by Chris Davis
Memphis has a lot of detractors and their negativity can be contagious. The heartfelt (and hilarious) song I'm linking below is an antidote to all of that.
Forget "New York New York," and "My Kind of Town" ("Chicago, is..."). The greatest love song ever sung about a city has to be Sonny Craver's "Outside of Memphis." In fact, it's really less of a "love song" than a "lets go to bed right now" song, so over the top even the CVB might advise Craver to take things down a notch.
How much does Craver love Memphis? The singer/actor/comedian, who worked for a time as the straight man for the great Dewey "Pigmeat" Markham, loves it so much he says he'd need "homesick pills" even if he had to spend time in a place where it was raining "million dollar bills." He even goes so far as to suggest that what Memphis has is so precious the city should consider some kind of security system:
Outside of Memphis
I find the music lets me down
and the bands ain't got the same thing
and nobody knows how to sing
Hey Memphis, you've got it all
why don't you build a wall
I haven't been able to track down any information about the recording but Craver, who is originally from Columbus, Ohio, toured with various groups for a number of years before settling in Los Angeles. The song was written by New York-based lyricist Bob Hilliard with Lion Warfield who also wrote "Bubbles" from the pop porn film "Deep Throat," which seems to have more of a Memphis history that anybody else involved with the creation of the Craver single.
A much lamer version of "Outside of Memphis" was also released on the same label by Shelley Fisher. I linked it for curiosity seekers, but once you've heard Sonny, there's no going back.