQ_AUICCgB&biw=1344&bih=731#imgrc=1jzgUSmfBmoYmM:, retrieved Feb 11, 2017] Who is Sterling?
9.11
Q
Are there any recordings of Muriel somewhere?
 
A
At least Marc Cohn has got "little tapes of Muriel". [43] Marc Cohn played one of these tapes at the concert at the City Winery NYC 02/14/2017 and here (?). Have any records by Muriel been for sale?
9.12
Q
Why do audiences laugh, when Marc Cohn tells them that Muriel said “You know the one where you mention me at the end? That’s the best one you got!”? [55][56][57][58]
 
A
a) They feel that Muriel felt flattered by the fact that she was part of song lyrics. b) Because this was a sign of Muriel's vanity.
9.13
Q
What exactly was Muriel for Marc Cohn?
 
A
a) Muse [06][17][52][55] b) c) musical advisor [01] d) fortune teller [05] e) psychotherapist [12] f) friend [17] g) loved one [52] h) musical hero (No, her kind of music was way too different [cf. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfYP9r1OUeM])
10.1
Q
Did Marc Cohn do anything on his trip to Memphis that was not mentioned in "Walking in Memphis"?
 
A
Yes, he did. a) He went to see Elvis' airplanes.[01]
b) He went to the Rendezvous restaurant for ribs. [01][53] It still (2017) exists: http://hogsfly.com/ [Address: 52 S 2nd St, Memphis, TN 38103, USA] c) He said: "I did all the touristy things you’re supposed to do." [01] Please let me know if you know about other details (maybe a carriage ride?)!
101.1
Q
Who played on the official recording of "Walking in Memphis"?
 
A
Ben Wisch recalled the following final band constellation: John Leventhal (bass), Denny McDermott (drums), Chris Palmaro (Hammond organ), Marc Cohn (vocals and piano) [02]
However, here are some more details: Marc Cohn (piano, vocals) Dennis McDermott (drums) Chris Palmaro (hammond) John Leventhal (organ, bass, guitar) Eric Rehl (keyboard) Ada Dyer (background voice) Vivian Cherry (background voice) Darryl Tookes (background voice) Dennis Collins (background voice)
[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Cohn_(album), http://www.swr.de/kaffee-oder-tee/freizeit/-/id=2244156/did=936102/nid=2244156/1xshfe4/index.html, http://www.radioswisspop.ch/de/musikdatenbank/song/43447be6049b9b4ea0bd79b3a899c5f32eb1]
101.2
Q
Was the well known version of "Walking in Memphis" produced by Ben Wisch the first production?
 
A
No. But the first attempts to record his debut album with Tracy Chapman's producer David Kerschenbaum failed. [905]
101.3
Q
Did Marc Cohn ever play "Walking in Memphis" in Memphis?
 
A
"In the Summer of 91, Cohn played for FM100 and all of Memphis on the banks of the Mississippi on the 4th of July. He opened for, non other than, Al Green." [905, other sources ??]
On 15 and 16 October 2016, Marc Cohn played at Buckman Performing Arts Center in Memphis.
101.4
Q
When was the recording of "Walking in Memphis" first played publicly?
 
A
Some Steve from Memphis wrote: "I was the first person in the universe to play Walking in Memphis. I was Program Director at FM100 in 1989 and we found the song on a compilation disc that a trade publication released. It was accidentally put on the CD. Atlantic Records did not intend to release the song until Spring of 90...if at all!! Believe it or not I received many calls from the head of promotion at the label asking if it was a hit. I played the song for the first time on Monday Dec 14th. Sounded so good we did a "Double Spin"." [905]
However, in an earlier post he had written: "It was December 11th 1990 first played." Who knows if it's not fake news, especially if this Steve has not got a second name.
101.5
Q
Has the city of Memphis given Marc Cohn some kind of prize for "Walking in Memphis"?
 
A
"I can’t remember if they gave me a key to the city or some kind of plaque after I played a show in a theater there, and since then, they’ve asked me to present in the rhythm and blues hall of fame there, and I think they even offered some kind of award, which I couldn’t attend because I think I was on the road. They’ve been fantastic." [26]
101.6
Q
Which awards (or nominations for awards) did Cohn get for "Walking in Memphis"?
 
A
The Grammy Award (One win, two nominations), Nomination for American Music Award [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Cohn#Awards], Winner of the lion of Radio Luxemburg (Germany) in bronze [https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%B6we_von_Radio_Luxemburg]
101.7
Q
Was "Walking in Memphis" a piano piece from the very beginning?
 
A
No, Marc Cohn first tried to play the arpeggio on guitar. [01][38]
102.0
 
102.1
Q
Which buildings can be seen in the official "Walking in Memphis" video?
 
A
(1) Mississippi-bridges (Harahan-Bridge in the foreground, Frisco-Bridge in the background)
(2) Paddle steamer "Memphis Queen III" on the Mississippi
(3.1) Sun-Records building at the crossing of Union Avenue 706 and Marshall Avenue in Memphis
(3.2) Historic marker front side saying: "ELVIS PRESLEY AND SUN RECORDS
In July 1954 Sun Records released Elvis Presley's first recording. That record, and Elvis' four that followed on the Sun label, changed popular music. Elvis developed an innovative and different sound combining blues, gospel, and country. That quality made Elvis a worldwide celebrity within two years. He went on to become one of the most famous and beloved entertainers in history. Sun Records introduced many well known people in all fields of music. Generations of musicians have been affected by those who recorded here and especially by the music Elvis Presley first sang at Sun Records."
[Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Elvis_Presley_and_Sun_Records_Historical_Marker.jpg]
(3.3) Historic marker back side saying: "SUN RECORDS
In the early 1950's Sun Records was a small recording studio located here at 706 Union. Owned and operated by Sam C. Phillips, Sun Records became nationally known for giving many local area artists, both black and white, their start in the recording industry. These included Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Charlie Rich, B.B. King, Rufus Thomas, Howlin' Wolf and others. Erected 1985 by Shelby County Historical Commission and the Elvis Presley International Memorial Foundation."
[Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sun_Records_Historical_Marker.jpg]
(4) Mother and child in front of Elvis statue (Elvis with guitar in hand)
The statue seems to have been moved. It's now at the B.B. King Elvis Presley Welcome Center
It is NOT the Elvis statue at the Elvis Presley Plaza near the Orpheum Theatre at Beale Street (There Elvis plays guitar)
(5) The gates of Graceland
(6) Houses in an empty street - it's actually a part of Beale Street. From left to right you see: 1. Kings Palace Cafe, Beale 166 2. Pabst Beale Street (with a note on the pavement) 3. Tap Room, Beale 168 with a lantern in front 4. Strange Cargo, Beale 172 5. Blues Hall 6. Rum Boogie, Beale 174 7. Down Home Blues, Beale 180 8. Rum Boogie Café, Beale 184
You can see these places very clearly on Google Street View
A current picture of exactly this part of Beale Street is displayed at the wikipedia site on Tourism in Memphis, Tennessee and the wikipedia site for Beale Street
(7) A black boy and a taller white boy wearing a base cap running into a white house. This may be Reverend Al Green's old church, the "Full Gospel Tabernacle Church"
(8) Marc Cohn singing and playing piano in front of a muntin window of the Hollywood Café
(9) The Hollywood Café exterior
102.2
Q
Someone posted "Heard he was a major jerk doing this video."[907]
 
A
Does anyone know what this person is alluding to?
103.1
Q
Is it justified to paint such a romantic and overpositive picture of Memphis as in the lyrics of "Walking in Memphis"?
 
A
Memphis is 2016's 4th most dangerous city. (behind St. Louis, Detroit and Birmingham)
[Source: Crime in America 2017: Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities Over 200,000 By Kevin Rizzo | September 26, 2016, https://lawstreetmedia.com/blogs/crime/2017-dangerous-cities-over-200000/4/ retrieved Feb, 9, 2017
Memphis is 2015's 4th poorest city. (behind Detroit, Milwaukee and Philadelphia)
[Source: Bruce Kennedy MoneyWatch February 18, 2015, America's 11 poorest cities, http://www.cbsnews.com/media/americas-11-poorest-cities/10/, retrieved Feb, 10, 2017]
104.1
Q
How did Marc Cohn like the fact that a cover of "Walking in Memphis" was played at Donald Trump's inauguration? [44]
 
A
He was not amused [45]
104.2
Q
Does Marc Cohn really consider "Walking in Memphis" as an independent child, as he sometimes claims? [06][09][13][22][47]
 
A
At least, he still feels like the father of the child with some responsibility left. Cf. 104.1 [45]
105.0
Q
Which cover of WiM does Marc Cohn like the most?
 
A
"I can’t say I have a favorite recorded cover, but I’ve seen a couple of things on YouTube that I thought were fantastic. I saw a version that John Mayer did live, on YouTube -- [I] loved that. I thought he killed it."
"The recorded versions for me...sound...almost too much like mine," he adds. "I’d rather hear somebody try something completely wacky. So yeah, Mayer brought something very different to it and I liked that."
[Source: http://abcnewsradioonline.com/music-news/2016/7/21/marc-cohn-25-years-later-playing-walking-in-memphis-is-still.html]
[John Mayer - Walkin' In Memphis on Youtube]
105.1
Q
What does Cohn think about Cher's cover?
 
A
He said, he's very grateful that she covered his song, because this did earn him a lot of royalties (the correct quote was something like "Cher helped me put my kids through school" ). He also told an amazing story about the real circumstances behind "Walking in Memphis" and he said, it bothered him a bit that Cher's version changed the name of the gospel singer from Muriel to Gabriel (since Muriel was a real person, inspiration for the song and a reason for an emotional breakthrough). But on the other hand, he was very, very sweet about it too.
[Source: "Sunlight" in a Cher Fan Forum, http://cher.yuku.com/topic/14096#.WHvFdlx5XwY ]
105.2
Q
Why did Cher change the lyrics from "Muriel" to "Gabriel" in her cover of "Walking in Memphis"?
 
A
"The reason why Muriel's name was changed was because Trevor Horn and Simon Hurrell who produced Cher's album and offered her the songs, didn't know the story behind it. They thought a man mentions a female name, then, if a female sings it, they should change the name to a male one. I know, absolutely no logic, but that's the sole reason they put Gabriel instead of Muriel."
[Source: sunlight's post on Feb 19, 2010, http://marccohn.proboards.com/thread/18, retrieved Feb, 10, 2017]
105.3
Q
Was the change from "Muriel" to "Gabriel" the only change in the lyrics in the Cher-version?
 
A
She consequently replaced the line "but I'm as blue as a BOY can be" with "but I'm as blue as a GIRL can be", "Muriel" with "Gabriel", "they brought me down to see HER" with "they brought me down to see HIM", "SHE said: tell me, are you a Christian?" with "HE said: tell me, are you a Christian?" and "MA'AM, I am tonight" with "MAN, I am tonight".
105.4
Q
Did other coverers leave the lyrics of "Walking in Memphis" unchanged?
 
A
a) Tom Jones replaced the line "W.C.Handy, won't you look down over me" with "W.C.Handy, won't you shine a light on me" [Sources: here, retrieved on Feb 16, 2017 and there. Maybe Tom Jones boarded the Midnight Special by mistake?]
b) Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet) sang "They've got catfish in the air" (the legendary flying fish of Memphis, ten feet off of Beale :-)) instead of "gospel".
105.5
Q
"Walking in Memphis" was covered by Cher. Whose version can be considered more successful?
 
A
How can the popularity of a song be compared objectively? One measurement could be to count the number of listeners on last.fm.
This was the number of listeners in the course of the last 365 days on last.fm on Feb 10, 2017:
Marc Cohn's "Walking in Memphis" - 19.363 listeners
Cher's "Walking in Memphis" - 4.596 listeners
Lonestar's "Walking in Memphis" - 765 listeners
The differences could be explained away by claiming that Cher's and Lonestar's fans just do not use last.fm so much. So suggest a better measurement!
106.1
Q
Does Marc Cohn regard "Walking in Memphis" as his best song?
 
A
No, he doesn't. He thinks "The Things We've Handed Down" is even better. [13][59]
107.1
Q
Do people attribute Marc Cohn's "Walking in Memphis" to other musicians?
 
A
a)People think someone else is the singer: Bruce Springsteen (and Marc Cohn is not amused!)[54][Just google "Springsteen Walking in Memphis"!], Joe Cocker [905][907][sifuerapordiriaque: Un tema o, pensaba que era de Joe Cooker !? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMv9E9F6zwI], Bruce Hornsby [905][907], Bob Seger [905][907], Michael Bolton [907], Seal [907], a "black man" [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMv9E9F6zwI]
b) People think someone else has written the song: Cher, Dave Matthews [cf. http://www.antsmarching.org/forum/archive/index.php/t-179050.html]
108.1
Q
Why is the assassination of Martin Luther King in Memphis no part of "Walking in Memphis"? [33]
 
A
Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally shot at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968.
109.1
Q
Is everything known about "Walking in Memphis", nothing new to tell?
 
A
Nope. E.g.
  1. All the unanswered questions above
  2. The making of the official WiM video. (e.g. Who were the background actors?)
  3. What did Muriel do at Marc Cohn's wedding?
  4. What do Cohn's friends and his first wife remember about his trip to Memphis?

[01] Song Stories: Walking in Memphis

American By Marc Cohn

I first went to Memphis, Tennessee in 1985. I always knew it was a place I had to visit because so much of my favorite music came from there. From Al Green, Ann Peebles, and everything on Hi Records, to Elvis Presley, Isaac Hayes, David Porter, and the Stax catalog, an almost endless stream of brilliance and soul came out of Memphis. I was aware early on that just like Detroit and the music of Motown, there was something going on in Memphis that was utterly inexplicable. It was part of what me want to be a musician in the first place.

The Songwriter’s Predicament

Around that same time, I was reading an interview with James Taylor. The interviewer asked James what his antidote for writer’s block was. James responded, “I do a geographic,” meaning that he’d attempt to reawaken his sensibilities just by being someplace unfamiliar. He said, “I’ll take my guitar and put it in the trunk of my car, or I’ll get on a plane and go somewhere I’ve never been, hoping to find some idea I wouldn’t get just by sitting at home.” I thought I’d try that as well. Memphis was the first place I decided to go in my search for inspiration.

Beyond just trying to cure writer’s block, the trip was also about finding my songwriting voice. By that time I’d already been a songwriter for many years. I’d struggled in Los Angeles, playing all the clubs, but had never been signed. Later when I came to New York City, I started having success as a session singer, but I still didn’t get a record deal. One night while listening to all of my demos, I came to the realization that I shouldn’t be signed, because I didn’t have any great songs yet. My voice was good and the demos were interesting, but the songs were only just okay. I was 28 years old and not in love with my songs. James Taylor had written “Fire and Rain” when he was 18, and Jackson Browne wrote “These Days” when he was only 17. I thought, “I’m already ten years older than these geniuses. It’s never going to happen for me.” So it was a pretty desperate time, and I went to Memphis with that struggle at the forefront of my mind.

I did all the touristy things you’re supposed to do. I went to Graceland, and I saw Elvis Presley’s tomb and his airplanes. I also went to the Rendezvous restaurant for ribs. But a friend told me there were two things in particular that I had to do, things that would forever change me. They would later become the centerpieces of “Walking in Memphis.”

Transcendent Experiences

The first thing was go to the Full Gospel Tabernacle Church on a Sunday morning to hear the Reverend Al Green preach. I’ll admit that I didn’t go for religious purposes—I went to hear one of my favorite singers sing. But it didn’t take long until I had chills running up and down my spine. The service was so deeply moving that I found myself with sweat running down my face and tears in my eyes, totally enveloped by everything I was seeing and hearing. There was something incredibly powerful about Al Green’s voice in that context. Even after three hours of continuous singing, his voice only got stronger and his band only got better. I sat there crying in the church, aware of the irony of how I used to cry in Synagogue in Cleveland as a kid—but because I wanted to get the heck out of there! Al Green’s service was one of the great experiences of my life.

The second thing was to go to the Hollywood Café in Robinsonville, Mississippi, about 40 minutes outside of Memphis, and hear Muriel Davis Wilkins sing. I’d never heard of Muriel before, but I took my friend’s advice and went anyway. The Hollywood Café had supposedly once been a slave commissary, but it was now a lovely little restaurant that served fried pickles and catfish. Muriel was a schoolteacher who on weekends made extra money playing music. When I arrived, Muriel, who at the time was in her 60s, was onstage playing a beat-up old upright piano and singing Gospel standards like “The Glory of Love” and “Nearer My God to Thee.” I felt an immediate connection to her voice, her spirit, her face, and her smile. I was totally transfixed by her music.

While many of the patrons were busy eating and not paying close attention to Muriel, I couldn’t take my eyes off her. During her breaks, the two of us would talk. Muriel asked me why I was there, and I told her I was a songwriter trying to find inspiration. I also told her a little bit about my childhood—how when I was two and a half years old, my mom had passed away very unexpectedly, and about ten years later, my dad had passed away and I’d been raised by a stepmother. My mother’s death was a central event in my life, and I’d been writing a lot about it over the years, both in songs and in journals. I think a part of me felt stuck in time, like I’d never quite been able to work through that loss. Muriel was as sweet as could be, and she was really funny, too. I remember that she asked how I spelled my last name. When I told her, she replied, “You mean, like corn?” We had a lot of laughs. By midnight, the Hollywood was still packed, and Muriel asked me to join her onstage. We soon realized that there wasn’t a song in the universe that both of us knew in common. A quick thinker, Muriel started feeding me lyrics to Gospel songs so that I could catch up in time to sing somewhat in rhythm with her and make up my own version of the melody. Some songs I was vaguely familiar with, and some I didn’t know at all. The very last song we sang together that night was “Amazing Grace.” After we finished and people were applauding, Muriel leaned over and whispered in my ear, “Child, you can let go now.” It was an incredibly maternal thing for her to say to me. Just like sitting in Revered Al Green’s church, I was again transformed. It was almost as if my mother was whispering in my ear. From the time I left Memphis and went back home to New York City, I knew I had a song in me about my experience there.

Pen on Paper

There have been countless songs about Memphis, so I knew if I was going to go down that road, it needed to be deeply personal. Within a few days of coming home, I began to write the song on guitar. I think I already had the opening line, “Put on my blue suede shoes and I boarded the plane.” I started playing an arpeggiated figure that I liked, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that I couldn’t play it very well on guitar. So I went to the piano, where that kind of rolling rhythm was easier for me to play. Then I added that first line to the piano riff (see Figure 1 below) and I was off to the races.

