(Memphis, Tennessee) The great Andrew Love of the legendary Memphis Horns has passed this week. Andrew had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s several years ago although this was not divulged to the public. Mr. Love, who was black, and Wayne Jackson, who is white, played together on 52 No. 1 records and 83 gold and platinum records, according to Memphis-based Stax Records. They backed Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Otis Redding, Neil Diamond, Isaac Hayes, the Doobie Brothers, U2, Jack White and Alicia Keys, among other countless other music acts. They appear on thousands of recordings and their sound has become a part of pop culture. The Memphis Horns…that is a household name.
Wayne and Andrew were life-long friends, and to speak with them they were almost unwitting pioneers. They were a portent to a more colorblind mixed race society many years before it would be realized. To one another they were best friends and musical peas in a pod. They were clearly a perfect unit, two damn fine musicians who loved one another as brothers and two souls who so clearly, lovingly illustrated that any strife between races need not be. They were two remarkable big toned horn men who produced a remarkable single sound, a sound which would grace a huge number of the records that touched our lives. As musical heirs of the Memphis and West Memphis club scene’s strong influences, they condensed the horn section into a tight, fat sound. They cut tracks on piles and piles of hit records.
Andrew’s wife, Willie Love, said it best, “He played with such feeling. He played with grace, soul…Andrew played notes from his heart.”
The Horns did all this and had a great time along the way. Andrew Love is a huge chunk of our collective musical experience. His talent, kindness and indomitable spirit will be missed, and he will henceforth be remembered with reverence and admiration. Rest well, Andrew Love, you have given your fellow men so much during your exemplary lifetime.
The Memphis Horns (image courtesy Wayne Jackson collection)
Among their recorded performances, these are quite remarkable:
Dock Of The Bay
Angel of Harlem
Roll With It
Hold On I’m Comin’
Takin’ It To The Streets
Try A Little Tenderness
In The Ghetto
Let’s Stay Together
Born Under A Bad Sign
Son Of A Preacher Man
Land Of 1000 Dances
Knock On Wood
Fundraiser for Skip Pitts, the “Shaft” Guitar Sound
On Monday night, April 23 at the New Daisy Theater on Beale, a benefit will be held for friend and former bandmate Skip Pitts, who is best known for his wah-wah guitar intro on Isaac Hayes hit STAX record, “Shaft.” Skip is a musical icon and a wonderful kind artist and friend. He has been battling cancer for some time.
ALSO, please check out:
Yes, check out Monica Yasher’s interview with the inimitable Rev. Horton Heat. Many years ago, I had the rare and unique pleasure of playing the Jerry Lee Lewis piano on one of his recordings which he cut at SUN Studio at 706 Union Avenue in Memphis. Last week I was back there to play on another track with my friend Matt Ross-Spanger at the helm of the recording console.
Horton Heat is an awesome, eclectic and energized American musical variant who tips his musical hat to the past while still plowing new ground, playing the old against the new and creating more in the process. Monica’s interview is great. Check it out at: