R.I.P. Pop Tunes sign in Memphis

September 26, 2006

Today comes the sad news that the black sign that for decades heralded Summer Avenue’s Pop Tunes will be painted over and transformed into a sign for the store that now occupies the old Pop Tunes space.

Pop Tunes, then Popular Tunes, was the record store where the young Elvis Presley, at that time a resident of nearby Lauderdale Courts public housing, would listen to and occasionally buy records. You can see a photo of Elvis in 1958 here: Cats Music – ELVIS . The store claimed to be the first place to sell Elvis records.

Pop Tunes closed several years ago, but survives on the web as Cat’s Music. The site is here: Cats Music – Home

In its day, the 40-foot tall sign, designed to look like a 45-rpm record, had neon lights around it that made the record look like it was rotating. Too bad this roadside attraction didn’t make it to a museum or Beale Street or even Graceland.

Memphis Commercial Appeal – Memphis’ Source for News and Information: Local


"Real Daughters” of Civil War Union veterans

September 26, 2006

Fred Brown of the Knoxville News Sentinel writes today about the vanishing number of people who were fathered by Civil War veterans. An organization called the Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War claims that 26 women are still alive who are direct descendants of the boys in blue. (You can see the Daughters’ website here: http://www.duvcw.org/) Four of the Daughters live in East Tennessee.

Other daughters exist, apparently, but they are not members of the group–
Perhaps that is why the card-carrying members are dubbed “Real Daughters.”

Civil War veterans, it seems, sired children far beyond the years when most men experience fatherhood. Take, for example, the woman featured in Brown’s article, Minnie Malicote. She is 98, which means she was born in 1908. The article says her father died at age 90 in 1936, which makes him 62 when she was born. There was no mention in the article of Mrs. Malicote’s mother, or how old she was when Minnie was born.

Veterans of the Civil War received pensions, which could be passed on to their wives. In poverty-ridden times and places, those pensions no doubt caused some young women to marry bewhiskered veterans. The last known Civil War widow was Gertrude Janeway, who died in January, 2003 in Blaine, Tennessee. She married her husband in 1927, when she was 18 and he was 81.

While the dwindling number of daughters, real or otherwise, certainly should be honored, my heart goes out to their mothers, those young women who, for whatever reason, married those old coots and bore their children.

Not all of the victims of war suffer on battlefields.

KnoxNews: Columnists