The music for “Walking in Memphis,” except for the bridge, is really just the same thing over and over again. It’s an attempt to keep things simple so that the narrative is what the listener focuses on. The story keeps changing; it goes from one scenario to another, all following the thread of my elation, described in the lyric “Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale.” What’s being expressed is my love of music and the spiritual transformation I’ve always felt through it. The line, “Tell me are you a Christian child, and I said ‘Ma’am I am tonight’” . . . even in the moment I wrote it down, I knew I was getting closer to finding my songwriting voice. To this day, people still ask me if I am a Christian. While I have to admit that I enjoy the confusion the lyric brings, the thing that makes that line work is the fact that I’m a Jew. So many great artists over the years needed to hide the fact that they were Jewish to protect themselves and their families from anti-Semitism, so I’m proud of the fact that I could come right out and practically announce my religion on the first song I ever released.

I kept writing and rewriting the lyrics. Even in some of the later drafts, I still didn’t have the final lyrics yet (see Figure 2 at left). I was still working on the “ghosts of Elvis” verse, and there were still some things that weren’t in place yet. When I finished the song, I felt like I had completed a jigsaw puzzle. I wasn’t sure if it was a “hit,” because I was still years away from being signed to Atlantic Records. Six months later, after I wrote many of the songs that would later comprise my album Marc Cohn, I went back to the Hollywood Café to play them all for Muriel (see Figure 3 at bottom). After I finished, Muriel said to me, “You know the one where you mention me at the end? That’s the best one you got!”

Later in 1986, my engineer and co-producer Ben Wisch and I made a piano/vocal demo of “Walking in Memphis” in a studio in New York City. At that point, I wasn’t thinking about how my songs would work with a band or on record. I wasn’t thinking about a groove or what a guitar player might play. I was simply trying to write songs that sounded complete with just me and a piano, and I’d record them with a little Sony Walkman. Years later, after I signed with Atlantic and it came time to turn that demo into something they thought would work on the radio, I barely knew where to start. After many different versions of it with just as many different musicians, I went to Peter Koepke, the guy who signed me, and said, “Maybe this just needs to be a piano/vocal track. Or maybe it shouldn’t be on the record at all.” He replied, “If it’s not on the record, I’m not sure we’re going to make a record! So you better go figure this out, because we think this just may get on the radio.” Later, I went back to the label and said, “I’d like a shot at producing this record with Ben Wisch, who I made the demos with in the first place. He got a great sound on my voice and on the piano, and that’s at least half of what this is all about.” Atlantic ultimately agreed, and the rest, I guess, is history.

[Source: Keyboardmagazine April 8, 2014, http://www.keyboardmag.com/artists/1236/song-stories-walking-in-memphis/29727]

[01] Song Geschichten: Walking in Memphis

Deutsch Von Marc Cohn - Übersetzung © 2017 von Volker Pöhls

1985 kam ich zum ersten Mal nach Memphis, Tennessee. Mir war schon immer klar gewesen, dass ich unbedingt dahin musste, weil so viel meiner Lieblingsmusik von dort stammte. Von Al Green, Ann Peebles und allem von Hi Records bis zu Elvis Presley, Isaac Hayes, David Porter und dem Stax Katalog - ein fast endloser Strom von Brillianz und Soul kam aus Memphis. Mir war von Anfang an bewusst, dass - genau wie in Detroit mit der Motown-Musik - in Memphis etwas passierte, das äußerst unerklärlich war. Es war ein Teil dessen, weshalb ich in erster Linie Musiker sein will.

Das Dilemma des Songschreibers

Ungefähr zur selben Zeit las ich ein Interview mit James Taylor. Der Interviewer fragte James, was sein Mittel gegen Schreibblockade sei. James antwortete, "Dann mach ich einen Geographischen". Damit meinte er, dass er versuchen würde, seine Sensibilität einfach dadurch wiederzuerwecken, dass er an einem unbekannten Ort war. Er sagte, " Ich nehme meine Gitarre und leg sie in den Kofferraum meines Autos, oder ich steige ins Flugzeug und fliege irgendwohin, wo ich noch nie gewesen bin, und hoffe dabei, eine Idee zu finden, auf die ich nie gekommen wäre, wenn ich zu Hause herumgesessen hätte." Ich dachte mir, dass ich das auch ausprobieren wollte. Ich beschloss, auf der Suche nach Inspiration zuerst nach Memphis zu reisen.

Die Reise war nicht nur dazu da, meine Schreibhemmung zu heilen, sondern ich wollte auch meine Songschreiber-Stimme finden. Zu der Zeit war ich schon viele Jahre lang ein Songschreiber gewesen. Ich hatte mich abgemüht in Los Angeles, hatte in all den Clubs gespielt, aber ich hatte nie einen Vertrag bekommen. Später, als ich nach New York City kam, fing ich an, als Session-Sänger Erfolg zu haben, aber ich bekam noch immer keinen Plattenvertrag. Eines Nachts, als ich mir alle meine Demos anhörte, wurde mir klar, dass ich keinen Plattenvertrag bekam, weil ich noch keine tollen Songs hatte. Meine Stimme war gut und die Demos waren interessant, aber die Songs waren nur gerade mal okay. Ich war 28 Jahre alt und nicht verliebt in meine Songs. James Taylor hatte "Fire and Rain" geschrieben, als er 18 war, und Jackson Browne schrieb "These Days", als er erst 17 war. Ich dachte, "Ich bin schon zehn Jahre älter als diese Genies. Mir wird das nie passieren." In dieser Zeit war ich also ziemlich verzweifelt, und ich fuhr nach Memphis mit diesem Problem ganz vorne im Kopf.

Ich machte all die Touristen-Sachen, die man so machen muss. Ich fuhr nach Graceland und ich sah Elvis Grab und seine Flugzeuge. Ich ging auch zum Rendezvous-Restaurant und aß Rippchen. Aber ein Freund hatte mir erzählt, es gäbe insbesondere zwei Dinge, die ich machen sollte, Dinge, die mich für immer verändern würden. Sie würden später die zentralen Teile von "Walking in Memphis" werden.

Überweltliche Erfahrungen

Der erste Rat lautete: Geh an einem Sonntagmorgen zu der Full Gospel Tabernacle Kirche und höre dir die Predigt von Reverend Al Green an. Ich gebe zu, dass ich nicht aus religiösen Gründen hinging - ich ging hin, um einen meiner Lieblingssänger singen zu hören. Aber es dauerte nicht lange, bis mir die Gänsehaut nur so die Wirbelsäule hoch und runter lief. Der Gottesdienst war so tief bewegend, dass ich merkte, dass ich Tränen in den Augen hatte und mir der Schweiß übers Gesicht lief, weil ich so ergriffen war von allem, was ich sah und hörte. Al Greens Stimme hatte vor diesem Hintergrund etwas unglaublich Kraftvolles. Selbst nach drei Stunden unablässigem Singen wurde seine Stimme nur noch stärker und seine Band wurde immer besser. Ich saß weinend in der Kirche, und mir war bewusst, wie paradox es war, dass ich als Kind in der Synagoge in Cleveland immer geweint hatte - weil ich unbedingt raus wollte! Al Greens Gottesdienst war eine der großen Erfahrungen meines Lebens.

Der zweite Rat lautete: Fahr zum Hollywood Café in Robinsonville, Mississippi, etwa 40 Minuten außerhalb von Memphis, und hör dir an, wie Muriel Davis Wilkins singt. Ich hatte vorher noch nie etwas von Muriel gehört, aber ich befolgte den Rat meines Freundes und fuhr hin. Das Hollywood Café war angeblich früher mal ein Sklavenladen gewesen, aber damals war es ein nettes kleines Restaurant, in dem man gebratene eingelegte Sachen und Katzenwels serviert bekam. Muriel war eine Lehrerin, die sich an den Wochenenden etwas dazuverdiente, indem sie Musik machte. Als ich ankam, war Muriel, die damals in ihren Sechzigern war, auf der Bühne und spielte auf einem abgewrackten alten Stehpiano und sang Gospel-Gassenhauer wie "The Glory of Love" und "Nearer My God to Thee". Ich fühlte mich sofort angezogen von ihrer Stimme, ihrem Temperament, ihrem Gesicht und ihrem Lächeln. Ich war total fasziniert von ihrer Musik.

Während viele der Gäste mit dem Essen beschäftigt waren und Muriel keine Aufmerksamkeit schenkten, konnte ich nicht die Augen von ihr lassen. In den Pausen redeten wir miteinander. Muriel fragte mich, warum ich da sei, und ich erzählte ihr, ich sei ein Songschreiber auf der Suche nach Inspiration. Ich erzählte ihr auch noch ein wenig von meiner Kindheit - wie meine Mutter ganz unerwartet gestorben war, als ich zweieinhalb Jahre alt war, und wie mein Vater ungefähr zehn Jahre später gestorben war und ich von einer Stiefmutter aufgezogen worden war. Der Tod meiner Mutter war ein zentrales Ereignis in meinem Leben, und ich hatte über die Jahre viel darüber geschrieben, sowohl Songs als auch in Tagebüchern. Ich glaube, es fühlte sich so an, als sei ein Teil von mir in der Zeit steckengeblieben, als hätte ich es nie geschafft, diesen Verlust richtig zu verarbeiten. Muriel war so süß wie sie nur sein konnte, und sie war auch noch richtig witzig. Ich erinnere mich, dass sie fragte, wie man meinen Nachnamen buchstabiere. Als ich es ihr sagte, antwortete sie, "Du meinst, wie Corn [Mais/Hühnerauge]?" Wir hatten viel zu lachen.

Um Mitternacht war das Hollywood immer noch voll, und Muriel bat mich, mit ihr auf die Bühne zu kommen. Wir fanden schnell heraus, dass es keinen einzigen Song im Universum gab, den wir gemeinsam kannten. Muriel war schnell im Denken und fing an, mir Textstellen von Gospelsongs beizubringen, so dass ich noch rechtzeitig ungefähr im Rhythmus mit ihr mitsingen konnte und mir meine eigene Version der Melodie basteln konnte. Einige Stücke kamen mir entfernt bekannt vor, andere kannte ich überhaupt nicht. Das allerletzte Lied, das wir an dem Abend zusammen sangen, war "Amazing Grace". Als wir fertig waren und die Leute applaudierten, beugte sich Muriel rüber zu mir und flüsterte mir ins Ohr, "Kind, jetzt kannst du loslegen." Es war unglaublich mütterlich von ihr, das zu mir zu sagen. Wie bei Reverend Al Green in der Kirche, war ich wieder wie verwandelt. Es war fast so, als hätte mir meine Mutter ins Ohr geflüstert. Als ich Memphis verließ und zurück nach New York City fuhr, war mir klar, dass ich einen Song über meine Erfahrungen in Memphis in mir hatte.

Stift auf Papier

Es gab schon unzählige Songs über Memphis, deshalb wusste ich: Wenn ich diesen Weg gehen wollte, dann musste es etwas zutiefst Persönliches sein. Wenige Tage nach der Rückkehr fing ich an, den Song mit Gitarrenbegleitung zu schreiben. Ich glaube, ich hatte schon die Anfangszeile "Put on my blue suede shoes and I boarded the plane." Ich begann, die Musik, wie ich es mochte, als Arpeggio [gebrochenen Akkord] zu spielen, aber es dauerte nicht lange, bis mir klar wurde, dass ich es nicht gut auf der Gitarre spielen konnte. Also ging ich zum Klavier, wo ich diese Art von rollendem Rhythmus leichter spielen konnte. Dann fügte ich die erste Zeile zu dem Piano-Riff hinzu und ab ging die Post.

Die Melodie von "Walking in Memphis" ist - mit Ausnahme der Bridge - eigentlich immer und immer wieder das Gleiche. Es ist ein Versuch, die Sachen einfach zu halten, so dass es die Erzählung ist, auf die sich der Zuhörer konzentriert. Die Geschichte ändert sich immer wieder; sie geht von einem Szenario zum nächsten, alles folgt dem Gang meines Hochgefühls, der in dem Textteil "Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale" ["Ich ging und meine Füße schwebten drei Meter über der Beale Straße"] beschrieben wird. Was ausgedrückt wird, ist meine Liebe zur Musik und die spirituelle Verwandlung, die ich dadurch immer gefühlt habe. Die Zeile "Tell me are you a Christian, child, and I said 'Ma'am, I am tonight'" [Sag mal, mein Kind, bist du eigentlich ein Christ? Und ich sagte: "Heute Abend ja"] - schon in dem Moment, als ich sie niederschrieb, wusste ich, dass ich weitergekommen war auf der Suche nach meiner Songschreiber-Stimme. Noch heute fragen mich Leute, ob ich ein Christ sei. Einerseits muss ich zugeben, dass ich die Verwirrung liebe, die der Songtext erzeugt. Andererseits wirkt die Zeile ja durch die Tatsache, dass ich Jude bin. So viele große Künstler mussten über die Jahre die Tatsache verbergen, dass sie Juden waren, um sich selbst und ihre Familien zu schützen vor Antisemitismus , deshalb bin ich stolz auf die Tatsache, dass ich es offen sagen konnte und meine Religion im ersten Song, den ich je veröffentlicht habe, verkünden konnte.

Ich habe den Songtext immer und immer wieder neu geschrieben. Selbst in einigen der späteren Versionen hatte ich noch immer nicht den endgültigen Text. Ich arbeitete immer noch an der Strophe mit den "Geistern von Elvis", und es gab immer noch Details, die noch nicht an ihrem richtigen Platz waren. Als ich den Song fertig hatte, fühlte ich mich, als hätte ich ein Puzzle vollendet. Ich war nicht sicher, ob es ein Hit war, weil ich immer noch Jahre davon entfernt war, einen Plattenvertrag bei Atlantic Records zu unterschreiben. Sechs Monate später, nachdem ich viele der Stücke geschrieben hatte, aus denen später mein Album "Marc Cohn" bestehen sollte, fuhr ich zurück zum Hollywood Café und spielte sie alle Muriel vor. Als ich damit fertig war, sagte Muriel zu mir: "Weißt du, das Stück, wo du mich am Ende erwähnst? Das ist das beste!"

Später im Jahre 1986 nahmen mein Techniker und Co-Produzent Ben Wisch und ich ein Piano/Gesangs-Demo von "Walking in Memphis" in einem Studio in New York City auf. An dem Punkt hatte ich mir noch keine Gedanken darüber gemacht, wie meine Stücke mit einer Band oder auf Platte klingen würden. Ich hatte nicht über einen Groove nachgedacht oder was ein Gitarrist spielen könnte. Ich versuchte einfach nur Songs zu schreiben, die einfach nur mit mir und einem Klavier komplett klangen, und ich nahm sie mit einem kleinen Sony Walkman auf. Jahre später, nachdem ich bei Atlantic einen Plattenvertrag unterschrieben hatte und es Zeit wurde, aus dem Demo etwas zu machen, das im Radio funktionieren würde, wusste ich gar nicht, wo ich anfangen sollte. Nach vielen verschiedenen Versionen mit ebenso vielen verschiedenen Musikern ging ich zu Peter Koepke, dem Typ, der mich angeheuert hatte, und sagte: "Vielleicht muss dies auch nur ein Stück mit Klavier und Stimme sein. Oder vielleicht sollte es überhaupt nicht auf der Platte sein." Er antwortete: "Wenn das nicht auf der Platte drauf ist, dann bin ich mir nicht sicher, ob wir überhaupt eine Platte machen. Also lass dir was einfallen, weil wir glauben, dass wir damit vielleicht ins Radio kommen." Später ging ich wieder zur Plattenfirma und sagte: "Ich würde gerne mal versuchen, diese Platte mit Ben Wisch zu produzieren, mit dem ich ja auch die ursprünglichen Demos gemacht habe. Er hat aus meiner Stimme und dem Klavier einen tollen Sound gemacht, und das ist doch schon mal die halbe Miete." Atlantic war schließlich einverstanden, und der Rest, schätze ich, ist Geschichte.

[Quelle: Keyboardmagazine 8. April, 2014, Englisches Original: http://www.keyboardmag.com/artists/1236/song-stories-walking-in-memphis/29727 ]

[02] Producer Ben Wisch on Recording “Walking in Memphis”

American By Ben Wisch

“Marc was basically signed to Atlantic Records because of ‘Walking in Memphis,’ co-producer Ben Wisch says. “We probably recorded it five different times in different configurations. On one version, we actually had Steve Gadd playing drums in the studio. It was after midnight and we were all frustrated because the recording wasn’t going well. And Steve said, ‘Let’s all switch instruments!’ That version didn’t work out, but I’ll never forget Steve’s devotion to getting the song right. Eventually, we settled on a band that featured John Leventhal on bass, Denny McDermott on drums, and Chris Palmaro on Hammond organ. Everything was based around Marc’s singing and piano playing. We recorded live to 24-track tape at Quad Recording Studios in New York, with any editing done between entire takes of the song. The piano sound is very in-your-face, not unlike Bruce Hornsby’s sound of a few years prior. We used the old Steinway grand at Quad Studios, and I miked it with a pair of AKG C451 condensers. Those are bright mics, and I put a fair amount of compression on them. For vocals, Marc sang through a vintage Neumann U67 tube condenser microphone through a Teletronix LA-2A compressor and then into an SSL console with outboard API EQ.”

[Source: Keyboardmagazine April 8, 2014, http://www.keyboardmag.com/artists/1236/song-stories-walking-in-memphis/29727

[02] Produzent Ben Wisch über die Aufnahme von "Walking in Memphis"

Deutsch Von Ben Wisch - Übersetzung © 2017 von Volker Pöhls

Marc hatte letztendlich wegen "Walking in Memphis" den Vertrag mit Atlantic Records bekommen. Wir nahmen es wahrscheinlich fünf verschiedene Mal in unterschiedlichen Konfigurationen auf. Auf einer Version hatten wir tatsächlich Steve Gadd, der im Studio Schlagzeug spielte. Es war nach Mitternacht und wir waren alle frustriert, weil die Aufnahme nicht gut vorankam. Und Steve sagte: "Komm, wir tauschen mal die Instrumente aus!" Diese Version taugte nichts, aber ich werde nie vergessen, mit welcher Hingabe Steve versuchte, den Song hinzukriegen. Schließlich einigten wir uns auf eine Band mit John Leventhal am Bass, Denny McDermott am Schlagzeug, Chris Palmaro an der Hammond-Orgel. Alles basierte auf Marcs Gesang und Klavierspielen. Wir nahmen live auf 24-Spuren-Band in den Quad Recording Studios in New York auf, wobei nur zwischen den ganzen Aufnahmen bearbeitet wurde. Der Klavier-Sound ist sehr Direkt-ins-Gesicht, ähnlich wie der Klang von Bruce Hornsby wenige Jahre vorher. Wir benutzten den alten Steinway-Konzertflügel in den Quad Studios, und ich stattete es mit Mikrofonen aus mit einem Paar AKG C451 Kondensern. Das sind tolle Mikrofone, und ich setzte eine ganze Menge Druck auf sie. Für die Stimme sang Marc durch ein altes Neumann U67 Rohr Condenser Mikrofon durch einen Teletronix LA-2A Kompressor und dann in eine SSL Konsole mit Außen API EQ.

