Memphis Music Hall of Fame
Congratulations are certainly in order regarding the formation of the long-overdue Memphis Music Hall of Fame. The nominating committee which undertook the selection of names for initial induction is an impressive and very accomplished lot in their own right. It goes without saying that composing a list of this sort is a daunting task, and the unavoidable exclusion of worthy candidates is sure to invite a certain amount of sniping.
Not one to decline such an invitation, let me say I find it inconceivable that any list of 25 Memphis music notables could possibly exclude an artist whose body of work maintained its excellence throughout a career spanning more than five decades, who successfully recorded for such iconic labels as Sun, Stax, Chess/Checkers, and Malaco, and who is celebrated worldwide as one of the seminal blues artists of his era. Jimmie Vaughan once called him the "greatest blues singer in the world." And did I mention that he actually lived in Memphis?
I am referring to Little Milton Campbell, and it pains me to say that his exclusion from the inaugural class of inductees cannot but diminish the credibility of an otherwise worthy endeavor.
A Good Rant
Seldom do I agree with much in the Flyer, but Randy Haspel's rant against Hostess was very good (The Rant, November 22nd issue). I have spent 30 years working for companies, large and small, in the water purification industry. For most of my career I have been bewildered by the nincompoops who have occupied the highest positions of the corporate structure. Not until coming to Memphis did I ever enjoy working with people, top to bottom, who actually loved and understood the business they were in.
Herein lies the problem with much of corporate America. Too many corporations are run by men who have an affinity only for the simplistic arithmetic of cutting back on expenses to increase profits. It doesn't take an MBA to carry out this overused philosophy, and yet corporations continue to promote such narrow thinking.
Had the CEO of the Hostess corporation been a man who loved cupcakes, and one who loved the heritage of his business, he would have safeguarded every aspect of it, including the workers, finances, trade name, and equipment. The CEO of Hostess, like those of so many other corporations, had a passion only for his ego and pocketbook.
Tea Party Blessing
As the holiday season approaches, we should give thanks to the Tea Party for the blessings it has bestowed on our nation. We should first thank them for forcing Mitt Romney so far to the right during the Republican primaries that his subsequent flip-flops made him appear to lack any core values. We should also thank them for giving the GOP a collection of candidates whose ignorant statements on women and sexuality made it obvious they were unqualified to be in the Senate.
We should thank them for imposing unyielding opposition to immigration reform on the GOP, thereby delivering to Democrats the growing Hispanic voting bloc. And thanks are owed for denigrating gay rights, for ridiculing science and public education, and for turning the Republican Party into a club of old white people, assuring that most of the college-educated electorate and most of those under 30 voted Democrat. And also for opposing a woman's right to control her own body, giving President Obama a large margin among women. For Democrats, the Tea Party is truly the gift that keeps on giving. Thank you. And please, keep it up.
Many thanks for your heartfelt tribute to our beloved patriarch, Bernard J. Lansky, in last week's Memphis Flyer. We are deeply saddened by our loss, but most importantly, we are proud of the legacy he created in Memphis. We promise to continue his love of fashion and setting trends in downtown Memphis through the stores Bernard created inside the Lobby of the Peabody. We are appreciative of the outpouring of support we've received from our friends all over the world during this difficult time.
Hal and Julie Lansky