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The Stax Museum of American Soul Music sponsored a Soulsville street festival on Saturday 4/28/12 called Stax to the Max, held on the parking lot behind the museum and Stax Music Academy in South Memphis. The event featured a live music stage, as well as kids’ activities, food and vendors’ booths, and got under way about noon with the LeMoyne-Owen College Concert Choir on the main stage. 

Evening on the Square in Oxford, MS

Food, Restaurants

On Friday, 4/27/12, I drove down to Oxford to pay a visit to the new End of All Music record store, and as it was the kickoff evening for the Double Decker Arts Festival, I parked near the square and hung around for awhile. The upstairs balconies that give the festival its name were full of people, as it was a lovely evening outside. Walking into Square Books, I found an interesting book by Elijah Wald about the history of the African-American verbal ritual the Dozens, and then I grabbed a dinner at Soulshine Pizza Factory before heading back to Memphis for my jazz gig at the Westin Hotel. 

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End of All Music is a cool, hip record store on North Lamar Boulevard in Oxford, Mississippi which opened in March. Its rather unusual name is actually taken from rockabilly legend Charlie Feathers’ quote about his friend and mentor Junior Kimbrough, whom Feathers said was “the beginning and end of all music.” Both Feathers and Kimbrough were from Marshall County, just north of Oxford, and the store meets a real need in a community as hip and arty as Oxford. As one might expect, there is plenty of blues, and all of the cool reissues from labels like Numero Group, Big Legal Mess, Fat Possum, Thompkins Square and Mississippi Records, as well as a fair selection of indie rock on CD. But the big prize at End of All Music is vinyl, both new and used. People wanting to make a pilgrimage there from Memphis or elsewhere (for the selection really is better than some big-city stores), should be aware that End of All Music is closed on Sundays and Mondays, and is open the rest of the week from 10AM to 6 PM. Follow them on Twitter @endofallmusic. Like them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-End-of-All-Music/237258039697978. Or you can visit their website at http://theendofallmusic.com/. Enjoy!