Music » Music Features

Floyd Newman to receive brass note on Beale



This Saturday, November 1st, at 1 p.m., the legendary bandleader, instructor, and saxophonist Floyd Newman will be honored with a Beale Street Brass Note. Newman saw talent in Isaac Hayes, was the first musician to be chosen for B.B. King's band, and was a longtime in-house musician at Stax Records. Now his significant contributions will be forever memorialized with a brass note on the Walk of Fame.

One of Newman's most famous career milestones was the time he spent playing at the renowned Plantation Inn in West Memphis. There he led a band that featured a young Isaac Hayes on keyboards and famed Hi Rhythm Section drummer Howard Grimes. This band was the first time Hayes was offered a professional job as a musician. Soulsville Foundation Communications Director Tim Sampson says that largely because of his time spent at the Plantation Inn, Newman became "very instrumental in helping create what is known as the 'Memphis Sound'."

  • The Bo-Keys

In the time Newman spent at Stax, he was able to play with artists like Otis Redding and Booker T. & the MGs. He was also a founding member of the Mar-Keys, with whom he co-wrote the hit "Last Night." As a composer, he also worked on the song "Frog Stomp," which became a success with his own band and was featured in the films Great Balls of Fire and Wattstax.

Created in 1986, the Beale Street Brass Note program was designed to merge Memphis' rich musical history with its most popular entertainment district. Newman's brass note ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. with speakers, a video presentation from Brenda Berger O'Brien (daughter of the Plantation Inn's owner Morris Berger), and live music. Come out to see a legend get immortalized.

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