“Music, for a community, is sort of a connector,” says Jeremy Tubbs, director of music and entertainment at the University of Memphis Lambuth Campus. “It helps bring people together where relationships can be built. It can happen on various levels, too. For instance, a coffee house with intimate acoustics, a hip-hop club with dancing or an opera house with a higher, sophisticated flavor are doing sort of the same thing. It’s staged differently, but it’s a connecting point.”
Tubbs says Jackson’s musical influences have always been varied. Country music has always been present here, and blues will always be here too. And anywhere the blues go, rock 'n' roll is close to follow.
Then there’s rockabilly, the confluence of them all. Carl Perkins, Jackson’s most famous musical son and dubbed "The King of Rockabilly," wrote and originally performed, Blue Suede Shoes, with which he enjoyed massive success. While that was his own best performing hit, Perkins had several of his songs performed by Elvis, Johnny Cash and The Beatles. Paul McCartney reportedly said if it weren't for Perkins, there would be no Beatles, and in 1998, George Harrison played at Perkins' funeral here, as did Wynonna Judd, Garth Brooks and Ricky Skaggs.