[Quelle: Keyboardmagazine 8. April, 2014, Englisches Original: http://www.keyboardmag.com/artists/1236/song-stories-walking-in-memphis/29727

[03] Marc Cohn on “Ma’am, I am tonight!”

American A phone discussion of Cohn's voice leads to a recollection of one of his most memorable lines, from his 1991 radio breakthrough "Walking In Memphis." The lyrics deal with a Jewish gospel-music-lover meeting a devout pianist who asks him, "Are you a Christian child?"; the singer responds, dramatically, "Ma'am, I am tonight."
"It's 100 percent autobiographical," says Cohn, who is Jewish. "The moment I wrote it, I had no idea I was writing a hit, but I knew I was writing something that deeply defined so many facets of me — my conflicting feelings about religion, about my own state, my humor about it, my acceptance about everybody in terms of what they believe. … It's not a religious thing for me, it's just deeply moving. And I guess that's all in that line.
"It's so funny — people often think that I'm Christian or born-again, from not only that song, but others," he says. "In a way, I like that. There's nothing clear about what I'm writing, in terms of spirituality. But to me, that line could have only been written by a Jew. It's such a Jewish line, and I love that."

[Source: Steve Knopper of the Chicago Tribune in July 21, 2011, http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-07-21/entertainment/ct-ott-0722-marc-cohn-20110722_1_james-taylor-ray-charles-garfunkel]

[03] Marc Cohn über “Ma’am, I am tonight!”

Deutsch Übersetzung © 2017 von Volker Pöhls

Eine Telefon-Diskussion über Cohns Stimme führt zu einer Erinnerung an eine seiner erinnerungswürdigsten Zeilen, von seinem Durchbruch im Radio 1991 "Walking in Memphis". Der Tet handelt von dem jüdischen Liebhaber von Gospel-Musik, der eine tiefgläubige Pianistin trifft, die ihn fragt: "Bist du ein Christ, mein Junge?° Der Sänger antwortet mit einem dramatischen "Heute Abend bin ich einer, meine Dame!"
"Es ist 100 Prozent autobiografisch", sagt Cohn, der Jude ist. "In dem Moment, in dem ich ihn schrieb, hatte ich keine Ahnung, dass ich gerade einen Hit geschrieben hatte, aber ich wusste, dass ich etwas schrieb, dass so viele Facetten von ganz tief in mir drin beschrieb: meine widersprüchlichen Gefühle über Religon, über meinen eigenen Staat, mein Humor dazu, meine Akzeptanz von jedem hinsichtlich dessen, woran sie glauben. Es ist kein religiöses Ding für mich, es ist nur tief bewegend. Und ich schätze, das ist alles in dieser einen Zeile. Es ist so komisch, die Leute glauben oft, dass ich Christ bin oder Wiedertäufer, nicht nur wegen des Songs, sondern auch wegen anderer Sachen. Irgendwie mag ich das. Es ist nichts ist ganz klar, was ich schreibe, in Bezug auf Spiritualität. Aber für mich hätte diese Zeile nur von einem Juden geschrieben werden können. Es ist so eine jüdische Zeile, und ich liebe sie."

[Quelle: Steve Knopper von der Chicago Tribune am 21. Juli, 2011, http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-07-21/entertainment/ct-ott-0722-marc-cohn-20110722_1_james-taylor-ray-charles-garfunkel]

[04] The Hollywood Café

American The Hollywood Café had neither live music nor a kitchen when Bard Selden opened the business as a bar in the summer of 1969. But over the years the café began to offer dinnertime music as the menu expanded to steak, catfish, and the Hollywood's signature dish, fried dill pickles (a specialty of Bard's brother Tait Selden). Muriel Wilkins (1923-1990), an African American schoolteacher from Helena, Arkansas, entertained customers with a wide repertoire ranging from standards to spirituals both at the original Hollywood, seven miles south of Robinsonville just off Highway 61, and at its new location here. After singer-songwriter Marc Cohn joined her in singing "Amazing Grace" and other spirituals here one night in 1985, he wrote about the inspirational experience in "Walking in Memphis," which became the hit track from his 1991 debut album.

[Source: http://msbluestrail.org/blues-trail-markers/hollywood-cafe, retrieved Jan. 7, 2017]

[04] Das Hollywood Café

Deutsch Übersetzung © 2017 von Volker Pöhls

Das Hollywood Café hatte weder Live-Musik noch eine Küche, als Bard Selden das Geschäft als Bar im Sommer 1969 eröffnete. Aber über die Jahre begann das Café, Abendessen-Musik anzubieten, als die Speisekarte sich erweiterte um Steak, Katzenwels und die Spezialität des Hollywood, gebratene Dillgurken (eine Spezialität von Bards Bruder Tait Selden). Muriel Wilkins (1923-1990), eine afroamerikanische Lehrerin aus Helena, Arkansas, unterhielt die Kunden mit einem breiten Repertoire, das von Standardmusik bis zu Spirituals ging, sowohl im ursprünglichen Hollywood Café, sieben Meilen südlich von Robinsonville am Rande des Highway 61 gelegen, als auch am jetzigen Standort [1585 Old Commerce Rd, Robinsonville, MS 38664 - VP]. Nachdem der Sänger und Songschreiber Marc Cohn eines Abends im Jahre 1985 hier mit ihr zusammen "Amazing Grace" und andere Spirituals gesungen hatte, schrieb er über die inspirierende Erfahrung in "Walking in Memphis", das sein Hitsong aus seinem ersten Album aus dem Jahr 1991 wurde.

[Quelle: http://msbluestrail.org/blues-trail-markers/hollywood-cafe, gefunden 7.1.2017]

[05] Article by Geoff Gehman of The Morning Call, March 03, 2007

American "Walking in Memphis' made Marc Cohen (sic!) a player in the blues-gospel-soul world

"Walking in Memphis" is Marc Cohn's musical Rosetta stone. The 1991 song helped him get his first recording contract, win a new-artist Grammy and become a name player in the blues-gospel-soul field. Just as important, it unlocked his writer's block and introduced him to a spiritual guardian.

"Walking in Memphis" is the quasi-autobiography of a musician who in 1986 visited Memphis to try to write songs he actually liked. He found plenty of inspiration in a cradle of blues, soul and rock 'n' roll. At Elvis Presley's mansion, imagining "a pretty little thing waiting for the King down in the Jungle Room." In a church run by soul singer Al Green, who'll "be glad to see you when you haven't got a prayer." In a cafe called the Hollywood, where a piano-playing singer named Muriel baptized lost souls.

It was at the Hollywood, a former slave commissary serving blues and gospel with catfish and fried pickles, that Cohn met Muriel Davis Wilkins, an excellent entertainer and fortune teller. He was entranced by her unamplified performances of standards and spirituals, which he strained to hear clearly. He was even more entranced by her calming conversation. He found himself telling a complete stranger his entire life story, even the lingering impact of his mother's death when he was 3.

Muriel gave as good as she got. She told Cohn her entire life story, carefully recalling her years as a teacher. During her last set, around 2 a.m., she invited him onstage to help her with "Amazing Grace." They took turns singing the bedrock spiritual a cappella. Then, during the applause, she whispered things about his mother she had no right knowing. She finished by telling her new friend it was time to "move on."

Cohn took Muriel's benediction to heart. He returned to his home in Manhattan feeling freer than he had in many a moon. He wrote "Walking in Memphis," which helped him write tunes closer to the ones in his head, one of the reasons his self-named first CD was so smooth, rich and successful.

Before the record was released, Cohn played "Walking in Memphis" for Muriel where it all began -- at the Hollywood. "When I was all done, she had a huge smile," he says. "And she said: "Play that one about me for me again.' Unfortunately, she didn't live long enough to learn it was a hit [she died in 1991]. But it was a hit for her, and that was enough for me."

[Source: http://articles.mcall.com/2007-03-03/features/3713023_1_marc-cohn-soul-gospel, retrieved Jan 7, 2017]

[05] Artikel von Geoff Gehman vom Morning Call, 3. März, 2007

Deutsch Übersetzung © 2017 von Volker Pöhls

Muriel war nicht nur eine exzellente Entertainerin, sondern auch eine Wahrsagerin. (…) Er merkte plötzlich, wie er einer völlig Fremden sein ganzes Leben erzählte, selbst die immer noch anhaltende Wirkung des Todes seiner Mutter, als er 3 war. (..) Dann, während des Applauses, flüsterte sie ihm Sachen zu über seine Mutter, die sie eigentlich gar nicht wissen konnte. (…) Bevor die Platte veröffentlicht wurde, spielte Cohn "Walking in Memphis" Muriel vor, wo alles begonnen hatte - im Hollywood. "Als ich fertig war, hatte sie ein breites Lächeln auf den Lippen.", sagt er, "Und sie sagte: "Spiel mir das Stück über mich noch einmal vor."

[Quelle: Englisches Original: http://articles.mcall.com/2007-03-03/features/3713023_1_marc-cohn-soul-gospel, gefunden 7.1.2017]

[06] Interview with Marc Cohn by Dan Armonaitis for Spartanburg Herald-Journal, posted Jul 10, 2014

American MC: "I almost feel disconnected from it [his song "Walking in Memphis"]," Cohn said. "It's had such a lovely, long life so far that it doesn't even feel like it belongs to me anymore. And, actually, that's pretty wonderful. I mean, it's like having a completely independent child that you feel you've done a good job with, but then it's time to let go.
"It's an amazing thing to watch that song take on a life of its own. You hear other people sing it and cover it and have hits with it, and (you) still hear my version all the time, 23 years later. It's amazing."
From his home in New York, Cohn said, “I'm looking at a picture of her right now in my own living room. Muriel was a school teacher who played piano at this little placed called the Hollywood and (she) was a big, big inspiration and ultimately the main muse of my first record.”
But did Wilkins literally ask him the famous question?
“No, that came from my imagination,” Cohn replied with a laugh. “She didn't quite hand me that, but close. She did make fun of my name a lot, so that's where that came from — just funny dialogue we had together about my name.”"
[Source: Article by DAN ARMONAITIS, posted Jul 10, 2014, http://articles.mcall.com/2007-03-03/features/3713023_1_marc-cohn-soul-gospel, retrieved 1/10/2017]

[06] Interview mit Marc Cohn von Dan Armonaitis für das Spartanburg Herald-Journal, geposted am 10.Juli, 2014

Deutsch Übersetzung © 2017 von Volker Pöhls

MC: "Ich fühle mich fast getrennt davon [seinem Song "Walking in Memphis"]. Es hat so ein schönes, langes Leben bis heute gehabt, dass es sich so anfühlt, als ob es mir nicht mehr gehört. Und das ist eigentlich ziemlich wunderbar. Ich meine, es ist, als wenn man ein komplett unabhängiges Kind hat, so dass man das Gefühl hat, das habe ich gut gemacht, aber dann ist es Zeit, loszulassen.
Es ist irre zu sehen, wie der Song sein eigenes Leben annimmt. Du hörst, wie die Leute ihn singen und covern und damit Hits haben, und man hört meine Version die ganze Zeit, 23 Jahre später. Das ist doch irre.
Am Telefon von seiner Wohnung in New York, sagte Cohn: "Ich sehe mir gerade ein Bild von ihr in meinem Wohnzimmer an. Muriel war eine Lehrerin, die Klavier spielte in diesem kleinen Restaurant namens "Hollywood", und sie war eine große, große Inspiration und schließlich die Hauptmuse meiner ersten Platte." Aber hat Wilkins ihm auch wörtlich diese berühmte Frage gestellt? "Nein, das habe ich mir ausgedacht", antwortet Cohn und lacht. "Sie hat es so nicht gesagt, aber so was in der Art. Sie hat sich viel über meinen Namen lustig gemacht, von daher kommt das also - nur ein witziger Dialog über meinen Namen."
[Quelle: Artikel von DAN ARMONAITIS, geposted am 10. Juli, 2014, http://articles.mcall.com/2007-03-03/features/3713023_1_marc-cohn-soul-gospel, gefunden 10.1.2017]

[07] Interview with Marc Cohn by Mike Ragogna of the Huffington Post, 07/30/2010

American (transcribed by Theo Shier)

MR: "And now it’s time we get to your mega-hit “Walking In Memphis.” What’s the story behind it?"
MC: "That came about in a strange way. It was the late ‘80’s when I wrote it, and I was a struggling songwriter at the time. I was trying to get a record deal and living in New York at the time. I happened to come across this interview with James Taylor, and they were talking about what he did to circumvent writers block when he experienced it. He was one of my all time early heroes, and he said take a train, or a plane, or get in your car, or go somewhere you’ve never been before. Sometimes, not always, your sensibilities may be shaken-up enough by the unfamiliarity of the place that you may start writing a tune that you never would have written before. I thought that was a pretty interesting suggestion, and the first place I booked myself a ticket to was — because so many of my musical heroes came from there — Memphis. It turns out I didn’t have to take the other trips I planned because that trip turned out so well (laughs). It was an amazing experience going there, and I think the centerpieces of that song are just verbatim recounting of what I did there.
An example is in the bridge where I say, “Reverend Green be glad to see you if you haven’t got a prayer.” Reverend Green, in the tune, is Reverend Al Green, the great soul r&b legend. He has a church in Memphis, and almost any Sunday morning he is not on tour, you can go listen to him sing and preach. I’m a Jewish kid, but man, when I went to hear him sing in that church, I almost felt converted. Tears were streaming down my face, and it was an incredibly moving experience.
The other thing that happened was I went to this roadside shack called The Hollywood Cafe just outside of Memphis. I heard the woman I talk about in the third verse — Muriel, a real lady who was about 65 years old—playing these incredible gospel songs and standards. I ended up going onstage and singing with her and she changed my life. I went back home and those few days I spent in Memphis turned into that song. Really, it’s just a travel log of everything I had done while I was there."
[Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ragogna/emlistening-booth-1970em_b_664581.html, retrieved Feb.1.2017]

[07] Interview mit Marc Cohn von Mike Ragogna von der Huffington Post, 30.7.2010

Deutsch Übersetzung © 2017 von Volker Pöhls

MR: "Und jetzt ist es Zeit, zu deinem Mega-Hit “Walking In Memphis” zu kommen. Welche Geschichte steckt dahinter?"
MC: "Das kam auf eine merkwürdige Weise zustande. Es war in den späten 80erJahren, als ich ihn schrieb, und ich war zu der Zeit ein Songschreiber mit Problemen. Ich versuchte, einen Plattenvertrag zu bekommen, und lebte damals in New York. Zufällig fand ich ein Interview mit James Taylor, in dem er darüber sprach, was er tat, um Schreibblockaden zu umgehen. Er war schon immer einer meiner frühen Idole, und er sagte: Nimm einen Zug oder ein Flugzeug oder dein Auto und fahre irgendwohin, wo du noch nie vorher gewesen bist. Manchmal, nicht immer, werden deine Sinne durch die Unbekanntheit des Ortes genug in Schwung gebracht, so dass du vielleicht eine Melodie schreibst, die du sonst nie hättest schreiben können. Ich dachte, das sei ein ziemlich interessanter Vorschlag, und der erste Ort, für den ich mir eine Fahrkarte buchte, war -weil so viele meiner musikalischen Idole daher kamen - Memphis. Es stellte sich heraus, dass ich die anderen Reisen, die ich geplant hatte, gar nicht zu machen brauchte, weil diese Reise sich so gut entwickelte (lacht). Es war eine tolle Erfahrung dahin zu reisen, und ich glaube, dass die zentralen Punkte des Songs eine genaue Nacherzählung dessen war, was ich dort getan habe.
Ein Beispiel findet sich in der Abwechslung, wo ich singe “Reverend Green be glad to see you if you haven’t got a prayer.” Reverend Green aus dem Lied ist Pastor Al Green, die große Soul, R&B Legende. Er hat eine Kirche in Memphis, und fast jeden Sonntagmorgen, wenn er nicht auf Tour ist, kann man da hingehen und ihm beim Singen und Predigen zuhören. Ich bin ein Jude, aber als ich ihn in der Kirche singen hörte, fühlte ich mich fast konvertiert. Tränen liefen mir das Gesicht herunter, und es war eine unglaublich bewegende Erfahrung.
Dann passierte noch etwas anderes: Ich fuhr zu diesem Club an der Straße namens "The Hollywood Cafe" am Rande von Memphis. Ich hörte die Frau, über die ich in der dritten Strophe singe, Muriel, eine wirklich existierende Dame, die damals etwas 65 Jahre alt war, diese unglaublichen Gospelsongs und Klassiker spielen. Es endete damit, dass ich auf die Bühne stieg und mit ihr zusammen sang und sie mein Leben veränderte. Ich fuhr zurück nach Hause und diese paar Tage, die ich in Memphis verbracht hatte, verwandelten sich in diesen Song. Wirklich, es ist nur das Reisetagebuch mit allem, was ich getan habe, als ich da war."
[Quelle: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ragogna/emlistening-booth-1970em_b_664581.html, gefunden am 1. Feb. 2017]

[08] Interview with Marc Cohn by Jonathan Clarke of Q104.3 - New York's Classic Rock, July 19, 2016

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

MC: "I went to Memphis looking for inspiration which usually means you're not gonna find it, cause anything you're going to look for sounds contrived. And I felt when I got there though my sense of that changed because I had a very personal experience. When I left there, I knew I had a song. The main events that happened there for me were going to hear Al Green at his church, the Full Gospel Tabernacle Church, one of my favorite soul singers but going to hear him preach in his own church was pretty life changing. And you can still hear him, I think there's still some Sunday mornings he's there preaching when he's not on the road. That was I thought an unbeatable experience.
But it was topped by meeting this very unknown woman named Muriel Davis Wilkins who was a school teacher in Arkansas and played this little place called the "Hollywood Café" that served catfish and fried pickles and Muriel was up there singing gospel music and I was immediately drawn to her. We spoke throughout the night when she took breaks. I told her I was a struggling song writer looking for inspiration and at the end of the night she invited me up to sing and one of the last things we sang was "Amazing Grace". And when we were done singing that together, I had chills all up and down my body and she just whispered in my ear and said "I think you can go home and write those songs now." and I did and most of the tunes that ended up on my first record years later were inspired by her. And I went back luckily to the Hollywood Café to play all my songs for her she said "That one where you mention me in the end that's the best one you got." Turns out she may have been right."
[Source: http://q1043.iheart.com/onair/jonathan-jc-clarke-1368/interview-marc-cohn-talks-new-lp-14934964/#ixzz4XRedpSt7 , retrieved Feb.1.2017]

[08] Interview mit Marc Cohn von Jonathan Clarke von Q104.3 - New York's Classic Rock, 19. Juli, 2016

