Track 6 Coming Out of Memphis in the Spring


Recording and Mixing Dates: Recorded February 9, 2016. Mixed February 11, 2016.

 Genesis: Sometime in 2003 or 2004 the phrase “Coming Out of Memphis in the Spring” popped into my head. In retrospect, this should not be surprising, because hundreds, if not thousands, of songwriters have written songs about Memphis. One website states that over 800 songs with the word Memphis in them have been commercially recorded. W. C. Handy, Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, Tom T. Hall, Jesse Winchester, and John Hiatt have written songs with the city in the title, while Johnny Cash and others have referred to Memphis in their songs.

In July 2009 I sat down and tried to write a song using my phrase as the title. I wanted to put together lyrics that were crafted along the lines of songs by Rodney Crowell and Guy Clark. Within a few days I figured out a story about a guy who is pitching a friend a tale about some new invention, musical or otherwise, that he was on the verge of releasing to the world. Who knows if the fellow is legit or simply a con man looking for a mark? I referenced Elvis Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, in the last verse. I had read Peter Guralnick’s two-volume biography of Elvis, which revealed that Parker gave himself the military title and was, all in all, a very seedy character. The listener will have to decide just why the singer wants his friend to assume a similar role.

I had a harder time finding the right music for the lyrics. I came up with a chord progression but changed it in November 2013 when I revised the lyrics. In my mind I could hear the voice of Jesse Winchester singing the tune. I tinkered with a few lines this week before and during the vocal recording session. I am very happy with how it turned out. I send this song out in memory of Jesse Winchester.

Production: bass guitar, drums, electric guitars. I had a blast playing my Fender Telecaster on this tune. It has been a long time since I knocked out an electric guitar solo that I liked.


Coming Out of Memphis in the Spring

I know you’ve heard the rumors

Dismissed them out of hand

You think you’ve got the answers

But I have got the plan

It’ll turn their heads on Beale Street

It’ll set the world on fire

You can come along my friend

If you so desire

You must clear your mind of all these petty things

Cause it’s Coming Out of Memphis in the Spring

I’ve worked on this all winter

It’s just about to gel

I can’t spell out all the details

For only time will tell

Don’t need a fortuneteller

Don’t need to count the stars

I can feel it’s going to happen

I’ve got lightning in a jar

You must let go of all your apron strings

Cause it’s Coming Out of Memphis in the Spring

It’s not Elvis it’s not Handy

I’m not looking to the past

I have got a great idea

That will take me there real fast

Sometimes you see a light bulb

Sometimes you hear a thud

But I finally made my breakthrough

In the Mississippi mud

You must loosen up your tightly wound purse strings

Cause it’s Coming Out of Memphis in the Spring

It’s coming out of Memphis

I’m not talking through my hat

When you see what I’ve come up with

You’ll ask, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

Colonel Parker was a barker

For a string of carny shows

He sure could speak the language

From his head down to his toes

Sometimes he was just puffing

Sometimes he was for real

He might drive them to distraction

But he always closed the deal

You can do for me what he did for the King

Yes, it’s Coming Out of Memphis in the Spring

Coming Out of Memphis

Coming Out of Memphis

Coming Out of Memphis in the Spring

Copyright 2016 Fred Grittner All Rights Reserved


Track 6 Coming Out of Memphis in the Spring

2 thoughts on “Track 6 Coming Out of Memphis in the Spring

  1. Jan Hauenstein says:

    Ah, that´s the one, Fred!! Most excellent. This is a step above the other new ones. Love it. Clever, clever lyrics, fine singing, great tune, and yes, the Telecaster is just right. Pat on the back.


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