Sam Steinig, lead singer and organist for Mount Airy garage soul band the GTVs, was riding the train to the city, casually talking to Scott Galper, someone he’d known from his neighborhood’s babysitting co-op. He’d mentioned his band at the time, Mondo Topless, was on Get Hip Records. And much to their surprise Galper, drummer of The Heretics, was on Get Hip as well.
“What are the odds,” Steinig says with wide eyes, “That the guy that lives two blocks away from me, is in the same babysitting co-op – I mean, I babysat his daughter! – played in a band on the same label just before my last band got on it.”
After Mondo Topless parted ways in 2011, Steinig told Galper he wanted to form a new band. Fast forward two years, and The GTV’s about to release their first LP, Sh’Bang!, on Italy’s Teen Sound Records. But how they got connected to the label, which specializes in garage, psych, mod and powerpop bands, is even more surprising.
All week on World Cafe with David Dye, the Sense of Place series is exploring the city of Memphis and its musical heritage. Today, we set the scene with David’s Top Five Recording Studios. You can listen to the Sense of Place series on WXPN at 2 p.m. Monday through Friday all this week, or at 7 p.m. on XPN2: Singer-Songwriter Radio.
The history of Memphis music is in the walls of five studios that were there at the beginning of rock and soul music. Four of them are still there at their original addresses. You can tour two of them, Stax and Sun. Three of them are working studios: Sun, Ardent and Royal where contemporary artists still record. Alas one (American) is a parking lot. But pay a visit anyway. Continue reading →