Deutsch Übersetzung © 2017 von Volker Pöhls

MC: "Ich fuhr nach Memphis auf der Suche nach Inspiration, was normalerweise bedeutet, dass du sie nicht finden wirst, denn alles wonach du suchen wirst, wird gekünstelt klingen. Aber ich merkte, dass mein Gefühl dafür sich änderte, weil ich eine sehr persönliche Erfahrung machte. Als ich Memphis verließ, wusste ich, dass ich einen Song hatte. Eins der wichtigsten Ereignisse, die ich dort erlebte, war, dass ich Al Green in seiner Kirche, der Full Gospel Tabernacle Church, hörte, einer meiner Lieblings-Soul-Sänger. Ihn in seiner eigenen Kirche predigen zu hören war richtig Lebensverändernd. Und man kann ihn immer noch hören, ich glaube, an manchen Sonntagmorgenden predigt er, wenn er nicht gerade auf Tournee ist. Ich glaubte damals, das sei eine unschlagbare Erfahrung.
Aber es wurde noch übertroffen durch das Treffen mit einer recht unbekannten Frau namens Muriel Davis Wilkins, die eine Lehrerin aus Arkansas war und in einem kleinen Club namens "Hollywood Cafe" spielte, wo man Wels und frittiertes Gemüse servierte. Muriel war auf der Bühne und sang Gospel-Musik und ich fühlte mich sofort zu ihr hingezogen. Wir sprachen den ganzen Abend über, immer wenn sie Pausen machte. Ich erzählte ihr, dass ich ein nicht sehr erfolgreicher Songschreiber auf der Suche nach Inspiration war und am Ende des Abends lud sie mich ein, mit ihr zusammen zu singen. Eines der letzten Stücke, die wir sangen, war "Amazing Grace". Als wir damit fertig waren, liefen mir die Schauer nur so über den ganzen Körper. Sie flüsterte mir ins Ohr: "Ich glaube, jetzt kannst du nach Hause fahren und deine Songs schreiben." Das tat ich dann auch. Die meisten Melodien, die schließlich Jahre später auf meiner ersten Platte erschienen, waren von ihr inspiriert. Glücklicherweise fuhr ich noch mal zurück zum Hollywood Cafe und spielte ihr all meine Songs vor. Sie sagte: "Das Stück, wo du mich am Ende erwähnst, das ich dein bestes Stück." Damit könnte sie Recht gehabt haben."
[Quelle: http://q1043.iheart.com/onair/jonathan-jc-clarke-1368/interview-marc-cohn-talks-new-lp-14934964/#ixzz4XRedpSt7 , gefunden am 1. Feb., 2017]

[09] Marc Cohn's Introduction to 'Walking In Memphis' - live at Carl-Orff-Saal, Munich, 2016-June-12

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

MC: "I have to say I have very strong memories with this next song I'm gonna do, many of the memories are related to Germany. I was sitting doing an interview in 1991 in a hotel in Hamburg. I remember that we had to start part of the interview over that was being recorded, because across that beautiful water, where the sailboats are, there was a radio station having some sort of event and they had loudspeakers that were blasting music. And in the middle of the interview, "Walking in Memphis" came on and interrupted my interview [Laughter]. It was the greatest interruption that ever occurred [Laughter] I really did not want to do the interview but it was at that moment that I realized: This thing might really make it [MC laughs] I just could not believe that I was hearing it in Hamburg, Germany, across is that a lake? it's a lake, right? That beautiful What is that called? Alster. Yes, that one, exactly. So that was sort of a wakeup moment for me, a message and also I remember coming over here for the first time my American audiences were lovely, but you would never think they show the reaction I continue to get. That's why I stayed away from Europe I continued to tour through the States I cannot really explain cause what I remember vividly is when having the audience sing the whole song with me in fact I was an unnecessary part of the show [Laughter] I was just a cup in the audience. Those are wonderful memories. And this song is still … People ask me "Aren't you tired of that song , and that's for a lot of reasons. No. 1 I feel that it does not belong to me any more, it's a lovely thing it's one of my children I don't have to support it any more it's a lovely name [MC laughs] That just occurred to me. That's a nice little trick. I really just believe in what it's about. Ultimately it's a song about the transformational power of music. That's what "Listening to Levon" is about, that's what a song of mine called "The Calling" is about. I like that a lot, because it's true for me and it's still true. Coming over to Europe for the first time in 18 years it was a leap of faith on my part but again I was shown that music sort of seems to have a power, even if I don't show up to play it for you, but I'm glad to be back, happy to play my songs, especially in Germany."
[Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uNAjWf5tCs, retrieved Feb.1.2017]

[09] Marc Cohns Anmoderation von 'Walking In Memphis' - live im Carl-Orff-Saal, München, 12. Juni 2016

Deutsch Übersetzung © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

MC: "Ich muss sagen, dass ich sehr starke Erinnerungen an diesen nächsten Song habe, viele dieser Erinnerungen sind verknüpft mit Deutschland. Ich gab 1991 in einem Hotel in Hamburg ein Interview. Ich erinnere mich noch, dass wir einen Teil des Interviews, das aufgezeichnet wurde, wiederholen mussten, weil auf der gegenüberliegenden Seite des schönen Sees mit den Segelbooten eine Radio-Station eine Art Fest veranstaltete. [Der Oster-Mega-Hit-Marathon bzw. Top 800 ist eine Sammelbezeichnung für eine Radiosendung, die jedes Jahr vom privaten Hörfunksender Radio Hamburg ausgestrahlt wird. Sie wird seit 1989 über das Osterwochenende gesendet und dauert rund 66 Stunden. Marzel Becker und Stefan Heller hoben zum 800. Geburtstag des Hamburger Hafens eine Hörerhitparade aus der Taufe, die entsprechend dem damaligen Jubiläum 800 Titel umfasste. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top_800] Sie hatten Lautsprecher, aus denen laute Musik kam. Und in der Mitte des Interviews wurde plötzlich "Walking in Memphis" gespielt und unterbrach mein Interview [Gelächter]. Es war die tollste Unterbrechung, die ich je hatte [Gelächter]. Ich wollte das Interview eigentlich gar nicht machen, aber in dem Moment wurde mir klar: Dieser Song könnte es wirklich schaffen [MC lacht]. Ich konnte einfach nicht glauben, dass ich ihn in Hamburg, Deutschland, von der anderen Seite des - ist das ein See? Das ist ein See, näch? Diese schöne, wie heißt sie? Alster. Ja, genau die. Also das war eine Art von Wachauf-Moment für mich, eine Botschaft und ich weiß auch noch, wie ich hier zum ersten Mal rüber kam. Meine amerikanischen Zuhörer waren nett, aber man wusste nie, ob sie immer wieder die gleiche Reaktion zeigen würden. Deshalb fuhr ich nicht nach Europa, sondern tourte weiterhin durch die Staaten. Ich kann es nicht so richtig erklären, denn woran ich mich lebhaft erinnere, ist das Publikum, das den ganzen Song mit mir zusammen sang. Ich war eigentlich ein unnötiger Teil der Show [Gelächter]. Ich war nur ein Teil des Publikums. Das sind wunderbare Erinnerungen. Und dieser Song ist immer noch … die Leute fragen mich: "Bist du diesen Song nicht langsam müde?" und das aus vielen Gründen. Erstens fühle ich, dass der Song mir nicht mehr allein gehört. Er ist ein nettes Ding, er ist eins meiner Kinder. Ich muss es nicht mehr unterstützen, das ist witzig [MC lacht] Das fiel mir gerade so ein. Das ist ja ein netter, kleiner Trick. Ich glaube einfach an das, worum es da geht. Es ist letzten Endes ein Song über die Verwandlungskraft der Musik. Darum geht es in "Listening to Levon", darum geht es in einem meiner Songs namens "The Calling". Ich mag das sehr, denn es ist wahr für mich, immer noch wahr. Jetzt bin ich das erste Mal in 18 Jahren wieder nach Europa gekommen, es war ein Sinneswandel für mich, aber mir wurde wieder gezeigt, dass Musik eine Macht zu haben scheint, auch wenn ich nicht komme und sie für euch spiele. Aber ich bin froh, dass ich wieder hier bin, glücklich meine Songs spielen zu dürfen, ganz besonders in Deutschland."
[Quelle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uNAjWf5tCs, gefunden am 1. Feb., 2017]

[10] Marc Cohn on '10 feet off of Beale' - Spotlight Live, Wake Up With Woopi, Part 1 of 2, uploaded on 03/01/2008

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

[Second male Interviewer]:
There's a line in that song "Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale". What is "walking ten feet off of Beale"?
MC: That's the heavenly sort of musical street. So for a musician who has loved the blues and the rhythm and blues all my life I was just elevated cause I was so happy. Ten feet off of Beale - I could not believe I was there.
Whoopi: Ten feet off the ground.
MC: Exactly. Whoopi, I need you.
[Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17lOxs40TdU , retrieved Feb.1.2017]

[10] Marc Cohn über '10 feet off of Beale' - Spotlight Live, Wake Up With Woopi, Part 1 of 2, hochgeladen am 1. März 2008

Deutsch Übersetzung © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

[Zweiter männlicher Interviewer]:
Es gibt eine Zeile in dem Song "Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale". Was bedeutet "walking ten feet off of Beale"?
MC: Das ist die himmlische Art von Musikstraße. Deshalb, für einen Musiker, der den Blues und den Rhythm and Blues sein ganzes Leben lang geliebt hat - ich schwebte förmlich, so glücklich war ich. Drei Meter über Beale Street - Ich konnte es kaum fassen, dazusein.
Whoopi: Drei Meter über dem Erdboden.
MC: Genau. Whoopi, wenn ich dich nicht hätte.
[Quelle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17lOxs40TdU , retrieved Feb.1.2017]

[11] Marc Cohn on Elvis in 'Walking in Memphis' - By Derek Gentile, The Berkshire Eagle, posted July 20, 2013

American But back to "Walking in Memphis," a song he wrote in 1991 and a song that is still a staple of adult contemporary radio.
That song earned Cohn a Grammy, and is clearly his most well-known accomplishment. It is a tune that has been covered by Cher, Lonestar and other musicians. But as Cohn explained in a 2011 interview with the Chicago Tribune, the song is less about a trip to Memphis and more about a spiritual awakening following a discussion with a Gospel pianist named Muriel in a restaurant outside Memphis.
"I talked with her for about an hour. She ended up changing my life," he said. "She saw things in me and shared things with me that I don't usually talk about, mostly revolving around my parents, who died when I was pretty young."
Cohn credited his discussion with Muriel that night as the impetus for "Walking," adding that he now regrets mentioning Elvis Presley in the song.
"To me," he said, "the song is so minimally about him, but I worry that it gets cast as just another Elvis tribute.
"It's a testament, in a way, to the power of his name," said Cohn. "Even if you mention it in just one verse, it becomes about him because people focus on it."
[Source: By Derek Gentile, The Berkshire Eagle, http://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/marc-cohn-works-to-keep-show-fresh,404716 , retrieved Feb.2.2017]

[11] Marc Cohn über Elvis in 'Walking in Memphis' - von Derek Gentile, The Berkshire Eagle, hochgeladen am 20. Juli, 2013

Deutsch Deutsche Übersetzung © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

Aber zurück zu "Walking in Memphis, ein Song, den er 1991 schrieb und der immer noch eine feste Größe im aktuellen Erwachsenenradio ist.
Der Song brachte Cohn einen Grammy ein, und ist ganz klar seine bestbekannte Leistung. Es ist eine Melodie, die von Cher, Lonestar und anderen Musikern gecovert worden ist. Aber wie Cohn in einem Interview aus dem Jahr 2011 mit der Chicago Tribune erklärte, ist der Song weniger über eine Reise nach Memphis als vielmehr über ein spirituelles Erwachen nach einer Diskussion mit einer Gospel-Pianistin namens Muriel in einem Restaurant außerhalb von Memphis.
"Ich habe mit ihr ungefähr eine Stunde lang geredet. Sie hat es geschafft, mein Leben zu ändern.", sagte er, "Sie sah Dinge in mir und teilte Dinge mit mir, über die ich normalerweise nicht rede, hauptsächlich über meine Eltern, die gestorben sind, als ich noch ziemlich jung war."
Cohn sieht diese Diskussion mit Muriel an diesem Abend als den Auslöser für "Walking" und fügt hinzu, dass er mittlerweile bedauert, Elvis Presley in dem Lied erwähnt zu haben.
"Für mich", sagte er, "ist dieser Song nur minimal über ihn, aber ich fürchte, er wird eingeordnet als einer von den vielen Elvis Tributes.
"Es ist in gewisser Weise ein Beleg für die Kraft seines Namens", sagte Cohn, "Auch wenn du ihn nur in einer Zeile erwähnst, wird der ganze Song ein Elvis-Song, weil die Leute sich darauf fokussieren."
[Quelle: By Derek Gentile, The Berkshire Eagle, http://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/marc-cohn-works-to-keep-show-fresh,404716 , retrieved Feb.2.2017]

[12] Interview with Holsey Davis Wilkins (son of Muriel Davis Wilkins) on his mother - by Cathy Shapiro, posted 08.05.2014

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

Please help me improve and complete the transcript!

CS: What's your name?
HW: Holsey Davis Wilkins.
CS: Alright and so okay well go and tell me about your mother.
HW: Well, my mother was Muriel Wilkins. Marc Cohn wrote a song "Walking in Memphis" and he mentioned my mother Muriel in it. She was from Helena, Arkansas, we're from Helena, Arkansas. My mother's been dead twenty three years now but she met Marc Cohn at the Hollywood restaurant one night (…) the spring of nineteen ninety I think it was. She told me she had met this man and come to find out that Marc Cohn was this person that she met but my mother had been playing for years.
She started playing in the church when she was six years old. She had about a year-and-a-half piano lessons, that's all. She read music, she played classical music, she played mostly gospel. She had been playing professionally since she was ... since I was about seventh grade. I remember her going starting to play for people then. but when I was 11 years old or around that age one day we got a call from a friend of my mother's and we went over to this house and my mother met Count Basie who was a family friend of the Millers in Helena, Arkansas. and they sat down at the same piano in Dr. Miller's house and played together. That was an experience for me. I met Cap, the Cap. We were raised up around music a lot, you know, all of us were musicians in the house but I met I know Frank Frost (?) who wrote "Whipping post" for the Allman Brothers Band I knew Conway Twitty, played in bands in high school, junior high with his nephew and his son. I knew Charlie Pride I knew him from Dallas, Texas want to stay in Texas but he's from Sledge, Mississippi. We were just around a lot of music, but it's a good thing. It was always enjoyable, there was always music around our house. My mother played a lot, she played at church. Christmas we would have a lot of music around the house, you know, and she played everywhere she went my mother never charged people for playing the churches she would play all over town everybody want her to play but she never charged and she never charged our church where she played I believe that's part of what she ... that was part of her gift and that's why she was so talented because she gave so much."
CS: Tell me about when she met Marc Cohn about the conversation they had.
HW: Well, she met Marc Cohn at the Hollywood restaurant. Marc Cohn had been going through a writer's block or something and he was somewhat depressed. The lady that brought Marc Cohn was from Memphis. I met her a couple of years ago. She brought Marc Cohn. She just said he was a friend, a family-friend. But she told him to come on let's go to the Hollywood restaurant and they went and my mother was playing and the lady introduced Marc Cohn to my mother and she kind of talked to my mother about she said he was kind of depressed or something about his music and my mother asked him "Are you a Christian?" and he said "Tonight I am" and they sang "His eye is on the Sparrow" and he went on to write "Walking in Memphis" and by the time he won a Grammy for that my mother was dead. When he won that Grammy they said he held it up. I didn't see this on TV. I was working that night. I worked for (…) in Dallas Texas at the time but the people at church told me that following Sunday. They said, man this guy won and he raised the Grammy up to your mother's (…) this is for you and since then Marc Cohn has been through several situations and he calls my mother his guardian angel. Yep
CS: Wow, what a great story, thank you so much for sharing that with me.
HW: You're welcome.
[Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0AX0Ysy1Go, retrieved Feb.2.2017]
see [50]

[13] Interview von Frederike Arns von der MoPo, Hamburg, am 08.06.2016

Deutsch FA: Was ist mit Ihrem weltbekannten Song „Walking In Memphis“?
MC: Ich habe ihn schon 1986 geschrieben und erst 1991 veröffentlicht. 1986 war ich noch ein armer Songwriter ohne Plattenvertrag, der sich in New York durchschlagen musste. Klar, er ist mein erfolgreichster und wichtigster Song. Er hat mir meine Stimme gegeben und den Grundstein für mein Songwriting gelegt – aber er ist nicht mein bester (lacht).
FA: Welcher dann?
MC: „The Things We’ve Handed Down“ von meinem zweiten Album „The Rainy Season“.
FA: „Walking In Memphis“ wurde viel gecovert, auch von der Techno-Band Scooter – ziemlich übel.
MC: Ja, das habe ich mir mal angehört. Aber dann auch gleich wieder verdrängt. Es gibt mittlerweile unzählige Cover von dem Lied – von Lonestar, Cher oder auch John Mayer. Das ist auch toll: Der aus meiner Sicht „tote“ Song lebt weiter und hat alles überstiegen, was ich mir je erhofft hätte. Dadurch habe ich auch das Gefühl, dass das gar nicht mehr mein Song ist. Er hat ein eigenes Leben entwickelt.
[Quelle: http://www.mopo.de/24188728, gefunden 2. Feb., 2017]

[14] Marc Cohn's Introduction to "Walking In Memphis" 01-14-2012 Live at FTC Fairfield CT Youtube

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

MC: "(…) in a Presbyterian church. I had an amazing experience with that 25 years ago in a place called the Full Gospel Tabernacle. It's a church in Memphis, Tennessee, and minister there is the Reverend Al Green, great singer. I knew he was gonna be there and I went specifically there when we were on the road I knew he was preaching there that day. I went down to his church (…) other things we were doing in Memphis. I tell you it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life just listening to him sing watching everybody get the spirit. Hour after hour he preached and his voice just got stronger and stronger. It did not matter he wasn't singing "I'm so tired of being alone" he wasn't a Rolling Stone. It was a remarkable experience so much so that it didn't take long only halfway through the service I was seriously beginning to question my faith Jewish people didn't have the whole thing entirely wrong [Laughter] cause I never experienced that feeling in temple before: sweat drawing down my back, tears rolling down my eyes. I cried in temple but it was a different reason [Laughter] This was something else. This among other things led me to write this tune and I suppose it is my calling card and I am proud of that. I'm not gonna sing it tonight [Audience: Aw] I've been singing it for 14 years and I decided: tonight is the night [Laughter] Thank you so much for understanding and for being there you already paid tonight I figure that's good and I loved it in the first show. [To his musicians] Remember that show, that was a good show? (..) I'm gonna play it for 27 minutes." [Cheering] (…)
[Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSZ8b4lxMes, retrieved 2. Feb., 2017]

[15] Marc Cohn's Introduction to "Walking In Memphis" Songwriting Contest Finale, November 6th, 2008 at the Bitter End, NYC., Youtube

