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Robert Gordon

Robert Gordon

Robert Gordon is the author of several books and documentary films. His books include Can’t Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters and It Came From Memphis, as well as two books about Elvis produced in co-operation with Elvis’ estate. He produced and directed the Grammy-nominated documentary Muddy Waters Can’t Be Satisfied, was Writer and Associate Producer on The Road to Memphis, an episode of the Martin Scorsese blues series, and directed music videos that have aired on MTV, BET, and CMT.

Most recently, Gordon has produced and directed Shakespeare Was A Big George Jones Fan: Cowboy Jack Clement’s Home Movies, and also produced and redacted William Eggleston’s Stranded In Canton. He is curator for the Barbican Centre’s It Came From Memphis festival, April 2005 in London. He produced the Al Green box set Anthology, for which his liner notes were Grammy-nominated. He has written for major music magazines in the US and UK, contributed to several anthologies including The Best of Rock Writing 2002, and managed, for nearly two decades, to avoid jobs that would have him in rush hour traffic. He lives in Memphis, Tennessee with his wife and two daughters.

33 articles

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List of articles in the library by date

The Memphis Horns: All The Way From Memphis

Interview by Robert Gordon, Music & Sound Output, December 1988

The Memphis Horns Celebrate 25 Years ...

The Pixies: Bossanova (Elektra)

Review by Robert Gordon, Spin, November 1990

POP AND NOISE no longer collide for the Pixies; on the new album, Bossanova, they mutate into new beasts. The feedback and vocal frenzy of ...

Little Richard Comes Home

Report and Interview by Robert Gordon, Musician, December 1990

WHO Little Richard WHERE Macon, Georgia WHEN September 23, 1990 ...

Robert Johnson: The Devil's Work: The plundering of Robert Johnson

Special Feature by Robert Gordon, LA Weekly, 4 July 1991

THE SUN did not shine but it was hot as hell the day a memorial stone was unveiled for bluesman Robert Johnson near a country ...

Hole: Pretty on the Inside (Caroline)

Review by Robert Gordon, Spin, October 1991

THE WEATHERVANE continues turning, from R.E.M. to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and now, perhaps, to Sonic Youth. Coproduced by SY's Kim Gordon and Don ...

Cypress Hill, Funkytown Pros: Cypress Hill: Cypress Hill (Ruff House/Columbia); Funkytown Pros: Reachin' a Level of Assassination (4th & Broadway/Island)

Review by Robert Gordon, LA Weekly, 24 October 1991

Beyond the Bullet: Two L.A. rap records go outside the 'hood ...

Charlie Feathers: He Forgot To Remember To Forget

Interview by Robert Gordon, Q, November 1991

THE REBEL INN is on Highway 78, once a major thoroughfare linking Mississippi cottonland to the delta's big city of Memphis. The old motel's neon ...

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown: Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown

Interview by Robert Gordon, Creem, 1992

"I STARTED OUT in boogie woogie, went from there into big band jazz and I've just kept stepping on and on," says Gatemouth Brown. He's ...

Michelle Shocked's Americana

Interview by Robert Gordon, Creem, 1992

IT'S BEEN more than five years since Michelle Shocked became an international star by sitting around a Texas campfire and singing her songs into a ...

Ray Charles: Rapping with Ray Charles

Interview by Robert Gordon, Interview, 1992

IN THE 1950s, Frank Sinatra tagged Ray Charles "Genius," an appropriate nickname for one of American music's most innovative figures. Charles brought a sophistication to ...

Big Star: Big Star Live

Sleeve and programme notes by Robert Gordon, Rykodisc, February 1992

WINDING DOWN a recent set, Alex Chilton asked, "Anything else anyone needs done for them?" That menacing kindness goes a long way toward explaining the ...

Ray Charles: Charles The First

Interview by Robert Gordon, Q, March 1992

Ray Charles did soul music a big favour one day: he invented it. In 1992, the blind maestro they call "The Genius" is still going ...

Ice Cube: Crime & Punishment

Interview by Robert Gordon, Creem, March 1992

Robert Gordon takes on Ice Cube over racism, sexism, homophobia and society ...

James Carr: The Lost Voice Of Soul

Report and Interview by Robert Gordon, Q, October 1992

WHEN IT WAS BUILT IN THE 1950s, Memphis's Mid South Building was probably stylish and sleek. Today, the blocky turquoise exterior pales next to the ...

James Carr: At the Dark End of the Soul

Profile and Interview by Robert Gordon, LA Weekly, May 1993

THE WALLS OF the office are mostly bare, the blue carpeting subdued. The fax machine in the corner seems like an anachronism. Only the large ...

