Watch fullscreen
15 years ago

Floyd Lee WROX Full Moon Lightnin EXTRA

Days before we arrived in Clarksdale, Jimbo Mathus was busy setting up a new recording studio in the old WROX radio station. The WROX building had been boarded up since the early 50's and oddly enough everything looked as it did 50 years ago. Even the old microphones were still sitting in the same spot. In 1947, WROX hired Early Wright as the first black disc jockey in the south. The station featured many famous artists, including Elvis Presley and B.B. King, who would come by to play on the air and give interviews. The legendary blues artist Robert Nighthawk had a show and Ike Turner had his humble beginnings at the station working as a janitor. If there was ever a Mecca for the blues, Clarksdale is hands down the promised land.

The Clarksdale recording session focused on some of the bands favorite classic blues tracks. But the song "Lights Out" was one of the few originals that they recorded that night. I had heard a rough take that Joel played for me over the phone before we left for Mississippi so I was anxious to hear how it would turn out with the lyrics. One thing to keep in mind about this session is that all of the songs recorded that night were unrehearsed…and what makes "Lights Out" even more astounding is that Floyd had never seen this song before. Look carefully and you can see Floyd is glancing down at the floor reading the lyrics. His ability to look at a song and immediately feel the words is something I have never seen nor heard before. It still amazes me to this day the magic that was tapped inside those walls that night and for the lucky few who were there to witness would agree.