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

MC: "There's something I like about this song I've never really talked about this line: "Tell me: Are you a Christian, child" And I said 'Ma'am, I am tonight". I have a lot of people that write to me. They feel that I must be a Christian. They are confused because of my last name [Laughter] But to me the reason I really like this song is cause it's so obviously written by a Jew." [grinning; Applause]
[Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vp7COiUzy30 , retrieved 2. Feb., 2017]

[16] Marc Cohn's Interview in Q Magazine, 1992

American MC: "She was real curious, she seemed to have some kind of intuition about me, and I ended up telling her about my family, my parents, how I was a musician looking for a record deal, the whole thing. Then, it must have been about two in the morning, she asks me up to sing with her and we do about an hour, me and this lady I'd never met before, hardly a song I knew so she's yelling the words at me. Then at the end, as the applause is rising up, she leans over and whispers in my ear, she's whispering, You've got to let go of your mother, child, she didn't mean to die, she's where she's got to be and you're where you have to be, child, it's time to move on."
[Source: Q Magazine, quoted in: https://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=67 , retrieved Feb. 3, 2017]

[16] Marc Cohns Interview im Q Magazine, 1992

Deutsch MC: "Sie war richtig neugierig, sie schien eine Art von Intuition mir gegenüber zu haben. Schließlich erzählte ich ihr von meiner Familie, meinen Eltern, dass ich ein Musiker auf der Suche nach einem Plattenvertrag war, die ganze Geschichte. Dann, es muss ungefähr zwei Uhr morgens gewesen sein, fordert sie mich auf, mit ihr zu singen, und wir tun es ungefähr eine Stunde lang, ich und diese Dame, die ich niemals vorher getroffen hatte, ich kannte kaum ein Lied, also ruft sie mir immer den Text zu. Dann am Ende, als der Applaus aufbrandet, beugt sie sich zu mir und flüstert mir ins Ohr: "Du musst deine Mutter loslassen, mein Kind, sie wollte nicht sterben, sie ist da, wo sie hingehört, und du bist da, wo du hingehörst, mein Kind, es ist Zeit weiterzugehen."
[Quelle: Q Magazine, zitiert in: https://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=67 , gefunden 3. Feb., 2017]

[17] Marc Cohn's Intro to "Walking in Memphis", Solo Performance in Peekskill, NY, from May 5, 2009, youtube

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

MC: "He was walking in the church in his Al Green hoochie coochie (?) And I have to say after three or four hours I was moved to tears at this place and not only was I so profoundly moved by music and singing but that happened (…) meaning a wonder as a Jew from Cleveland [Laughter] (…) that my people had gotten the whole fucking thing completely wrong [Laughter and applause] (?) I just couldn't remember feeling that way in temple [Laughter]
So as amazing as that was I forgot to tell you that other thing it's so great. If you ever go there and you're white and guy Al Green will notice that you're white [Laughter] and he will ask for the guests to stand (…) the three of us stood up. I guess he was messing with us a little bit but he was also inviting us to a barbecue after the service which was just remarkable.
It was a life-changing experience for sure and only topped by the evening before which was really hard to recover from anyway not because I had too much to drink which I did. I went to this little place called "Hollywood" which is at the side I guess at the border of Arkansas. It's a place where people go to get catfish and fried pickles. I went because a friend of mine had heard about a singer there named Muriel Davis Wilkins. And there she was sitting up on stage with an unamplified upright piano. Really nobody paid much attention to her but I was immediately drawn to Muriel. There was something about her voice, and just her whole vibe (?)
And during her break I went up to her and talked to her and told her that I was visiting as a songwriter trying to find some inspiration, never been to Memphis and to make a long story short we became best friends she ended up singing at my first wedding I didn't blame her at all for how that ended up [Laughter]
But at about midnight Muriel asked me up on stage and asked me to sing. She started singing all these phenomenally beautiful spirituals but like I said I hadn't heard much of that stuff at temple. So I was really unable to join in the round of life. It was still pretty amazing mostly because she was so giving.
And all I can say that 2 or 3 weeks later after having a long period of not being able to write not only bad songs but I wasn't writing any songs. But after meeting Muriel I started to write and could not stop and basically wrote what became my whole first record.
I went back to the Hollywood Café about eight months later because I could not wait to play my new songs for my new muse named Muriel. I played "Silver Thunderbird", "True Companion", "Ghost Train" and all these tunes I had written and "Walking in Memphis". When she heard that just she said "The one with me in it, pass me down" [Laughter] "Play it again!"
So I have played that a couple of times for Muriel. Even though she passed away before it became a hit, I am really glad she heard it. I am really glad to be able to play it for her again and again and again every time I play it. So this is for Muriel.
[Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvhK3QzDWUg, retrieved Feb. 3, 2017]

[18] Marc Cohn's Intro to "Walking in Memphis", Live at Chautauqua, Boulder, 2008, Youtube

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

MC: "(…) the night before I met this incredible lady named Muriel Davis Wilkins, who was a schoolteacher and a great musician and singer who tried to make a little extra money on the side by playing at this place called the "Hollywood" where they served catfish and fried pickles. And Muriel was a treasure and I talked to her and sang with her by midnight. She taught me all those spirituals saying the words into my ear and I tried to follow along. And she told me that I should move on with my life. I think she said "Go write yourself a record, boy!" [Cohn smiles], which I did. I went back home and I wrote a bunch of songs that ended up being on my first record including this one tune. And I went back to the Hollywood Café to play for her. I played her "Thunderbird" and "True Companion" and this song "Walking in Memphis". And she said: "I like that one with me in it. I think that's the best one" [Laughter] And Goddamn! She was right. [Laughter] Anyway, Muriel passed away a couple of years after I wrote it, (?) It was not released yet, I think it was about to be released maybe I am dedicating this tune to her every night (…) without her I wouldn't be here. This is a calling card for Muriel Davis."
[Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkFJjyAI2pc , retrieved Feb. 3, 2017]

[19] Marc Cohn's Intro to "Walking in Memphis", Feb 14 2015, City Winery New York, Youtube

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

MC: "(…) a schoolteacher from Arkansas would become my muse. Now, looking back, thank God, I went back about 8 or 9 months later to play Muriel a bunch of the new songs I had written. I cannot remember which ones were already written yet, but many of the songs that ended up still years later on my first record cause I was still four years away from being signed. But I knew when I wrote this batch of songs that I had written songs that I liked that's all I knew. And then when I went back to the "Hollywood Café" I knew that I had written songs that Muriel liked. [Audience: Yeah] And especially, after I finished playing her four or five songs, she said: "You know that song where you mention me in the end, that's the best one." [Laughter] She never got to hear it on the radio, but I made sure almost every night that I sing it I don't know how many hundreds and thousands of times I've sung this song, I have some sense that she hears it. [Applause] So I let her know that this song is not just about her, it isn't just for her, but it wouldn't exist without her, so I love Elvis, I love Al Green, everybody that I talk about in this tune, but this song belongs to Muriel."
[Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBCDdZhaJo0 , retrieved Feb. 3, 2017]

[20] Marc Cohn talks facial scruff, Grace Potter, Walking In Memphis, 28.10.2012, Youtube

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

MA: "Walking in Memphis" - gift or a curse?
MC: Both. A gift. I'm proud that I wrote that tune I'm proud that it's sort of been around for 20 years and still seems to have a life which is so great but you have got like 30 or 40 other songs and sometimes people don't know that they're like we love your song I'm like my song? I've got 50 songs so that's where the curse comes in but I'm working hard to keep those other tunes alive.
MA: When it comes up on the radio do you listen to it or do you immediately change the station?
MC: I love it. I love hearing it, even it's not me singing it. I mean other people have done it and I'm just proud that it's got this incredible life I never change the station. I love hearing it.
[Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LioNCDRcETQ, retrieved Feb. 3, 2017]

[21] Marc Cohn on covers of "Walking", 11/13/2007, Youtube

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

"I did actually take a trip to Memphis back in 1986. I was trying to break a little bit of writer's block back then, too I didn't have a record deal, but I was a songwriter and I was dreaming of the kinds of songs I wanted to write, but I hadn't written them yet and Memphis of course is a place where lots a great music has been made so I went there just in search of some inspiration and to make a pretty long story short: I got it.
The centerpiece of that song is the woman I talk about at the end named Muriel who's a real honest to god person who unfortunately passed away a few years ago before it was a hit, but she heard the song after I wrote it and went back to Memphis to play it for her. I knew when I wrote that song that it was the beginning of me lessening the distance between what I was hearing in my head and what actually was a real song that felt to me like the first time I found my voice quote-unquote.
INTERVIEWER: That's your signature song clearly. What's it like feel when you hear the cover versions of that? I know for instance Tom Jones has covered it, Cher has covered it and I don't know how many others but what's it like for you when you hear them?
MC: Well it depends on the version. It's a compliment I mean you know it's and as they say sometimes imitation is the best form of flattery and some of the versions actually sound to me exactly like mine just with a different singer. I just heard a Paul Anka version you know with a big band [laughs]and a swing version in which is I don't know what to think of it, but at least I tip my hat to it that it's different you know the cords are all different, the phrasings are different, rhythms are different and I mean I enjoy it just because this you know this piece of work that I created seems to have really resonated with a lot of people and especially other artists who want to play it that's a great great thing I love having songs in my cupboard doesn't mean I would sit and listen to them I've never felt like an epiphany listening to any of these covers but I enjoy it."
[Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6qj9WsOT0M, retrieved Feb. 3, 2017]

[22] Interview von Harald Mönkedieck für Radio Bremen, Popwelt Nordwestradio, 17. Juli 2016

Deutsch Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

MC: Es ist ein Song über meine Liebe zur Musik und der Text hallt nach bis heute. Ich liebe es, dass der Song dieses Eigenleben hat. Es fühlt sich fast so an, als ob er mir gar nicht mehr gehört. Und darin liegt etwas Schönes. In den letzten 20 Jahren hatte ich eher eine Liebesbeziehung zu diesem Song. Er ist meine Visitenkarte. Wünsche ich mir, dass mehr Menschen auch andere Songs von mir kennen? Sicherlich, und das ist einer der Gründe, weshalb ich toure. Ich will damit sagen: Ich habe ein Werk, hört es euch an, gefällt es euch? Ich habe nicht nur einen Song. Das ist der einzige negative Aspekt daran. Der Song ist so groß, dass er die anderen kleiner erscheinen lässt im Vergleich. Aber so fühle ich mich überhaupt nicht. Ich habe andere Songs, die besser sind. Ich toure also für meinen Lebensunterhalt und um meine Ansprüche anzumelden, dass ich 50, 60, 70 Songs habe und nicht nur einen. Aber der Song selbst und wie er sich heute anfühlt, wenn ich ihn spiele für ein Publikum, das bleibt für mich frisch und lebendig."
[Source: http://www.radiobremen.de/nordwestradio/sendungen/popwelt/marc-cohn100.html, gefunden 3. Feb., 2017]

[23] Eric Alan for KLCC, Jan 13, 2016, telephone interview

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

EA: Well, "Walking in Memphis" started your career with this reverence for a great musical tradition there through its description of Beale Street and beyond. Did you imagine yourself as some modest part of that tradition when you wrote that song?
MC: Not even remotely. No, I wasn't even a signed recording artist. I was really just looking for inspiration in a place where some of my favorite music had been made. It was one of the rare times when I was explicitly looking to be inspired and I was.
EA: It's not easy to intentionally find inspiration, is it?
MC: No, in fact, it's usually when you don't find it. Right, It's just like the love of your life you usually don't find when you're looking. It's the same kind of thing. I didn't know, obviously, that going to Memphis would work. I was trying to sort of break a long stretch of writer's block. My girlfriend at the time suggested that I go to Memphis. That would be a place I might find some inspiration. She turned out to be right.
[Source: http://klcc.org/post/marc-cohn-twenty-five-years-beyond-walking-memphis, retrieved Feb. 4, 2017]

[24] Jake Griffin of the Daily Herald, 09/25/2013

American "I'm always going to play that song," Cohn said. "There's no point in asking for it."
So how does an artist keep the song that essentially defines him as a musician from becoming stale and old?
"I'm not sure I have an explanation," he admitted. "I've been really lucky in that regard. The song still seems relevant to me. I don't think I'll ever lose that essential love of music, which is what that song is about. And I love how much other people really love it. I'll change it up a little bit when I'm playing, but it keeps itself alive because I'm still moved by the message of that song."
Moved to write the autobiographical song about a jaunt through the musical haunts of Memphis while struggling to make a career as a musician, Cohn is grateful for the power the lyrics have had with his audience.
[Source: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20130925/entlife/709259928/, retrieved Feb. 4, 2017]

[25] Elmore Magazine, July 14th, 2016

American MC: Then, hearing it on the radio, for the first time, driving in Connecticut, and I still remember the introduction. The minute he said, “This is a song I love, it reminds me of this guy, Andy Pratt. I think you’re going to love it, too,” I thought, I think he’s going to play me, and he played “Walking in Memphis.” I had to pull over and take it in. It was an out-of-body thing.
I’ll tell you another one. Doing an interview in Hamburg Germany, the guy had to turn off the tape recorder because we were interrupted by the sound coming from across the lake. A radio station was having an event outside, blasting “Walking in Memphis” across the lake. I thought, “This is it. This has made its way around the world.”
[Source: http://www.elmoremagazine.com/2016/07/influences/influences-little-brothers, retrieved Feb. 4, 2017]

[26] Lee Zimmerman of Goldmine Magazine, September 28, 2014

American GM: Speaking of the song “Walking in Memphis:” It was such a huge hit for you. Did you have any idea how big it would become?
MC: No. I wrote the song several years before it came out. I wrote it several years even before I was a signed artist. It was impossible to think it would be a hit, because, like I said, I wasn’t even a signed artist yet. It wasn’t a turning point for me when I wrote it. I knew when I wrote it I had found the closest thing yet to my songwriting voice I’d ever gotten to. I had been writing songs since I was 12, and “Walking In Memphis” and “Silver Thunderbird,” which I wrote the same month, were the beginning of me finding my voice.
That, to me, was huge. That, to me, was everything. Because up to that point, I’d been looking for a record deal. I’d been trying to make it in the business, and if I was really honest with myself, there was nothing particularly original about the songs I’d been writing. They were … OK, but “Memphis” and “Thunderbird” were the beginning of me thinking that maybe I’d turned the corner, and sure enough, those were the songs that got me signed.
GM: When you have a hit as huge as that, obviously it’s a blessing. But is it also an albatross? Does the record company want you to keep rewriting the same song to keep the hits coming? Does it raise expectations?
MC: I guess. I think I had that worry and that pressure for about six months. When it was time to make my second record, I could sort of tell that the record company would have enjoyed a “Walking in Memphis” II.
The only problem is … it’s impossible. I mean, it’s impossible to write any song again, whether it’s a hit or not. It may not be impossible, but it just doesn’t interest me. For me, having a song like that that’s endured for 23 years, that keeps getting covered and keeps getting played, and I still love playing it live, it’s all blessing. The curse I don’t even relate to at all. I felt a little odd with my record company making my second record, but after that, I was really happy I had a radio hit, but that was never the plan or intention.
I want to make albums that mean something, that people will listen to and be moved by the way I was by my favorite records. I didn’t care if Van Morrison had a hit on the radio or not. I loved his albums. So for me, I’m still doing what I always wanted to do. Having a hit on the radio was phenomenal, but it’s not the only way to have a career. If I felt like, all these years later, I had this one radio hit and the rest of my work was relatively insignificant to my audience, it would bother me. But the truth is, my audience knows of my music and much of it is more important to them than the hit. It’s clear to me when I do shows now, if I don’t do a song like “True Companion” or “The Things We Handed Down,” or a handful of others, those are the songs my audience comes to hear, and none of them were hits.
Obviously, “Walking in Memphis” provides a fantastic moment in the arc of the show, because it’s so well known. And I feel blessed that I had that hit and that I still have an audience that knows the breadth and depth of what I’ve done for the last 20 years, and most of it hasn’t been on the radio.
GM: Out of curiosity, has the city of Memphis ever recognized you in any way?
MC: They have. They were very sweet back in the day. I can’t remember if they gave me a key to the city or some kind of plaque after I played a show in a theater there, and since then, they’ve asked me to present in the rhythm and blues hall of fame there, and I think they even offered some kind of award, which I couldn’t attend because I think I was on the road. They’ve been fantastic. And I just played Memphis for the first time in a while with Bonnie Raitt, and that was one of the great nights of my career. David Porter was there, who wrote all those great hits for Isaac Hayes; Keb Mo got up and sat in with Bonnie and me … It was just a great, great night of music. And, of course, to be able to sing “Walking In Memphis” with that crowd is transcendent.
GM: When you’re honored in Memphis, you’re in some good company.
MC: I know. Those musicians and singers and players and writers are some of the best that have ever been. And David Porter: Talk about an unsung hero. He was responsible for so many great songs.
[Source: http://www.goldminemag.com/article/marc-cohn-didnt-stroll-sunset-walking-memphis, retrieved Feb. 4, 2017]

[27] Mike Greenblatt of Goldmine Magazine, October 27, 2016

American MC: Memphis has a mysterious mojo. It’s an inspiring, haunting town: Elvis, Sam Phillips, Al Green, Ann Peebles, all that gospel music, man…
But for me, the things I went and did in Memphis ended up being the central thrust of the song. I went there looking for inspiration, which usually means you ain’t gonna find it. But this was a rare exception. Listening to Al Green preach at his own church, then hearing this wonderful woman sing gospel songs in a room that used to house slaves, my trip was filled with magic.
[Source: http://www.goldminemag.com/article/marc-cohn-storyteller, retrieved Feb. 4, 2017]

[28] Kevin C. Johnson St. Louis Post-Dispatch Nov 16, 2016

American Cohn was particularly worried about how “Walking in Memphis” would be received, thinking its structure could be problematic for some.
“I thought most radio stations wouldn’t play it. It’s a weird arrangement.”
[Source: http://www.stltoday.com/entertainment/music/kevin-johnson/marc-cohn-reflects-on-his-challenging-debut-album-in-anniversary/article_f46b7c3a-641e-5d80-a573-e4d31b91924a.html, retrieved Feb. 4, 2017]

[29] "Marc Cohn Influenced by Club Singer", Denver Post, November 15, 1991

American MC: “The song is so minimally about him [Elvis], but I worry that it gets cast off as another tribute.”
[Source: quoted in: http://www.songplaces.com/Walking_in_Memphis/Beale_Street_Memphis_Tennessee/, retrieved Feb. 4, 2017]

[30] "Marc Cohn in Concert", Intro to "Walking in Memphis", wxpn 88.5 in Philadelphia, September 14, 2007

