On this site during 1953 and 1954, the Goodwyn
Institute Building Auditorium was home to "The
Saturday Night Jamboree" a live country music
show that debuted a group of unknown artists
who later made music history. Among the artists
who appeared were Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash,
Johnny and Dorsey Burnett, Barbara Pittman.
Eddie Bond, Charlie Feathers. Larry Manuel
Lloyd (Arnold) McCollough, Bud Deckelman, and
Harmonica Frank Floyd.
Joe Manuel, a popular country music star of that
era, founded the show with his business partner
M. E. Ellis. As audiences grew, radio station
KWEM, with studios in Memphis and in West
Memphis, Arkansas, broadcast the show. Backstage
in the dressing rooms. the musicians experimented
with new sounds, mixing fast country, gospel,
blues, and boogie - woogie. Their performances
on the Jamboree stage of this new type of music,
later called "rockabilly," may have been the first
public renditions of the genre.