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Preston Shannon gets to meet Christina Aguilera and sing the blues

  • Written by Kelvin Cowans


“The Voice” is about to have a down home Memphis sound to it. Memphis blues legend Preston Shannon will be appearing on the show on “Super Bowl Sunday.”

The second season of the hit reality television show “The Voice” is about to have a down home Memphis sound to it. Memphis blues legend Preston Shannon will be appearing on the show on “Super Bowl Sunday.”

 Preston Shannon
 Presston Shannon will get his chance to perform on “The Voice.” (Photo by Shirley Jackson)

The Booker T. Washington High School graduate from the class of 1966, and former B.B. King Bar headliner on Beale St. since 1993, is ready for primetime.

“I’m excited. I haven’t been able to stop smiling since I got back from the auditions in Los Angeles. When they told me that I made it and that I would be on the show the night of the Super Bowl, I really thought that it was something special,” said Shannon.

That is indeed something special. Can you share with us which song you will be singing, I asked.

“Actually I can’t. I signed a contract with them and so I can only say that I will be appearing on the show.”

I understand that, I said. “Could you share with our reader’s  your influences in blues music that really got you wanting to sing the blues?”

“Being raised in Olive Branch, Miss, the influences I had were people like Elmore James,” said Shannon. “In fact, I’m releasing an album where I’m singing most of his song’s as a dedication to him. I actually moved to Memphis around the age of nine and I appreciated many other blues artist as well, but that Elmore James was my favorite.”

I asked whether fans still will be able to catch Shannon doing shows over at B.B. King’s, and I got a surprising answer.

“It’s a funny thing, I had been doing shows over there off and on for almost 20 years, but when I told management that I had made “The Voice,” I returned to find out that my show had been cancelled,” said Shannon.

“I didn’t understand because I had asked them myself did they want me to mention to “The Voice” producers that I perform at B.B. King’s and they said no. I guess they didn’t want the free publicity, which is strange, but that’s OK, I’m moving on. Coca Cola is one of the largest companies in the world but they still advertise.”

So was B.B. King in on that decision, I asked.

“Absolutely not, but this is what happens when you let the wrong people represent your name.”

I nodded my understanding. So, other than “The Voice,” what else do you have going on and coming up?

“Let your readers  know that I have the number one line dance in the world. It’s called “Shuffle, Boogie, Soul.” It’s on the Internet. It was created by a professional choreographer in Florida by the name of Ira Wiseburd. He chose a song I recorded years ago and put the dance to it,” said Shannon.

“This dance came out in August of 2011 and people have been doing that line dance all over the world, from Malaysia, France, Africa to Italy. The name of my song was called “Honky Tonk,” which was off of my album “Midnight in Memphis.”

Shannon noted that the CD was produced by none other than Memphis legend Willie Mitchell. His last CD – “Going Back to Memphis” – was released in 2011 with Continental Records.

“And speaking of Memphis, I was very proud when President Barack Obama came to my old high school on last year and delivered a very profound and articulate speech to Memphis and for those kids. I walked around with my chest out all that week,” said Shannon.

I get the feeling that we will be just as proud of  Mr. Shannon on Super Bowl Night.

(To reach Preston Shannon call Ray Nelson at 901-680-2018.)

(Kelvin Cowans can be reached at (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )



0 #1 Six~Four~ 2012-10-03 16:38
Kelvin Cowans aka Six~Four

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