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Songs You Forgot You Loved: Confederate Railroad’s ‘Queen of Memphis’

Confederate Railroad had a ball in several music videos from its 1992 Atlantic Records debut. It would’ve been hard to give Jerry Jeff Walker’s “Trashy Women” the video treatment without being a little over-the-top, and the group applied that same mindset to their trip to the roadhouse for “She Took It Like a Man” and, better yet, a Jerry Glanville encounter in “Queen of Memphis.”

In the latter, the Georgia-based band left backstage passes for Glanville, the renegade head coach of their home state Atlanta Falcons from 1990-’93. Before that, he was the head ball coach for the pre-Titans Houston Oilers. Glanville was trying to impress a Southern girl with his ticket connections, but his VIP experience gets halted by a stubborn member of the venue’s staff.

After Glanville hilariously breaks the fourth wall, the band tears through an energetic live performance of one of its country rock hits. The extended gag ends with singer Danny Shirley confused as to why his coach friend remained outside during the show. After all, the staffer in question had been given Glanville’s pair of tickets. Hopefully, the sucker punch that followed impressed the celebrity guest’s date more than a chance to hear “When You Leave That Way You Can Never Go Back,” “She Never Cried,” “Daddy Never Was the Cadillac Kind” and “Jesus and Mama” from stage left.

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Songwriters Dave Gibson and Kathy Louvin masterfully describe a young boy’s romantic experience with a Memphis queen, accentuated with references to Elvis Presley, “Blue Suede Shoes,” “that old muddy river” and other things a “Georgia mind” associates with the Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

The classic Confederate Railroad lineup of Shirley, Wayne Secrest (bass), Gates Nichols (steel guitar), Chris McDaniel (keyboards), Michael Lamb (electric guitar) and Mark Dufresne (drums)–and a secret weapon in producer and former Muscle Shoals studio musician Barry Beckett–added Southern rock sizzle and the necessary sense of small town wonder to a love song set in the big old city.

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Songs You Forgot You Loved: Confederate Railroad’s ‘Queen of Memphis’