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

MC: "My friend Shane Fontayne just informed me that Hillary Clinton was speaking on CNN down in Memphis and the scribble underneath said "Talking in Memphis". [Laughter] So, it's good to know one of your babies has travelled around the world in many different kind of ways. [Laughter]
First I've ever heard the song on the radio it was just coming out of a segway (?) from Madonna's "Like a Virgin" which was one of the oddest things I'd ever heard that I almost wrecked my car I was so excited. Anyway, I'd like to dedicate this to Elvis and Al Green and all the great Memphis musicians that inspired basically everybody that plays music I think. But really this goes out to somebody that isn't as well known a lady named Muriel Davis Wilkins who I refer to in the last verse. I was going out to Memphis in 1985 because I was in my first bout of writer's block, one of many to come I didn't know that at that time and I was just looking for a little bit of inspiration and went down to Memphis and I went to Al Green's church and I heard him preach at the Full Gospel Tabernacle which if you haven't done it I highly recommend it he sings for about four hours and he just keeps getting better and better. I was there with some friends and in the middle of the service he said "We would like the visitors to rise" and we knew we were the visitors cause we were the only white faces in the audience. [laughter] So Al is a little mystic (…) but it was fantastic and we stayed for the barbecue and everything.
Then I made my way out to this place on the border of Arkansas called the "Hollywood" which is a catfish and fried pickles eatery, an old slave commissary I was told and there in the corner with a little PV amp and a mike plugged into it an old beat up upright piano beautiful singer that hardly anybody was paying attention to. Her name is Muriel and she's a part time schoolteacher who played weekends at this place to try to make a little extra money. And during the breaks I would talk to her and told her slowly but surely pretty much the story of my life, why I was out in Memphis looking for some inspiration and hopefully a record deal to come and some songs I was hoping to write. And she asked me to come up on stage at about midnight and we sang "Amazing Grace" and "His eye is on the Sparrow" and all these other sort of gospel numbers that a Jewish kid from Cleveland had never heard before [laughter] So she'd have to sort of whisper the words into my ear and I tried to catch up and sing them in time. And about midnight we were doing "Amazing Grace" and she said "It's alright, boy, after you have done singing it's time for you to move on now." And somehow I intuitively knew what she was talking about. And I went home and I wrote many of the songs that ended up on my my first record "Silver Thunderbird" and "True Companion" and I went back to [applause] thank you, both, I appreciate that. And I went back to play these tunes for Muriel at the Hollywood Café a couple of months later. I played the "Thunderbird" and "Companion" and "Walking in Memphis" and she liked them all but when they were all done she said: "Play that one with me in it again. I like that one." [laughter]. So I'm really so happy that I went back there, because she didn't live long enough to see the song become a hit about four or five years later, but I know somewhere she's listening and I think it's ironic she was the first to ask me to play it again for I've been playing it again for about 17 years. So this goes out to Muriel Davis Wilkins one more time.
[Source: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14387386, retrieved Feb. 5, 2017]

[31] Marc Cohn On "All Mixed Up", interview by Jim Monaghan, WDHA radio, 105.5, The Rock of New Jersey 2016/06/26

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

Jim Monaghan: How did you get from the demo to what we ultimately know as the recorded version - do you remember?
MC: I just remember that it was endless. The process of trying to record and make that song into a record was really, really difficult. A lot of that was due to the fact that when I was writing for my first record and "Memphis" I wrote, before I even had a record deal, so most of those songs I wrote, before I had a record deal, I had never played my music with a band before. So as I sat at the piano or guitar to write songs back then I wasn't thinking about groove or how it was gonna work as a record with a band. So "Walking in Memphis" was a really strange song and very difficult to find the arrangement. The song has some piano at the top, then the band comes in, then the band goes out, then there's actually 4 or 5 seconds of silence [chuckles], so it's a very… The decision was: Do we make this more of a conscious pop hit and don't stop and start just to have a full on band and the whole thing or do we pay attention to the inherent dynamics of the thing and believe it or not it took a very very long time, several band versions of it, several solo versions of it. At one point I told Atlantic "I don't even think I want this on a record, I was so sick of recording, and they said: "That's fine, it's your decision, but you're not on the label, if you don't. We need that song." So we finally figured it out. And a lot of that had to do with my friend John Leventhal, producer, helped with the arrangement of that song in the end.
Jim Monaghan: Did you know that the song would be as big as it became? (…) Don McLean … did know that he had something special on his hands, as he was crafting it, and I was wondering if you felt the same way about "Walking in Memphis" (…)?
MC: Right. That's exactly how it felt. Because I wasn't even signed yet, like I said, I had no thought about whether it was a hit or not. But I had a very strong sense that after being a songwriter for I don't know 10 or 12 years at that point that I had hit on something that was genuine and authentic and like I was beginning to find my singular songwriting voice. I knew that I had turned a major page when I wrote that tune. No idea that it would be a hit.
[Source: http://wdhafm.com/2016/06/26/marc-cohn-mixed/, retrieved Feb. 5, 2017]

[32] The John Carney Show: Marc Cohn talks about "Walking in Memphis" and getting shot in Denver, phone interview, 2016/11/03

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

MC: My relationship to Memphis is really just the fact that I took a trip there maybe it's 30 years ago now looking for inspiration because so much of the music that I love was made there. It was one of those rare occasions - this is way before I was signed to Atlantic Records - where I went looking for a song and I found it. I was there for a few days and the things I did, the people I met and the way it impacted me personally all sort of came through in that song and unbelievably resonated in quite a surprising way with other people.
John Carney: What a different life would it have been for you had you had this type of experience in Dubuque? 1:45
[MC laughs out loud] MC: Did you know this great Paul Simon story? Mickey Mantle went up to Paul Simon in a restaurant after "Mrs. Robinson" was a big hit and he said "Why did it have to be Joe di Maggio in that lyric? Why not Mickey Mantle?" And Paul Simon said: "Syllables, Mickey, syllables" You know, you're right. "Walking in Dubuque" Not quite the same, I mean, the syllables are right, but the emphasis is wrong. It would have been a different life.
JC: What's the breakdown on Memphisians? Did they come up to you when they know you're the guy that did that song? Are they like "Hey, thanks, we love you, you really encapsulate where we live" or did people say "I moved because of you"?
MC: I've never heard anybody say they moved because of me. God forbid, that would be terrible. I mean most of what I hear is people being grateful that I brought some attention to where they live, are spending their lives. I had a very magical personal experience there and that comes through. I think some people were actually surprised it's a pretty tough town you made it sound like it was otherworldly but for me that was my experience. So I just told that story I needed to tell.
MC: I went to Memphis looking for inspiration because it was such a famous music town, the gospel music that came out of there I loved when I was a kid, all the music that Al Green made I loved when I was a kid, Elvis, the list goes on and on, Otis Redding, Stax Records, Sun Records, it was an incredibly magical place. I went there because of that and I found my own story to tell. I have to say that's a real exception to the rule. Most of the time the song finds you, you can't go looking for the song. It just doesn't work that way. It did with "Walking in Memphis", but like I said it doesn't happen that way most of the time.
[Source: http://www.ktrs.com/the-carney-show-marc-cohn-talks-about-walking-in-memphis-and-getting-shot-in-denver/, retrieved Feb. 7, 2017]

[33] MARC COHN IN CONCERT, Pepperdine Smothers Theatre - JANUARY 16, 2016, Reflections on the 25th Anniversary Of Walking in Memphis, by Ross Altman

American So all the reference points were in place — you knew you were in Memphis — home of the blues.
Except for one thing—this was not 1955—when Elvis walked into Sun Records studio and recorded for Sam Phillips. This song was born thirty years later in 1985—six years before it was released. Let me see? Did anything happen in Memphis between 1955 and 1985? Anything we may still remember? Oh yes, didn’t something happen at the Lorraine Motel? On the balcony? On the night of April 3, 1968? Wasn’t somebody assassinated?
Oh yes—now I remember—not the King of Rock and Roll—King himself—Martin Luther King, Jr. That would be Dr. Martin Luther King, and not to put too fine a point on it—the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. So if you’re going to put a reverend in the song, why Al Green; why not Rev. Martin Luther King?
Were I to walk in Memphis today, or in 1985, seventeen years after the bullet that changed America forever, that’s the first place I would go to—the Lorraine Motel—that I would want to see for myself—not Graceland. I wouldn’t be so graceless as to bring this up; I know how to behave in public. Except for one thing; this concert was being given during Martin Luther King’s holiday weekend, on January 16. Check the newspaper ads; even Macy’s knows it’s “MLK Weekend,” many TV spots have mentioned it; go into any bank and you will see it mentioned. I thought perhaps the man who wrote Walking In Memphis might have walked a little further tonight, and brought it up in his lengthy introduction—but not a word. If Beale Street could talk today I wonder what it might say.
[Source: https://folkworks.org/reviews/folkworks-concert-reviews/45973-walking-in-memphis-marc-cohn-in-concert, retrieved Feb. 7, 2017]

[34] SWR3 Die größten Hits und ihre Geschichte | Walking in Memphis - Marc Cohn

Deutsch Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

Es sollte eine musikalische Pilgerreise werden, in die Stadt von Elvis Presley, W.C.Handy oder B.B.King. "It's really the birthplace of the blues" "Das ist die Geburtsstätte des Blues und damit auch die des Rock ‚n Roll. Gerade als Musiker spürt man an diesem Ort etwas von dieser besonderen Magie. Viele meiner Vorbilder haben hier angefangen, Musik zu machen." "So many of my heroes basically started there." Marc Cohn spaziert durch Memphis, wandelt auf den Spuren von Elvis, in den Sun Studios, in der Union Avenue oder auch dessen Anwesen Graceland, wo er den Geist des King of Rock ‚n Roll bis in den berühmten Jungle Room folgt, wo Elvis angeblich seine Groupies traf. Fasziniert besucht er die Gospelmesse von Soulsänger Reverend Al Green und trifft südlich von Memphis, im Hollywood Cafe von Tunica die über 70jährige schwarze Gospel-Pianistin Muriel. Die Begegnung mit Muriel löst etwas aus in Marc Cohn. Er erzählt ihr von seiner Musik, seiner Kindheit, vom Verlust seiner Familie und dann singen beide gemeinsam Gospelsongs. "I was different when I left there than when I got there." Als ich Memphis verließ, war ich ein anderer Mensch. Ich denke, die Songzeile "Do I really feel the way I feel?" Fühle ich wirklich, was ich gerade fühle? Ist eine Frage, die ich mir nicht sehr oft stelle. Normalerweise weiß man, was man fühlt. Aber ich fühlte mich so gut in Memphis, dass ich es kaum glauben konnte. "I felt so good in Memphis I could not believe it."
Zurück in New York schreibt sich "Walking in Memphis" fast von alleine. Marc Cohn, der die Songs für sein Debütalbum immer zuerst seinem künftigen Schwiegervater [George_W._George - VP], einem Mann aus der Filmbranche, vorspielte, bekommt jetzt zum ersten Mal ein positives Feedback. "We had little sessions playing songs." Wir hatten immer kleine Sessions. Ab und zu hörte ich auf zu singen und drehte mich zu ihm um. Und in 9 von 10 Fällen sagte er dann "Nein, gefällt mir nicht". Der Tag, als ich ihm "Walking in Memphis" präsentierte, war der Wendepunkt. Plötzlich meinte er: "Das ist es. Das ist ein Song, mit dem du die Leute kriegen wirst. "That's the kind of song that's gonna get to people.". "Walking in Memphis" hat übrigens auch Muriel gefallen. Marc Cohn lädt sie zu seiner Hochzeit nach New York ein und holt sich später Rat bei ihr für die Songs seines nächsten Albums. Bei den Grammy Awards 1992 wird Marc Cohn als bester neuer Künstler ausgezeichnet - für ihn damals unfassbar. "I was shocked because very often the Grammys …" "Damals wurden die Grammys oft an die populärsten Künstler verliehen und von denen, die in meiner Kategorie nominiert waren, hatte ich am wenigsten Platten verkauft. Deshalb war ich schon sehr überrascht." "It was pretty surprising."
[Quelle: http://swrmediathek.de/player.htm?show=2e500890-2b94-11e6-a659-0026b975e0ea, retrieved Feb. 7, 2017]

[35] Marc Cohn appearing at Bergen PAC, By MIKE KERWICK, The Record, February 8, 2010,

American Cohn admits he doesn’t know if that song would cut through the glades, skiing past younger acts to find room on today’s pop charts.
“It was a little bit of a strange song even then when it came out,” Cohn said. “There weren’t many singer-songwriters on the radio. I just don’t know how it would even find a place on pop radio. You’d have to produce it in a completely different way … maybe the song would work if it was updated.”
[Source: http://archive.northjersey.com/story-archives/marc-cohn-appearing-at-bergenpac-1.1240520, retrieved Feb. 7, 2017]

[36] English wikipedia on Walking in Memphis

American Muriel Davis Wilkins, born 6 December 1923, would die 1 October 1990, five months before the release of "Walking in Memphis". (Source: Ancestry.com ?? - VP)
[Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walking_in_Memphis, retrieved Feb. 7, 2017]

[37] Marc Cohn shares his secret, by Meredith Berkman, Entertainment Weekly, March 27, 1992

American When Marc Cohn accepted the Best New Artist Grammy last month, he didn’t thank God — but he did thank the promotion department at his label, Atlantic Records. ”They did an unbelievable job,” says singer-songwriter Cohn, whose single ”Walking in Memphis,” off his low-key album, Marc Cohn, reached No. 13 on the charts last year. ”If you don’t get played on radio, you hope for a cult following at best.” The album shot up from No. 78 to No. 38 after Cohn’s win.
Cohn’s victory over flashier groups like Boyz II Men and C+C Music Factory, both of which sold many more records, was an industry anomaly. But the greater surprise was that ”Memphis,” a haunting acoustic song, got airtime at all. ”There was nothing obvious about my record,” admits Cleveland-born Cohn, 32. ”It could definitely have fallen between the cracks. That was my greatest worry.”
But Atlantic’s cochairman and co-CEO, Doug Morris, a former songwriter, took a personal interest — and Morris’ mandate made Cohn’s record a company priority. His commitment went so far that when the Grammy producers declined to let Cohn perform on the show, Atlantic — in a move that raised industry eyebrows — boycotted not just the awards, but the flashy parties afterward.
”I think Marc touched an emotional chord in me,” says Morris. ”He’s a throwback to artists like Billy Joel or Paul Simon. The album went against the grain of what was happening in the musical world at the moment…and it really required a constant pressure. It was a question of getting people to really listen to the music.”
That was an uphill battle. Though ”Memphis” debuted on the charts in March, it didn’t peak until July. ”We didn’t go in blaring and hyping,” says Danny Buch, Atlantic’s VP of album promotion, ”we wanted to create a buzz.”
Buch first approached ”adult-listener” stations in smaller markets where program directors would be willing to take a chance on Cohn’s nostalgic sound. Call-in response was so strong that Buch used those numbers in a radio-trade ad campaign (patterned on ads for the United Negro College Fund): ”Adult Listeners are a Terrible Thing to Waste.”
Next, Morris himself called stations around the country, urging them to take a chance on Cohn’s brand of soulful rock. The persistence paid off: When Cohn gave a five-minute live performance on the wildly popular ”Mark and Brian” show on Los Angeles rock station KLOS, his hosts asked him to play for the next hour and a half.
”Once people hear this artist, they recognize he’s something special,” says Morris. But the artist himself is a little more pragmatic. ”I get stopped on the street by people saying, ‘I love your song,”’ says Cohn, who’s opening for Bonnie Raitt in Australia. ”Not ‘I love your album,’ or ‘I love your music.’ People know ‘Walking in Memphis’ because it got played on the radio.”
[Source: http://ew.com/article/1992/03/27/marc-cohn-shares-his-secret/, retrieved Feb. 7, 2017]

[38] Intervista a Marc Cohn - Il cantautore si racconta

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

MC: "I started "Walking in Memphis" on guitar. And I couldn't really play the arpeggiated figure very well so I moved to piano. Turns out that was a good idea to move that figure from guitar to piano. Then the song came very easily.
[Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvTswKUD7F8, retrieved Feb. 7, 2017]

[39] Toby Lightman & Marc Cohn Colonial Theater, Pittsfield August 28, 2008 by Eric Sutter

American He told a story of a chance encounter with a 70-year-old black pianist/singer named Muriel Davis Wilkins who inspired the song that launched his career -- Walking in Memphis" was staged with gospel fervor by Cohn and bandmates and dedicated to Wilkins.
[Source: http://www.inthespotlightinc.org/2008/08/toby-lightman-marc-cohn.html, retrieved Feb. 7, 2017]

[40] Jamie Grout & Sarah Jones Marc Cohn interview, The morning jolt, Aug 2016

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

JG: What inspired that song, anyway?
MC: Well, it was a trip that I took to Memphis, around 1985 or 86. I was actually looking to be inspired because so many of the artists and the songs that I loved came out of Memphis. I was looking for a song and unbelievably I found one. I met some amazing people. I experienced some incredible things, heard some phenomenal music both in churches and in little roadside shanties and when I left there, I knew I had a song in me. I came back home to New York City and I basically just wrote about everything I saw and heard and felt which was transformed by all the music and the people. I think that's part of what resonated about that song. It's just got a lot of joy in it. Basically the theme of it is that music can change your life. So I think that's part of why it stood the test of time.
JG: When you talk about "your feet ten feet off of Beale Street". (…) What's the ten feet thing about?
MC: "You know, just that you're walking on air. The music that transported me and made me feel as if I was floating, right. That sense of being in another world. The part of the song was all about the joy that music brings and that's why I say "Do I really feel the way I feel?" Here I am, I'm this kid from Cleveland all of a sudden in the midst of all this amazing southern culture. I felt like I was in a different world - but a world that I felt very home in and inspired by.
[Source: https://soundcloud.com/jamie-grout-1/marc-cohn-interview-editmp3, retrieved Feb. 8, 2017]

[41] Randy Cain, B 98.5 Little Rock, Wildwood Park for the arts, Apr23 2016

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

RC: Walking in Memphis, what's the story line behind that song?
MC: The story line behind the song is the song itself, I mean, there isn't much made up in that narrative. I literally went to Memphis in around 1985, went to all the places and met all the people that I talk about in the song. So it was really just a matter of coming back home and being so inspired by everything I had seen and heard that I felt compelled to write about it. I literally went to Memphis looking for inspiration. So much of the music I grew up loving, so many of the musicians that had influenced me had been there, lived there and made music there, died there, recorded there. Al Green being at the top of the list who is the reverend Green I talk about in the bridge of the song. Elvis was not as enormous an influence as you would think based on the fact that you know he's central to the song, but gospel and rhythm and blues were really huge for me. (…) Really started writing about my trip to Memphis almost verbatim obviously my job as a songwriter is to find the poetry in all of that to write it from a personal place which makes it different and singular, but it doesn't mean much unless it resonates. I found a way to tell that story from a very personal place that still resonated with the listeners out there in the world. There is no really behind this. I just went to Memphis and got inspired.
RC: When you wrote it down and sang it, did you think: this is gonna be huge?
MC: No, not even remotely. I was still 4 or 5 years away from being signed as a recording artist. So, the thing I didn't know which was even more important for me at that point in my life was that I had written a song I knew was the beginning of me finding my songwriting voice and that was something I had been working on and hoping to find for 10 to 15 years by that point. I played that song and I knew I wasn't imitating somebody else. I had found something that was authentically my voice. And that I knew was good. The idea of it being a single or a hit or getting on the radio was years away for me.
[Source: https://soundcloud.com/jeff-fischer-7/marc-cohn-wildwood-apr23-sc, retrieved Feb. 8, 2017]