Curtis Mayfield: The Original Superfly Guy

Interview by Robert Gordon, Q, July 1993

Curtis Mayfield is a full-scale genius. First with the Impressions, and afterwards with his solo stuff, he defined, then redefined, the sound of black America. ...

Billy Lee Riley: Blue Collar Blues

Sleeve and programme notes by Robert Gordon, Hightone album, 1994

BILLY LEE RILEY would be a multi-instrumentalist even if he didn't play guitar, harmonica, and bass. That voice. Those voices. ...

Alex Chilton, Jim Dickinson: Jim Dickinson: Earth Father

Retrospective and Interview by Robert Gordon, MOJO, October 1994

Backwoods, Mississippi. Home to Jim Dickinson, the revered producer and professional redneck whose work spans the story of Southern music from Sun Records to Big ...

Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd: The South Rises Again: The Improbable Return of Redneck Rock

Overview by Robert Gordon, Creem, 1995

Robert Gordon on Capricorn Records and the Southern Rock Revival ...

Dan Penn: Once More With Feeling

Interview by Robert Gordon, MOJO, March 1995

Otis. Janis. Aretha. Gram. Each cut classic songs by the hallowed Dan Penn. Coaxed out of retirement, he recorded last year’s universally acclaimed Do Right ...

Sonic Youth Go Guitar Crazy On Lucky 13th Release

Report and Interview by Robert Gordon, Rolling Stone, 13 July 1995

WHAT'S A nice downtown New York band like Sonic Youth doing in Memphis, Tenn.? Recording their next art-damage album, of course, and immersing themselves in ...

The Grifters, Pavement, Sonic Youth: Memphis Sound Machine: Easley Recording

Interview by Robert Gordon, Spin, December 1995

Bands from Sonic Youth to Pavement have turned Easley Recording into the new lo-fi capital. ...

Elvis Presley: Sweet Movements Of A Hillbilly Hellion

Essay by Robert Gordon, Cleveland Ballet Company (official program), 1996

THERE ARE CINDER block joints you can still go to in Memphis, wooden shacks in Mississippi, places that are out of the way and not ...

Jerry Lee Lewis: New Daisy Theater, Memphis

Live Review by Robert Gordon, MOJO, December 1996

JERRY LEE LEWIS turned 61 and his seventh wife, Kerrie, threw him a party on Beale Street in his adopted hometown of Memphis. But Beale ...

Al Green: Anthology

Sleeve and programme notes by Robert Gordon, Hi Records, 1997

Al Green's voice is a beautiful musical instrument. Al Green's singing can create pictures, can loll in clover and tease birds. That man can sing ...

Townes Van Zandt 1944-1997

Obituary by Robert Gordon, MOJO, March 1997

AT TOWNES VAN ZANDT’S FUNERAL, HIS longtime friend and fellow songwriter Guy Clark stepped to the microphone and, adjusting a guitar around his neck, said, ...

Junior Wells 1994-1998

Obituary by Robert Gordon, Rolling Stone, 5 March 1998

JUNIOR WELLS, one of the greatest harmonica players in blues history, died of lymphatic cancer on January 15th in Chicago. He was 63. ...

Bobby "Blue" Bland: Love Throat: Bobby "Blue" Bland

Interview by Robert Gordon, Rolling Stone, 28 May 1998

BOBBY BLAND'S people seat me at a table, make sure I'm comfortable. An effective entrance demands the proper set-up. ...

Little Walter, Dave Myers, Junior Wells: Dave Myers: They Used To Call Me The Thumper Because I Played So Hard

Interview by Robert Gordon, Oxford American, July 1998

THE FINGER-POPPING, head-bobbing joie de vivre that Dave Myers exudes all over his new CD is not readily apparent when I call him up to ...

Little Milton: Welcome to Little Milton (Malaco)

Review and Interview by Robert Gordon, MOJO, December 1999

Legendary blues and soul artist steps out with younger talent on his 13th album for Malaco ...

Jerry Lee Lewis: Natural Born Killer: Jerry Lee Lewis

Profile by Robert Gordon, Playboy, February 2005

IT'S A DECEMBER NIGHT and despite the chill, Jerry Lee Lewis wears flip flops, green and blue plaid pajama bottoms, and a loose nylon jacket ...

Bert Berns: Hit Man: Joel Selvin's Here Comes the Night

Book Review by Robert Gordon, The New York Times Book Review, 30 May 2014

BERT BERNS the producer is the Phil Spector you've never heard of. Bert Berns the songwriter is the Leiber and Stoller you've never heard of. ...

Tav Falco's Panther Burns: Tav Falco

Book Excerpt by Robert Gordon, 'Memphis Rent Party' (Bloomsbury), June 2018

TAV LOOKED at me and said, "Our show was great. We cleared the room." A pal of mine was at the smallish San Francisco club ...

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