One cannot have everything one wants, in this life.
Among those things: this solid silver julep cup, weighing in at $740. It’s a ridiculous, insane amount to spend on an item with only one conceivable use. And yet, the idea of sipping sweet bourbon from a solid silver goblet a few months from now—possibly under a willow tree, while wearing a cream-colored three-piece suit—is too tempting to dismiss entirely.
Just remember to hold it by the top and bottom rims to keep the drink frosty—a finer point of julep etiquette. And maybe wait until there’s a dip in the price of silver.
In keeping with our day of southern gentility, here’s a newly unearthed snap from the legendary William Eggleston, capturing one of his childhood friends in the throes of childcare in 1970s Memphis. As it turns out, the brass-button blazer really is appropriate everywhere.
If you stopped through Memphis in 1959, you’d be pretty damn close to the musical capital of the world. Roy Orbison, Otis Redding, and some kid named Elvis were doing the best work of their lives within the span of roughly a decade, and mostly within the city limits. Fast-forward 50 years and most of it’s in ruins, with triple the bankruptcy rate of the rest of the country and only a dead man’s mansion to show for it all.
That’s where Mystery Train comes in. Jim Jarmusch’s 1989 triptych takes a deadpan look at the ghosts of Memphis, with a little help from Joe Strummer, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (that’s him in the red suit) and a pair of Japanese hipsters. It’s a love letter to Elvis, sure, but also a clear-eyed look at what he left behind and what you’re likely to find on a pilgrimage to Graceland. And now that it’s got a Criterion edition, it should be getting the revival it deserves. Remember the King?
The music issue of the Oxford American is a pretty reliable source for forgotten gems from the early days of rock ‘n’ roll—not coincidentally, they tend to be southern—and the latest issue digs up a gem from one of our favorite forgotten corners: rockabilly.
The gentleman in question is Larry Donn, a would-be Jerry Lee Lewis figure who cut a few good singles and a few more great ones, but got lost among the cultural upheavals of the 60s, and is resurfacing these days as a cultural curio on the European circuit. Thanks to the magic of mp3s, his early stuff is trickling back into circulation, but the original 45s are among the more valuable rockabilly vinyls on the market. For now, we’ll stick with the digital version.
Southern style has been having a pretty good year, so it’s worth seeing a bit of it in person—or at least in firsthand photos. To that end, Michael Loyd Young trekked through the Mississippi River Delta with camera in hand, guided by a love of blues music and outdoor grills. The result is the aptly named Blues, Booze, & BBQ, coming out in late November from Powerhouse.
We've long been fans of Billy Reid's finely tailored Southern menswear, so naturally we leapt at the chance to visit the designer's new store and headquarters in Florence, Alabama. (He was relocating from Dallas.) As you might expect, the shop—just down the street from both a charming diner called Trowbridge's and a more mysterious outfit called Guns-N-Such—boasts a cozy, relaxed atmosphere with plenty of exposed brick, finely detailed wood shelving, and, of course, a well stocked selection of shirts, trousers, shoes, and suiting. They were working on the shop right up until the opening—happily, you'd never know.
Manhattan can be a hectic place for the brick-and-mortar crowd—in both good and bad ways—but it’s nice to see what a brand does when it has a little more room to breathe.
On the heels of his recent Manhattan shop, our favorite southern tailor Billy Reid has just opened up a Nashville location, and it looks like the extra real estate was put to good use. Like the New York store, most of the furniture here is reclaimed from points south to give the place an anachronistic ambiance. But don't be fooled: the business is entirely modern.
This is Reid’s seventh boutique and, other than the New York, they’re all in the South—from industrial Dallas to Reid’s hometown of Florence, Alabama. And while everyone can probably conjure up images of classic southern style—other than Colonel Sanders, that is—nobody’s been interested in becoming the Great Southern Designer. He has his work cut out for him.
Country music has had a rough time for the past twenty years or so, but once upon a time it was still raw, exciting, and entirely pure. Musicians came together at outdoor music parks, playing for whoever drove by. Regional sounds from Nashville, Tennessee; Bakersfield, California; and Lubbock, Texas mixed together to create a uniquely American sound that changed from state to state.
Some of it got recorded, but the vast majority of the acts were lost forever, aside from a few memories and a few old photographs.
Leon Kagarise recorded more than 4000 hours of it, but he also took more than a few pictures, and he’s put the snaps together into a photo-primer on the style of the time, called Pure Country. Anyone who’s ever looked up to Johnny Cash or George Jones could learn a thing or two from it. These were the original rock stars.