Memphis is set in the places where rock and roll was born in the 1950s: the seedy nightclubs, radio stations and recording studios of the musically-rich Tennessee city. With an original score, it tells the fictional story of DJ Huey Calhoun, a good ole' local boy with a passion for R&B (loosely based on Memphis disc jockey Dewey Phillips, one of the first white DJs to play black music in the 1950s) and Felicia Farrell, an up-and-coming black singer that he meets one fateful night on Beale Street. Despite the objections of their loved ones (Huey's close-minded Mama and Felicia's cautious brother, a club owner), they embark on a dangerous romance as Huey optimistically believes music can transcend race.
Memphis played on Broadway from 2009 thru 2012 with music and lyrics by David Bryan, former keyboard player for Bon Jovi and lyrics and book by Joe DiPietro, playwright and lyricist for the long-running off-Broadway show I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change. Memphis won four 2010 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The musical explores the power of music to break barriers in an era of segregation.