MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Stax Museum of American Soul Music will host “The Chaos and the Cosmos: Inside Memphis Music’s Lost Decade, 1977-1986 – Photography by Patricia Rainer” exhibition with a free opening reception happening 6:30-9 p.m. March 9 with a book signing by author Robert Gordon for his new book “Memphis Rent Party.”
The exhibition is longtime Memphis music photographer Patricia Rainer’s first-ever exhibit and spans the musical environment of post-Stax and –Elvis Memphis of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Included in the exhibit are candid and posed images of icons Al Green, Willie Mitchell, Memphis Horns legend Wayne Jackson, Sam Phillips, Jim Dickinson, Furry Lewis and numerous others.
Rainer’s love affair with music began at an early age in Memphis, when she as a young teen in the 1960s, became president of the Memphis Chapter of the Beatles Fan Club and was granted the task of giving the Fab Four a key to the city when they performed here at the Mid-South Coliseum in 1966.
She soon found herself immersed in the cultural epicenters of 1970s Memphis State University (now University of Memphis), Yellow Submarine and Pop Tunes record stores among other local organizations that prompted her to follow photography and videography.
Rainer graduated Memphis State University Cum Laude and by the time she began graduate school in 1975, she began taking photographs, shooting video, and working on recording sessions as a production assistant and engineer in the thick of the Memphis music scene. She meticulously organized her developed negatives and contact sheets but rarely made larger prints for anyone to see.
A collection of her images bear witness to a time when the legacy of Memphis music was uncertain. Beale Street was boarded up; Stax Records had been forced into involuntary bankruptcy; The Peabody Hotel was closed; and city leaders were considering tearing down the Orpheum Theater and Overton Park Shell. Rainer’s photographs capture not only the behind the scenes magic of those times, but also played a role in the process of championing of these sites.
Rainer now lives in Los Angeles where she works with Omnivore Recordings – a leading label for musical re-issues and compilations.
For more information, press images, and interviews with Patricia Rainer, please contact Tim Sampson, 901-261-6324, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow the event on the Stax Museum’s Facebook page.
# # #