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Pradinis puslapis M The Memphis Horns
The Memphis Horns
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The Memphis Horns

Soul / Blues / Rock

Memphis, Tennessee
United States

About The Memphis Horns The Memphis Horns have made their mark on the history of rock & roll with a heavy dose of soul for 42 years. During this time, they performed with 32 members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and lent their signature sound to 14 Grammy-winning songs, 52 Number Ones and 113 Top Tens. Together and apart they’ve played on 83 Gold and Platinum records (well over 40 million albums sold!).

The Memphis Horns are the quintessential Memphis music combination - Andrew Love, tall, black and as mellow as one of his tenor sax solos; Wayne Jackson, short, white and as intense as one of his trumpet blasts. Together they were reared in all that Memphis music had to offer. Wayne got his start in West Memphis strumming guitar and singing "Ghost Riders in the Sky," in childhood talent shows. Andrew began his career playing "Amazing Grace" in Memphis' Mt. Nebo Baptist Church, where his father, Roy, was pastor. Wayne took up trumpet and trombone in school bands and from there the two future partners' lives moved along parallel lines. Both learned to "follow the dots" during the day, but learned to play music at night, sitting in with bands at dozens of Mid-South nightspots in the 50's.

By the beginning of the 60's, Wayne was playing with a group called the Royal Spades, which quickly changed its name to the Mar-Keys, in honor of the theater marquee outside the converted movie house that was home to the band's record company, Stax. A hit instrumental, "Last Night," landed the Mar-Keys at No. 1, and Wayne toured the country in a group that included such future Memphis legends as Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn, Don Nix and Charlie Freeman.

Meanwhile, Andrew was doing sessions at Hi Records. At Al Jackson's (drummer for Booker T. & the MG's) suggestion, he brought his sax to Stax. Along with a musical home for the rest of the decade, he found a partner for life. Andrew remembers first playing with Wayne: "I loved how our tones blended and so did Wayne. We have a unique sound. We've been together ever since."

Had the duo never played another note after their time at Stax, their place in music history would have been just as secure as Elvis' would have been had he never recorded after leaving Sun. They appeared on virtually every great Stax single, backing Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Carla & Rufas Thomas and a host of others - a Who's Who of Southern Soul.

In 1967, they toured Europe with the Stax-Volt Revue and helped Redding steal the Monterey Pop Festival from the likes of The Who, Jimi Hendrix and other rock acts of the day. For Wayne and Andrew, it was a turning point.

They incorporated in 1969 as The Memphis Horns, offering their services to anyone whose music needed a serious shot of Memphis soul, and the lines began forming. Stephen Stills, Rod Stewart, The Doobie Brothers and hundreds of others have since worked with the men who made up the R&B horn section that provided the model for all others to follow.

"For about ten years, we were making number one records daily," says Wayne. "It would be King Curtis one day, Tony Joe White the next day, Dionne Warwick the next and then Elvis."

And today, internationally known superstars like Sting, U2, Joe Cocker, Lenny Kravitz and the rest fly them to Paris, London or Capri for sessions. If you could copyright a sound, Wayne and Andrew would have closed down the market.

Add to the list: Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Albert King, B.B. King, Jimmy Buffett. Peter Gabriel, Steve Winwood, U2, Al Green, Willie Nelson, Collective Soul, Primal Scream, Isaac Hayes, Beyonce' Knowles, You Am I. The Memphis Horns just don't ever stop!

The list of songs is a long one. Aretha's "Repect." Otis' "Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa." Sam and Dave's "Soul Man." Wilson Pickett's "Midnight Hour." Robert Cray's "Bouncin' Back." Isaac Hayes' "Shaft." U2's "Angel of Harlem." Dusty Springfield's "Sun of a Preacher Man." Al Green's "Tired of Being Alone." Andrew Love and Wayne Jackson have got soul.

Watching them work in the recording studio is like getting a glimpse of angels speaking. Their language transcends ours, two souls in dialogue. They'll be out on the floor, some great track playing in their headphones, and this peculiar discussion begins. It's not verbal, not something an English teacher could walk in and dissect, barely something we mere humans can sense. They look at each other - not even face to face - and Andrew grunts something inaudible through his mouthpiece. Wayne responds with sounds somewhere between thunder and a summer's breeze. The horns start, stop. "Blurt, blurt," says Love. "Urga urga," answers Jackson.

Suddenly the song is a hit. The sax and trumpet unite as one instrument, defining the soul of the tune and translating it into a hook that punches you in the booty. They've found a line - not a big one, not something obvious, not one that steals the show - but a horn line to fill the pocket, to draw out the song's meaning and accent it. What was hinted at in the song is now stated, what sought to emerge now flies free.

Wayne and Andrew's work is almost comedic, like an interpreter at a press conference. A reporter asks the foreign dignitary a question, and a long, complicated sounding answer ensues in another language. He pauses a beat takes a breath. "The dignitary said," he explains, "Yes." 'Nuff said.

Nothing explains The Memphis Horns better than their quarter century of music. They make soul searching danceable, they make the holiness of music fun without making light of it. Lots of musicians lay claim to the title Soul Man, but there is one title which belongs to Wayne and Andrew and to them alone, one whose meaning they have defined and made world-famous:

They are The Memphis Horns.


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