The Blues: The Road to Memphis

About performance

Film of the Alternative cinema: Authors' Collections series

USA, 2003

Runtime: 119 min

Director: Richard Pearce

Director Richard Pearce traces the musical odyssey of blues legend B. B. King in a film that pays tribute to the city that gave birth to a new style of blues. Pearce's homage to Memphis features original performances by B. B. King, Bobby Rush, Rosco Gordon and Ike Turner, as well as historical footage of Howlin' Wolf and Rufus Thomas.

Says Pearce: “The Blues is a chance to celebrate one of the last truly indigenous American art forms, before it all but disappears, swallowed whole by the rock and roll generation it spawned. Hopefully we'll get there before it's too late.”

Performances in The Road to Memphis
Fats Domino
Rosco Gordon
B. B. King
Little Milton
Little Richard
Bobby Rush
Ike Turner
Howlin' Wolf
The Coasters

Interviews in The Road to Memphis
Bobby Rush
B. B. King
Rosco Gordon
Rufus Thomas
Calvin Newborn
Hubert Sumlin
Chris Spindel (WDIA program officer)
Don Kern (WDIA Production Manager)
Dr. Louis Cannonball Cantor
Cato Walker III
Little Milton Campbell
Sam Phillips
Ike Turner
Jim Dickinson