Beer-Drinking Goats at Silky O’Sullivan’s

July 16, 2017

In this episode of Memphis Type History: The Podcast, Rebecca tells Caitlin why there are goats on Beale Street and how they've been known to drink beer. Silky O'Sullivan's features dueling pianos and an outdoor patio with two wonderful female goats.

Joellyn Sullivan joins on this episode to tell us the story of this famous Beale Street Irish pub. Her late husband Thomas Daniel Sullivan, got the nickname "Silky's" from a racehorse. He used the name when he first opened a bar on Overton Square... and then added an "O" to the Beale Street location in Irish naming tradition because it was the "son of" his first bar! It was one of the first places opened when Beale Street was getting revitalized.

Joellyn tells us where the goats actually came from... which involves a famous Irish festival with a goat king and everything. But the journey to have these fun drinking partners on Beale was full of the best kind of Memphis drama like goat switcheroos and a Peabody ducks appearance...

We learn about Maynard the one-horned goat that brought the Grizzlies good luck. Joellyn shares the secret of how Memphis barbecue got to Ireland, Estonia, Sweden, Bangkok, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Cuba (we're sure they're all extremely thankful).

Our very heartfelt thanks goes out to Joellyn Sullivan for making this episode possible.

Lastly, if you think you know what's inside a Diver, let us know! You can contribute to our Diver fund at

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Get to Know Us: Q&A with Caitlin and Rebecca

July 9, 2017

In this episode, Caitlin and Rebecca ask each other questions about all sorts of random stuff. We learn how we got to Memphis and how one of us ended up in Shanghai. You'll find out what our alternate careers might be and who Rebecca would want as her first guest if she had a talk show. 

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The Truth Behind Voodoo Village

July 2, 2017

In this episode of Memphis Type History: The Podcast, Caitlin tells Rebecca the truth (or as much as she can uncover) about one of Memphis' most famous "haunted" locations: Voodoo Village. Voodoo Village has truly become its own urban legend. So in this episode, they hope to dispel some of the rumor and lore and tell you what exactly is behind those locked gates.

There are many stories of people having spooky encounters at Voodoo Village. But the reality behind this family compound filled with strange buildings and unusual art is actually more fascinating to us than the legend of it all.

First, let’s set the record straight on what Voodoo Village is. The actual name for the place is St. Paul's Holiness Temple. Washington "Doc" Harris, a self-ordained Baptist minister from central Mississippi, built the temple there and lived on the land with his family. The colorfully painted shotgun houses are surrounded by roughly 1,500 pieces of mysterious sculptures and surreal machines made out of painted wood.

We discuss the misunderstood relationship between the temple and voodoo, how a lot of what goes on in the compound is typical of African American vernacular worship in the Deep South, and how masonic symbols play their own interesting role in the story. We wrap up with how you might have interacted with a resident of Voodoo Village without even realizing it!

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Mid-Century Architecture in Memphis with Aften Locken

June 25, 2017

In this episode of Memphis Type History: The Podcast, Caitlin talks to Aften Locken, the face behind one of her favorite Memphis Instagram feeds – @midcenturymemphis.

Aften takes us back to the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s – very important in understanding mid-century modern architecture. Then, she schools us on how to recognize key aspects of these structures… Here’s a hint: Does it look like it’s from The Jetsons? It’s probably mid-mod!

Some of her favorites in Memphis from each decade include many of our favorite barbecue joints, the Lorraine Motel, the Memphis College of Art, the Memphis airport, the Cossitt Library, Regions Bank on Lamar Ave, and Visible Music College in downtown Memphis.

Aften also regales us with a story of jukebox distributors Sammons-Pennington located at 440 Madison Avenue (now home to Holiday Flowers’ events location).

Finally, we wrap up with tips for becoming architectural explorers in Memphis. The full “Day of Mid-Mod in Memphis” itinerary can be found on Patreon at (become a patron for access!)

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Buried in Elmwood

June 18, 2017

In this episode of Memphis Type History: The Podcast, we both tell each other a few select stories about being buried in Elmwood Cemetery. First, we learn that Elmwood is the oldest nonprofit in Tennessee. Then Rebecca shares how the cemetery got its name even though it didn't have any elms. I school you on the history of mourning (Queen Victoria is involved) and why Elmwood feels like a beautiful park where you want to spend time. Finally, hear about some people (and one surprising non-person) buried in Elmwood cemetery.

The Civil War doubled the size of Elmwood Cemetery. The six cases of Yellow Fever that occurred in Memphis required mass burials in Elmwood. The 1878 epidemic was the worst one with 17,000 people contracting the disease... and overall the entire sickness led to the creation of the No Man's Land monument.

Rebecca tells the story of the cemetery superintendent's daughter, Gracie, who became know as the Graveyard Girl. But she waits until the end of the episode to tell us all about Rufus the Dog... I dig right in (get it?) with the story of Annie Cook, aka the Madame with a Heart of Gold, aka the Mary Magdalene of Memphis. The upscale bordello owner figures prominently in the Elmwood story and, of course, has everything to do with the Yellow Fever (as does most of Memphis history, it seems).

Finally, we wrap up with an Elvis connection and that story Rebecca's been dangling in front of our ears for the entire show.

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Barboro Alley and Sam Cooper Boulevard

June 11, 2017

In this episode of Memphis Type History: The Podcast, I tell Rebecca all about one of my favorite alleys of Downtown Memphis. Rebecca then tells me the history behind Sam Cooper Boulevard.

Barboro Alley is a charming alleyway with a long history that includes undertakers, groceries, ice, and (like most things in Memphis) the Yellow Fever epidemic.

Rebecca then shares some fun facts about Cooper Street, which has nothing to do with Sam Cooper Boulevard.

Sam Cooper Boulevard’s namesake was an integral part of Memphis history. We discuss everything Sam Cooper did to progress projects in Memphis like St. Jude and more.

Finally, Rebecca wraps up the show with some useful information about a guy who has nothing to do with Memphis, signs, or typography.

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WHER: Memphis’ First All-Girl Radio Station

June 11, 2017

In this episode of Memphis Type History: The Podcast, I tell Rebecca all about Memphis' first all-girl radio station, WHER. Started by Sam Phillips in 1955, WHER featured women at all levels of making radio happen, from ad sales to management and, of course, the jockettes.

There were a lot of radio stations in Memphis at this time, so Phillips put a twist on his and hired all women! We're sure he was inspired tons by his wife, Becky Phillips, who had the best radio voice he'd ever heard. Kemmons Wilson also went in on the endeavor with money and rooms at the Holiday Inn to house the station.

The décor was ultra pastel and feminine... truly something to behold! And so were many of the on-air talent. We talk about Janie Joplin, Bettye Berger, Donna Bartlett, Marge Thrasher, Dean "The Hat" Duvall, and Dotty Abbot (aka Dolly Holiday).

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Welcome to Memphis Type History: The Podcast

June 5, 2017

In this first ever episode of Memphis Type History: The Podcast, Rebecca and I welcome YOU, dear listeners. We discuss why we're crazy enough to make a podcast, the untold story of how the dancing lady came into our lives, and what to expect from us each week.

Memphis Type History: The Podcast will feature weekly episodes of bite-sized history and the occasional guest appearance by someone interesting. We hope you'll consider supporting our project with your dollar bills on Patreon ( We will send you goodies and good vibes in return.

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