Everyone who loves the blues knows Beale Street and the legacy of Memphis, where African-American musicians wove the sorrows of sharecroppers and day laborers into one of the world's great art forms. In the early part of the 1900's, few of the inhabitants were Memphians by birth; they came from the Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, and the country areas of Tennessee, bringing the music of their homelands with them. Usually the compositions of W.C.Handy are regarded as the true music of Memphis music scene, but many kinds of music have been played in the city, most of them rougher and tougher than Handy's. Country blues, jazz, sweet music, the jug bands that played a little bit of everything-each form had its adherents. The musicians worked on the streets, in Handy Park, in Beale Street joints, and at picnics and house-parties given by the wealthy. This recording is a sample of the many musical styles that were evolving in the Memphis area. Most of the titles chosen here include the name of, or are inspired by, the town that is one of America's most enduring musical crossroads.