This playlist is a companion to “Sister Cities: Louis Armstrong’s New Orleans and Stax Records’ Memphis” by Preston Lauterbach.
New Orleans and Memphis are sister cities: one high maintenance and fussy, but so seductive; the other warm and friendly, with a razor in her boot. They share a parent, the Mississippi River, and legacies as the two most vital cities in American music history. Somehow beats and guitar licks change as they move downriver from Memphis, or up from New Orleans on the tracks of the Illinois Central. Listen to the flavor of each city in these alternating tracks.