[42] SiriusXM Music, The Highway, The Storme Warren Show - The Voice's Barrett Baber and Marc Cohn, Feb 2016

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

SW: The song has had so many lives. Lonestar has covered it, a bunch of pop acts have covered it. It just keeps popping up and resurfaces. I don't think it ever went away.
MC: That's true. It's been an amazing thing to watch. I almost feel like it's not my song any more. It's been covered in so many ways by so many people, so many incarnations. I mean, I even heard a version a couple of years ago by Paul Anka done as a swing song with a jazz band. It's remarkable.
SW: Cher, John Tash even did a version of the song on the piano. (...)
Storme Warren: How many different explanations of that song have you received over the last quarter of the century?
MC: It's funny. People are usually expecting me to tell them what it's about and I'm always very hesitant to get into any specifics cause for me a good song really only works if you bring your own experience and meaning to it. That said, I don't think it's all that difficult to sort of tease it out.
It's really a step by step travel log of a trip I took to Memphis about 30 years ago now. (…) You want people to be compelled on some level and try to bring their own interpretation to it. For me it's just a song in the end about the transformational power of music. What it can do to change our lives. That's the reason why 25 years later I can still sing that song with conviction and belief, because I still believe that's true. Music has changed my life, it's changing Barrett's life [Barrett Baber of "The Voice" - VP] in this very moment. That's what the song is about. "Do you really feel the way I feel" means How can this music change my life in a meaningful way and how ironic that it became a song that I built a career on.
[Source: https://soundcloud.com/siriusxmmusic/the-storme-warren-show-the-voices-barrett-baber-and-marc-cohn-pt-2, retrieved Feb. 9, 2017]

[43] City Opera House, Ron Jolly Show interviews Grammy award-winner singer song writer Marc Cohn on 9.27.16

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

MC: I play little tapes of Muriel, the lady I met who inspired "Walking in Memphis", so people can hear her voice.
[Source: https://soundcloud.com/user-381331833/ron-jolly-show-interviews-grammy-award-winner-singer-song-writer-marc-cohn, retrieved Feb. 9, 2017]

[44] 'Walking in Memphis' warms up inaugural crowd, Mark Richens , USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee, Jan. 19, 2017

American A set of tunes by The Frontmen of Country at Friday's inaugural Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration opened with a nod to the Bluff City.
The band, comprising the former lead singers of country bands Restless Heart (Larry Stewart), Lonestar (Richie McDonald) and Little Texas (Tim Rushlow), entertained the gathering crowd on the National Mall in Washington with a rendition of Marc Cohn's "Walking in Memphis."
Lonestar's 2003 version of the song peaked at No. 8 on the country charts and even climbed to No. 61 on the Hot 100 singles rankings.
[Source: http://www.commercialappeal.com/story/entertainment/music/2017/01/19/walking-memphis-warms-up-inaugural-crowd/96797108/, retrieved Feb. 10, 2017]

[45] Marc Cohn on facebook concerning 'Walking in Memphis' at inauguration, Jan. 20, 2017

American MC: For those of you who have been asking….I did NOT consent to my song "Walking in Memphis" being performed by Lonestar for President Elect yesterday at the Lincoln Memorial. I can think of better places and times to have it covered. SAD! - Marc Cohn
[Source: https://www.facebook.com/MarcCohn/?fref=ts, retrieved Feb. 10, 2017]

[46] Marc Cohn on Cher

American "Cher helped me put my kids through school" He also told an amazing story about the real circumstances behind "Walking in Memphis" and he said, it bothered him a bit that Cher's version changed the name of the gospel singer from Muriel to Gabriel (since Muriel was a real person, inspiration for the song and a reason for an emotional breakthrough). But on the other hand, he was very, very sweet about it too. He's a great artist with an incredible sense of humor and one of the most intelligent writers I have heard music from.
[Source: Intro to "Walking in Memphis" at a live concert, quoted by "Sunlight" in http://cher.yuku.com/topic/14096/Hilarious-Cher-Reference-in-Walking-in-Memphis-Intro#.WJ42Bn9cjwY, retrieved Feb. 10, 2017]

[47] Interview by Dave Lawrence, Honolulu, Hawaii radio Feb 10, 2017

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

MC: "I went to Memphis because I had read this interview which James Taylor had done where he recommended to songwriters that were stuck for ideas to go someplace they had never been to sort of shake up their sensibilities. One place I had always wanted to go was Memphis. So much of the music I had grown up loving from gospel to Al Green, Ann Peebles, Elvis, Sun Records all of that amazing, magical stuff came out of that one place and so, when I was about 25 I went down there and ended up having … I mean I went there looking for inspiration which is all the more unusual cause usually when you're looking for it you ain't gonna find it. But I did, and I met … I went to hear Al Green preach. I went to this little place called the Hollywood Café which I talk about in the last verse and I met Muriel Wilkins who changed my life. She asked me up on stage to sing. There wasn't one song both of us knew. So she just started feeding me lyrics to old gospels songs. So I was singing "His eye is on the sparrow" and "Nearer my God to thee" and all the big hits from my temple [laughs] I was completely out of my comfort zone, but at the end of singing "Amazing Grace" together she said "Child, I think you can go home and write the songs you are needing to write." Up to that point I felt I had not really found my songwriting voice. I had my singing voice but found my songwriting voice. That to me was the key cause the people I grew up loving were great song writers. I went back home to New York. I wrote that tune and a bunch of others that ended up on that first record in a couple of months. Yes, she changed my life.
DL: Did Muriel really ask you "Tell me, are you a Christian, child?"
MC: No. (…) You would be lucky if you were given a line like that. I was given the experiences and turned them into the song.
(...) In a way that song doesn't even feel like mine any more. It belongs to everybody else and all the people who have covered it. I'm lucky enough to have written something that seems to have resonated for people. It just almost feels like it's not mine which is lovely. One of my kids is doing fine on their own [laughs].
I remember hearing on "Saturday Night Live" years ago, right when that tune came out, my song, James did an old Chuck Berry song called "Memphis" and if I'm not mistaken at the fadeout of the song he started singing a piece of "Walking in Memphis" and I just remember sitting there going What? It was just incredible. I think he is proud and feels a connection.
DL: Bonus CD "Evolution of a Record" - what's that part about?
MC: Those are the original demos of "Walking in Memphis" like from the first time I ever recorded it at a piano like 1984 where you hear the studio fish tank bubbling in the background and then the evolution of adding a band piece by piece until we got into the studio to actually record it. I took a long time to turn that song into a record, cause it stops, it starts, it speeds up, it slows down, there's dead air for a few seconds and (…) It's a weird arrangement, cause I wasn't thinking about a band, when I wrote it. I was just sitting there at my piano.
[Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTHr2rlG5AY, retrieved Feb. 10, 2017]

[48] KSSK 92.3 Hawaii Exclusive: Marc Cohn interview & performance

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

Memphis - Are there other places you're gonna write a song about?
MC: It's a mystery. You don't know. I went there looking for inspiration but I was even surprised by how moved everybody else was by that song cause it was just a personal story of mine. Luckily it resonated that's what you're hoping for: That something is so personal that it's also universal.
MP: Karen, is there some place here that you would be inspired by?
Karen: I think that he should go to Kalihi. [Kalihi is a neighborhood of Honolulu on the island of O'ahu in Hawaii - VP]
Michael W. Perry: Walking in Kalihi.
Karen: You wouldn't have to walk too far. It's a very limited walk. No catfish for you there.
MC: These are inside jokes. I don't know what's going on, but I'm smiling like a good sport.
[Source: http://ksskradio.iheart.com/articles/kssk-features-272732/kssk-exclusive-marc-cohn-interview-performance-15543969/, retrieved Feb. 11, 2017]

[49] Intro to "Walking in Memphis", City Winery, New York, 3/27/2016

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

MC: "She listened to all the tunes I had. Most of the songs that ended up on my first record were written within 10 or 11 months of meeting Muriel. But she said: "You know that one where you mention me in the end? That's the best one you've got." [Laughter] So, even though critics called it an homage to Elvis Presley, when it came out, it's not. I namechecked Elvis and the great Al Green and the pioneering W.C. Handy, father of the blues, but the song would not exist, it would not have been a hit, it could not have been - I could not have been, if it wasn't for the inspiration I found in meeting Muriel Davis Wilkins."
[Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3-1I6q7KaY , retrieved Feb. 12, 2017]

[50] Marc Cohn accepts the GRAMMY for Best New Artist at the 34th GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 25, 1992, in New York.

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

MC: Thank you, thank you very much. I'm totally shocked. You can tell. I've got a piece of paper here. I thought I'd forget some names, cause there's a lot of people that helped get me here tonight, both personally and musically. I'd like to thank Atlantic Records cause they have stood behind me for this year in an amazing sort of way, particularly Doug Morris and Ahmet Ertegun and Tom Germ (?) who believed in this record from the beginning. And I'd like to thank Andry Gannas (?) and Danny Buch and the whole promotion staff that did the most incredible thing beyond making the record which is they got it heard That's an impossibility sometimes and I thank them. And I'd like to thank my manager, Perry Watts-Russell. He's helped to put all the pieces of the puzzle together. I like to thank Peter Koepke who first heard the tape and told everybody at Atlantic maybe they should sign me and they did. To the guy that helped me produce this record, Ben Wisch, who [applause] … yeah , Jon Silverman, a very good friend who was with me from the beginning as well and all the musicians on the record. I guess they don't get enough credit sometimes, particularly John Leventhal, who's an amazing musician, the guy that plays with me on the road, Jeff Pevar, another great musician. Also I'd like to thank a lady - it's a long list, I'm sorry - a lady named Muriel Davis Wilkins, who inspired the song "Walking in Memphis", who isn't with us any more but maybe she hears us tonight. I have to thank my wife, Jennifer: This is our dream come true! and my son Max: I'm gonna wake you up when I get home! Let you know what happened. Thanks a lot!"
[Source: https://www.grammy.com/videos/34th-annual-grammy-awards-best-new-artist, retrieved Feb. 12, 2017]

[50] Marc Cohn nimmt den GRAMMY entgegen als Bester Neuer Künstler bei den 34. GRAMMY Awards am 25. Feb., 1992, in New York.

Deutsch Übersetzung © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

MC: Ich möchte auch noch einer Dame danken - es ist eine lange Liste, tut mir Leid - einer Dame namens Muriel Davis Wilkins, die mich zu dem Song "Walking in Memphis" inspiriert hat, die nicht mehr unter uns ist, aber vielleicht hört sie uns ja heute Abend.
[Quelle: https://www.grammy.com/videos/34th-annual-grammy-awards-best-new-artist, gefunden am 12. Feb., 2017]

[51] Side by side: Two singer/songwriters at Uptown by DAVID KERNS Jul 17, 2013

American On the phone from his home in New York City, Cohn talked at length about “Walking in Memphis,” a song that he acknowledges has changed his life. “It absolutely altered the trajectory of my career,” Cohn said. “I remember hearing Tony Bennett on a TV show introduce ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco’ as his calling card, and that resonated for me. Career-wise, ‘Walking in Memphis’ has been my calling card, and it’s taken me around the world. It’s amazing to me that it’s been embraced by as many people as it has, and continues to be covered and sung by other artists.”
“At the time, I didn’t know how special it was going to be,” he added. “To be honest, it was a very, very difficult song to record. When I wrote it alone at the piano — before I had a band, before I’d been on tour, before I had a record deal — I was just a songwriter trying to come up with something original. And that song doesn’t have a strict tempo. It slows down, it speeds up, it goes to half-time, it actually stops time a couple of times. To figure out a way to keep what made it unusual and put a band on, it was very difficult.
“There was even a point at which I went to Atlantic, my record company, and I said, ‘Listen guys, I can’t figure out a way to put a band on this song. I either have to do it solo acoustic like the demo, just me and the piano, or maybe I shouldn’t put it on the record at all.’ Well, they made it very clear that without that on the record, there were going to be some problems. So John (John Leventhal, Cohn’s producer) and I found a way to make it work with a band. I never knew it was going to be a hit.”
[Source: http://napavalleyregister.com/entertainment/arts-and-theatre/side-by-side-two-singer-songwriters-at-uptown/article_5d187432-ef56-11e2-9117-001a4bcf887a.html, retrieved Feb. 12, 2017]

[52] Intro to "Walking in Memphis", Live at Eddie's Attic, Decatur, GA, 7/9/2014

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

MC: "I found myself a career, a recording contract, a calling card, trip around the world six times probably [laughs] an introduction to all the people that had been my heroes soon became my friends. So this song is a blessing. But before all that happened, there were two things that inspired this song and they are explicitly mentioned (…).
The first is in the bridge where I talk about "Reverend Green be glad to see you when you haven't got a prayer". "Reverend Green" is Al Green, a great soul singer, [cheering] who on a Sunday morning when we were on the road certainly back in the eighties when …and I think up to this point he preaches the gospel on Sunday morning at the Full Gospel Tabernacle Church. That's where all the Jews from Cleveland go [laughter] There I was one Sunday morning watching all the beautiful people walking down the railroad tracks in their Sunday finery to go to their church to hear their minister who just happened to be a legendary soul singer. I was there with three or four of my friends to hear Al Green. We wanted to be there for the preaching but thought it would be an interesting experience. All I can tell you is two to three hours into the service [laughter] the band kept getting stronger, Al Green's voice kept getting stronger and I was sitting there crying, sweat pouring down my face and tears rolling down my eyes and I didn't know why. I cried quite a bit in temple [laughter] but that was pain, exactly and at Al Green's church it was ecstasy. It wasn't a religious transformation but it was a spiritual one for me and a musical powerhouse to sit there and experience and watch the people get the spirit in the aisles and just be part of something I had never been part of before in my life.
And this was only topped by going to this little place, a completely different kind of scene, where nobody knew this woman cause everybody knew Al Green. But then I was in this place called the Hollywood Café where there literally was only Muriel, playing piano, singing gospel music and standards, people eating, a place about this size maybe smaller, people eating catfish and fried pickles. Muriel was up on this little stage playing a terribly out of tune upright piano a Peavey sound system for the vocal. Nobody was really listening except me. I was really in love with this 65-year-old school teacher who had a little tip cup to make some extra money. During her breaks I would talk to her and tell her I was a struggling songwriter looking for some inspiration. She was generous enough at about midnight to invite me up to sing with her. It did not occur to either one of us until I got up there that there wasn't one song we both knew [laughter] (…) But she started feeding me the lines to songs that she thought I could sing or should sing. She found my last name hysterical. She kept calling me "Marc Coin" [or "Corn" - cf. [01] - VP] [laughter] (…) "Nearer my God to Thee" "His eye is on the sparrow" "Touch the hem of his garment" you know just huge Hebrew hits [laughter] I was not in the center of my comfort zone [laughter]. Then we got to "Amazing Grace" and at the end of that tune Muriel just whispered in my ear, said: "Child, you can go home now and write the song. Forget about your past. Today is all you have." Some unbelievable wisdom that literally transported me back to New York City where I started to write the songs I had been waiting to write. Not that they were greatest songs ever but they were authentically me. That's what you're always looking for, right, if something expresses something only you could say. I did that with "Silver Thunderbird" and "True Companion" and "Memphis" and "Strangers in a Car" all these tunes. Then I went back 8 months later, played them for Muriel because she was my muse and I said "I want you to hear these songs you are part of." She listened to them all like a schoolteacher would, there was a big smile on her face, patiently, lovingly, supportive and said "I love them. Great songs. But the one where you mentioned me at the end - that's the best." [laughter and applause] Here is Muriel's (…)
[Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKFstOzPCfo, retrieved Feb. 13, 2017]

[53] Intro to "Walking in Memphis", Marc Cohn Memphis and the story of live, Union Chapel in London, 06/14/2016

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

MC: … find the song. It's not gonna happen. But that wasn't the case this time. There's so much music that came out of Memphis, Tennessee, that I loved when I was growing up. I thought I'd go down there and see what kind of impact the vibes and the mojo find out on me. And it turns out I had my own singular experience and something about it that I wrote in this tune seemed to resonate. It wasn't really Graceland, it wasn't really Elvis, it wasn't really the ribs at the Rendezvous [restaurant in Memphis - VP], it was going to see Al Green, one of my favorite singers of all time. He preached the gospel at his ministry called the Full Gospel Tabernacle Church. Now as beautiful as that is very moving to hear one of my favorite voices preach the gospel. I didn't hear "Love and Happiness" or "Let's Stay Together" or "Tired of Being Alone", but I heard something that I had never heard before, something really deep and unusually moving, surprisingly moving.
That was only topped by going to the Hollywood Café, a place that is right on the border of the Mississippi. I met this woman just like it says in the song, 65-year-old school teacher named Muriel Davis Wilkins. The minute I walked in I was captivated by her smile and her voice, the way she sang, the way she played. During the breaks I would kind of corner her and tell her that I was a musician and songwriter trying to find my voice, my songwriting voice, my singing voice that I had come to Memphis looking for inspiration. She was adorable to me. Finally at the end of the night after she had told me a little bit about her life and I had told her a little bit about mine. She invited me to come up and sing and I did. We talked to each other and realized there wasn't one song in the universe that both of us knew. [laughter] I was a little uncomfortable [laughter] But she just said "Listen, just follow me. I'll do the songs I know and I'll feed you the lyrics." So there I was singing "Nearer my God to thee" and "His Eye is on the Sparrow" "Touch the Hem of his Garment", "How Far am I from Canaan", all the big Jewish hits I knew [laughter] in Cleveland, Ohio. But then we did "Amazing Grace". That one I knew. The place got really quiet. People that were making catfish and fried pickles in the kitchen in the back came out and started singing with us. When we were done singing "Amazing Grace", Muriel just leaned over and whispered in my ear and said: "I think you can go home and write those songs now!" And I did. Unbelievably I did. It's a miracle. You know miracles happen in very unsuspecting ways and if I had one miracle in my life then I (…) I would not sit here.
Joe: How is the head?
MC: The head's fine, thanks. Much better than it was. Even before that I had problems with my head. [laughter] Thank you, Joe. But I went back to the Hollywood Café to play Muriel my new songs cause I wrote like a bandit a month and 8 months later I had most of what ended up years later on my first record, cause I still wasn't a signed artist and Atlantic didn't sign me until 3 or 4 years after I met Muriel. But I went back to play her "Thunderbird" and "True Companion" and some of the songs we've already done tonight and still they do. She listened very patiently like the school teacher that she was. But when it was all done she said: "That song where you mention me in the end - that's the best one you got." [laughter] So this is for all of you I remember how thrilled I was when I came out to England for the first time. My manager at the time was an Englishman from Cambridge named Perry Watts-Russell and I remember going out to visit his mother in the countryside and we went into this little store and BBC was playing "Walking in Memphis" and the two of us just looked at each other and hugged each other. So I dedicate this to all of you because I have fond memories of playing this song in the early days of becoming a public thing. Now it's sort of taken a life of its own. But this is for you and for Muriel.
[Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTkRwj95lkg, retrieved Feb. 13, 2017]

