5. Memphis (Chuck Berry, Arc Music Corp./Isalee Music Publ. Co., BMI)

Chuck Berry is one of my all-time favorite song writers. This tune, one of his very best,was a hit for both Chuck in the 50’s and Johnny Rivers in the 60’s. Although there are exceptions (Johnny B. Goode, arguably his most recognized song, is one), his songs focus on moments of high emotion. Examine this song, “Nadine,” “Maybelline,” “No Particular Place to Go,” “Sweet Little Sixteen,” “Promised Land,” and so many others. They are written in the present tense which makes them immediate and intense. If you love Rock and Roll, its hard to choose a favorite, but “Memphis” sticks out because of the delightful plot misdirection. By the way, my daughter Raina Rose is singing harmony. At the time of this recording she’s not six, she’s seventeen.

Mo Mack: voice and rhythm guitar; Lewis Ross: keyboards, mandolins, and slide guitar; Carlton Jackson: drums; Chuck Jacobs: bass; Raina Rose: harmony