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So Many Songs Written about Memphis -- Yep, There's a List

The Commercial Appeal's arts writers try to pick the best songs written about Memphis. How well did they do?

Chris Herrington, arts and entertainment editor at the Commercial Appeal, asked his staff to vote on the Top 100 best songs about the city of Memphis.   

This week, the paper reveals the final 20, with the top five announced Friday. But reaching a consensus wasn't easy. Some tunes, like Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Proud Mary" (#82) and the Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Women" (#19) only reference the city in passing, yet are universally known for the Memphis shoutouts. Many other songs, which tell you more about this city than you'll ever need to know, focus on people, neighborhoods, streets and and even the weather.

Herrington says that the writers learned there are two kinds of Memphis tunes -- those written by natives and those penned by tourists. Listen above to hear which iconic "tourist" song got short shrift from the CA's music writers.

Check out the list here, and watch for the final picks. Did they get it right?

Reporting from the gates of Graceland to the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, Christopher has covered Memphis news, arts, culture and politics for more than 20 years in print and on the radio. He is currently WKNO's News Director and Senior Producer at the University of Memphis' Institute for Public Service Reporting. Join his conversations about the Memphis arts scene on the WKNO Culture Desk Facebook page.