[54] Intro to "Walking in Memphis", Minneapolis Zoo (07/14/2012)

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

MC: "…still to this day people say to me (…) "I thought that was someone else." You mentioned some of the names. After 21 years of playing this song sometimes 2 to 3 times a day I just very sweetly tell the person that thinks that it was a Bruce Springsteen song to fuck off. [laughter and applause] I'm really sweet about it. [Laughter] I'm just very direct. I point out to them: Bruce Springsteen has written hundreds of fabulous songs. I'm a huge fan. Dozens of them have been hits. They're not hits, they're in the sort of rock icon category song. And I just say: "Leave me my fucking song!" [Laughter and applause] (…)
[Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEGiVM1M56A, retrieved Feb. 13, 2017]

[54] Intro zu "Walking in Memphis", Minneapolis Zoo (14.07.2012)

Deutsch Übersetzung von Volker Pöhls

MC: Bis heute sagen Leute immer noch zu mir: "Ich dachte, das sei von jemand anders!". Sie haben einige der Namen erwähnt. Nachdem ich 21 Jahre lang diesen Song manchmal 2 bis 3 mal pro Tag gespielt habe, sage ich dieser Person, die glaubt, dass es ein Bruce Springsteen Song sei, ganz lieb, dass sie sich verpissen soll. [Gelächter und Applaus] Da gehe ich ganz zartfühlend mit um. [Gelächter] Ich bin eben nur sehr direkt. Ich mache ihnen klar: Bruce Springsteen hat Hunderte von tollen Songs geschrieben. Ich bin ein großer Fan von ihm. Dutzende davon sind Hits geworden. Sie sind nicht Hits, sie sind Songs der Kategorie "Rock-Ikonen". Und ich sage nur: "Lasst mir doch meinen einen verdammten Hit!" [Lachen und Applaus] (...)
[Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEGiVM1M56A, gefunden am 13. Feb., 2017]

[55] Intro to "Walking in Memphis", Mountain stage, Charleston, W.Va., 2010/07/06

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

MC: "I was speaking of James Taylor. I was a struggling songwriter and I was looking for a way to break through back in the early eighties, mid-eighties, I happened upon an interview with James and they were asking him what he did when he had writer's block. To sort of break through and get new ideas and he said that he would try to travel to a place he'd never been before and it might sort of shake something up in his sensibilities and may not have been accessible in a familiar environment. So he recommended to any young song writer he said: Take a train, a bus, get a car, throw a guitar or keyboard in the trunk and travel! So I thought: Well, if it's good enough for James, it's certainly good enough for me. I did that. I had this little, not very good keyboard that I took around for a while, and I decided that I was gonna really travel and booked myself some plane flights. The first place I decided I wanted to go because there were so many of my favorite musicians that had recorded there or were born there was Memphis, Tennessee. So I got myself a plane ticket to Memphis. As it turns out it was a very worthwhile trip. [laughter] All the other places that I wanted to go I later got to by touring there because this song really changed my life and has become my calling card for sure. And I'm very proud of it for that reason. Better to have a song you like that everybody knows than when you don't [chuckles]
But this song - aside from the Elvis acknowledgement it's really a tune about the reverend Al Green whose church I went to visit when I was there. An amazing experience. You could actually go there on a Sunday to his church and hear him preach. It's quite remarkable, so remarkable that halfway through the service I was really beginning to wonder if my people, the Jews, hadn't gotten the entire thing completely wrong. [laughter]
And almost more incredible than that was this experience I had at this little place called "The Hollywood Café" with this - it turns out to be sort of a not only my muse but this kind of earthly angel named Muriel Davis Wilkins who was a schoolteacher on the weekdays and was trying to pick up some extra money in her late sixties by playing this place singing gospel tunes and standards on the weekend. I went down there because somebody I knew knew Muriel and thought I would just love to hear her sing. As it turns out she really became a turning point for me. I spoke to her during the breaks. I told her I was a songwriter looking to find my way. She invited me up to sing and I was singing all these tunes I really didn't know like "His eye's on the Sparrow" and "Amazing Grace". We didn't do that stuff in tempo [laughter] should have done it. That meeting with Muriel was really even if this song hadn't happened it still would have been a life-changing experience. The best part was: I had a foresight for once in my life to go back there and play her these tunes as soon as they were written cause literally I met her and a few months later I had almost all the songs for my first record. I wrote "Thunderbird", "True Companion", "Walking in Memphis" and I played them all for her and when I was done, she said "Play that one with me at the end again. That's the best one!" [laughter] Maybe she was right. Anyway, it was strange to hear people call this an Elvis tribute. As much as I love "the king", this tune is for Muriel Davis Wilkins.
[Source: http://www.npr.org/2010/07/06/128334504/marc-cohn-on-mountain-stage, retrieved Feb. 16, 2017]

[56] Intro to "Walking in Memphis", 02.02.2013

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

MC: "A song that really translated what was conveyed was a real sort of feeling of transformation that occurred while I was there. It's amazing it was one of those rare times when I actually found more than what I was looking for. Let me just give you a little background information on the song. It was pretty much a literal description of my trip, cause I went to see Graceland. It was fantastic. The Jungle Room is just a study in interior decorating. [laughter] The things that really moved me there were the things that most people don't go to do in Memphis. So let me just let you know in case you don't.
In this bridge when I talk about "Reverend Green is glad to see you" I'm talking about one of the great singers of all time named Al Green [cheering] in Memphis on a Sunday morning when Al Green isn't on tour you find a place called the "Full Gospel Tabernacle Church" which is his ministry. He's preaching and singing there for hours and hours on end on a Sunday morning and I walked there one morning in the mid-August heat around 1985 I guess and I was lucky enough to catch him on an on week and he was there. Man, I got to say: within an hour or so I had sweat dripping down my face and down my back, tears rolling down my eyes, just moved musically, spiritually, emotionally by the whole experience and actually beginning to feel a bit guilty and wondering if my people, the Jews, had gotten the entire thing completely wrong [laughter] I distinctly remember crying in temple, but it wasn't for the same reason [laughter] you know what I mean. (…) Well, thank you, that's right.
Muriel that I sing about in the last verse of the song also was a real flesh and blood human being, a schoolteacher during the week. I met her when she was about sixty-five. I walked into this little place "The Hollywood Café". There was catfish and fried pickles being served. Muriel was up there at the upright piano. Very bad amplification, terrible sound system. I was immediately struck by her presence, her voice, her smile. I was moved to start talking to her for some reason and during the breaks I told her about my songwriting, the fact that I was looking to make a career for myself in music. She was just as generous and sweet as could be, obviously very patient. By and about midnight she actually asked me to come up and sing with her at this little place. I didn't know what we would possibly sing together, but within a couple of moments I found myself singing along to songs like "Nearer my God to thee", "Touch the hem of his garment", "Amazing Grace", "His Eye's on the Sparrow", we did that a couple of times. Anyway, these were all huge favorites of mine from the Hebrew temple [laughter] Literally she would whisper verses into my ears like catch up and kind of singsong that made sense with me melodically and I just followed her lead. Suffice it to say: This was a transformational moment. I don't know why, can't really explain it except to say that meeting her, singing with her, some of the things she told me. I went back home and I wrote a bunch of songs either they didn't concern me at the time or they weren't hits enough but what I was looking after all those years before this trip was to write songs that felt like they were somehow authentically me and true somehow. I wrote those tunes after meeting Muriel. I am so happy that I went back a few months later to play her lots of the songs that ended up being on my first record. After meeting her I wrote "Silver Thunderbird", "Ghost Train", of course I played her "Memphis" and she listened to all these songs very patiently with a big smile on her face. She finally said when the whole thing was over, she said: "I love all the songs, Marc, I 'm very proud of you. The one you wrote where you mention me at the end is by far the best one you've got." [laughter] "Play that one again!" [laughter] So I did. And I'm playing it ever since. So this is for the late Muriel Davis Wilkins.
[Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCrizuFub6Q&t=280s, retrieved Feb. 17, 2017]

[57] Intro to "Walking in Memphis", Mary Chapin Carpenter & Marc Cohn 2013-07-23 Brownfield, ME, Soundcloud Track 11

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls (I hope you can help me fill in some of the gaps)

[MC sings "Put on my blue suede shoes" and stops] "I have blue suede shoes on. (…) This is the first tour I ever had blue suede shoes. I went shopping with my daughter Sorry to interrupt the song, but I thought I should tell you. My daughter and I went shopping and she found them. (…) Why don't you get those? And she made me. Okay. So this is a song called WiM. I'm a little goofy tonight. It's a combination of my hungry (…) and other stuff. That's what it is.
You guys know the story behind the song, right? [No!] It's too long. You know the story. Shorten it? Not interested. Yeah, YOU can tell! That will be interesting. [applause]
Mary Chapin Carpenter: So, a long time ago, Marc had a lot of songs of his writing, but he felt kind of blocked and that's what happens when you're songwriting. You have episodes of writer's block. One day he was reading an interview with James Taylor. There's lots of methods I suppose that people have (…) how to break writer's block and access those tools that you bring to the process. And James had a suggestion he discussed actually in this interview. Which is: He goes somewhere he's never been. He puts himself in a new place and sort of unlocks or dislodges the long jam and Marc took that advice to heart, followed this good advice which it is and I'd just like to insert this one little part of wisdom which is along the same lines which I think most songwriters feel this way perhaps discover that everything that you ever need to write a song is already inside of you. You just need to find a way and access it. So he thought started finding plane tickets to far off places that he'd never been and (…) a couple of tickets he bought were the best tickets he ever invested in.
MC: You're doing a great job.
MCC: Thank you. And they were tickets to Memphis, Tennessee. He got on a plane and he arrived in Memphis and started going around to different places. (…)
MC: I am glad you mentioned it. The story about (…) it's just a lie. [laughter] But you tell it beautifully. No, it's not. Thank you. Yes it's true. I wish I could get back to that place that I was. (…) It really is just a very verbatim narrative of going to the jungle room, Graceland, going down to Al Green's church called the "Full Gospel Tabernacle Church" it had railroad tracks outside (…) where you go on a Sunday morning when he's not on tour. Al Green is a reverend his congregation and you can sit there 4 or 5 hours which I did listening to him preach, tears rolling down my eyes (…) Jewish kid from Cleveland was so moved. [laughter] cause I cried a lot in temple, but for completely different reasons [laughter] So it was spiritually confusing.
I (...) met Muriel, 67-year-old schoolteacher during the week and then weekends trying to make a little extra money playing in this shack, really called the Hollywood Café, used to be a slave commissary down south. She was up there playing piano 4 or 5 hours a night on the weekends and I started talking to her during the breaks, she asked me to come up and sing (…) when she asked me to sing speaking to each other it never occurred to me that there wasn't a song in the universe that both of us had in common [laughter] so I said (…) I'll try to catch up and she was whispering words into my ear, songs like "His Eye is on the Sparrow", "Nearer my God to Thee", "Touch the Hem of his Garment", "Amazing Grace", all the big Hebrew hits [laughter] and I went back to the Hollywood later a bunch of my new songs she had turned out quite an inspiration this song. The part I haven't been talking about is (…) when I went back to the Hollywood and played her my new songs which she indeed inspired. I played her "Silver Thunderbird" and "True Companion" and "Ghost Train" all these songs on my first record "Walking in Memphis" she said "The one where you mention me at the end [laughter] - that's the best one you've got." [laughter] So as always this is for Muriel. [applause]
[Source: https://soundcloud.com/jeknickfan/11-walking-in-memphis-intro?in=jeknickfan/sets/mary-chapin-carpenter-marc-cohn-2013-07-23-brownfield-me, retrieved Feb. 18, 2017]

[58] Intro to "Walking in Memphis", City Winery NYC, 2 14 2017

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls (I hope someone can help me fill in some of the gaps)

[Recording of Muriel Davis Wilkins] MC: "That's Muriel. [applause] (…) So that's what I heard, when I walked in, when I was about 25 years old. I had yet to find my songwriting voice. I was in Memphis looking for some inspiration. I talked to Muriel during her breaks. I told her this. To make a long story short: By the end of the night she invited me up to sing with her. You know the story already well. I tell you a condensed version. She invited me up on stage. The first problem was: There wasn't one song we both knew, so that was a problem. [laughter] I said: "Muriel, you know "Tupelo Honey" by Van Morrison? She didn't know it. So she started feeding me lines to songs that I didn't know. We were trying to (…) "His Eye's on the Sparrow" was one of them, "Touch the Hem of his Garment", "Nearer My God to Thee", the big Hebrew hits I knew really well [laughter] So I was right in my comfort zone [laughter] Then she did "Amazing Grace" and the place got really quiet, even the guys making the catfish in the back came out from the kitchen. We sang together and when that was done, she said "Child, I think you can go home and write those songs you need to write!" And that's exactly what happened. I wrote most of the songs [applause] that ended up being on my first record, but that was still years away. So I went back about 8 months later. I'm so glad I did, cause Muriel passed away right before the record came out. But she heard it. She just didn't know it did really well. Well, she didn't know it from this dimension. But I invoke her every time I sing the song in the hopes that she's getting it up there. So, I took the song back to play at the Hollywood Cafe. Muriel listened very patiently to all of them, there were about 8 (…). When I finished she said "I love them, child. You know, that one where you mention me in the last verse?" "Yeah" She said "Play that again. I think that's the best one." [Laughter] Muriel Davis Wilkins. (…) So I did play it again. Thanks to Muriel's inspiration and generosity and (…) I've been playing it for 26 years. Thanks to Muriel for that tune."
[Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfYP9r1OUeM, retrieved Feb. 19, 2017]

[59] The Bob Rivers Show, March 21, 2013, Seattle oldies station KJR-FM

American Transcript © 2017 by Volker Pöhls

MC: He [Al Green - VP]looked out at me and my three white friends and said "Would the visitors please rise!" [laughter]
BR: Is there a song we should like better than WiM?
MC: I'm really proud of a song I wrote before my first child was born. It's called "Things We've Handed down". I think that's a really great song. It's been covered a lot and I'm proud of that. It's not a hit but it's a song people of my audience come to hear.
MC: At the end of the song "Walking in Memphis" I talk about "Muriel plays piano every Friday at the Hollywood". Totally true, that was her job on the weekend. She was a schoolteacher. I was there to get some inspiration. That's why I went to Al Green's church, why I went to Graceland, why I went to hear Muriel sing. Although she wasn't famous, she was a great gospel singer. I was talking to her during her breaks telling her that I was a struggling songwriter looking for some inspiration. I hadn't had a record yet, no record deal. She was very generous and sweet and she asked me to come up and sing with her at about midnight in this little place, a person I had never met. This was a little place that served catfish and fried pickles, about a hundred people in the place. When I went up on stage there wasn't one song that Muriel and I both knew. (…) She was spirituals and standards. So the next thing I know I'm trying to catch up with lyrics to songs like "Nearer my God to Thee", "His Eye's on the Sparrow", "Amazing Grace", big Hebrew hits. [laughter] (…) Muriel just basically whispered in my ears, sang all these tunes. She knew about my mom and dad, she knew that I was trying to find some tunes out there to make a career for myself. She said: "Child, go back home, write yourself a record. Let all the pain go." And, you know, I did. It was pretty amazing. It was deeply powerful. I didn't realize I had an album full of material and then got signed to Atlantic Records. (…)
BR: And you stayed friends with her?
MC: Yeah, she was at my first wedding, would have been at my second wedding [laughs] but she passed on.
[Source: http://www.bobrivers.com/index.php/marc-cohn-interviewed-and-performing-live/, retrieved Feb. 26, 2017]

[60] The Writers Round with Marc Cohn, Annie Reuter, April 28, 2016

American "He [James Taylor - VP] gave advice in this article to songwriters who were stuck for ideas. He said, 'Go somewhere you've never been. Get in the car, get on a train, take a guitar, keyboard, whatever, and go some place you've never been,'" Cohn recalls. "He called it a geographic. Do a geographic. His advice was that if you get out of some familiar territory, you might come up with something you wouldn't have thought of if you just stayed at home. Go places. Open up your sensibilities. That's what I did. That's why I went to Memphis. I was following James Taylor's advice. It was great advice."
Cohn admits he would have never written "Walking In Memphis" if he didn't travel to Memphis. Writing the song was a big moment for Cohn. He wasn't signed to a record label at that point, but he knew he turned a corner as far as finding his songwriting voice. As he explains, he felt that there was something about the song that was essentially him as he wasn't imitating anyone else.
"It was a wonderful beginning to my songwriting and artistic journey, no doubt about it," he says of writing "Walking In Memphis" when he was 25 years old. "It has opened up and continues to open up a lot of doors."
Cohn said after traveling to Memphis for the first time in 1985 he knew he had a song. During his trip, he visited Al Green's church and met an inspiring woman named Muriel Davis Wilkins who played piano at The Hollywood. All these experiences made their way into "Walking In Memphis." While he took some poetic license, Cohn says the song is as close to a true travel log as they come.
"In the end, that song is about the transformational power of music itself, which is why over all these years, it's still easy to sing, because that's still true for me," he explains. "It resonates the fact that music is really a healing thing."
[Source: http://www.soundslikenashville.com/music/the-writers-round-with-marc-cohn/, retrieved Feb. 26, 2017]

Link zu den Materialien 60+
Link to the materials 60+

Weitere Links zu Marc Cohns 'Walking in Memphis'
Further Links to Marc Cohn's 'Walking in Memphis'

[901] Lyrics of "Walking in Memphis" American
[902] Deutsche Übersetzung: "Spaziergang durch Memphis" Deutsch
[903] Covers von "Walking in Memphis": fremdsprachige Nachdichtungen, Neudichtungen und Parodien

[904] Artikel zu "Walking in Memphis" in englischer Wikipedia (mit Links zu anderen Sprachen)
[905] Artikel zu "Walking in Memphis" at Songfacts plus comments
[906] Artikel zu "Walking in Memphis" at Songmeanings plus comments
[907] "Walking in Memphis" official video plus comments

[908] Jochen Scheytts Popsongs und ihre Hintergründe
[909] Songology Ep 137 on "Walking in Memphis"
January 2017, Last update Apr 22, 2017
Marc Cohns Songtexte und Übersetzungen ins Deutsche befinden sich auf folgenden Seiten:
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