Historic Markers Across Tennessee

The Saturday Night Jamboree

Marker ID: THC 4E 168
Location: 165 Madison Ave, Memphis, TN
County: Shelby
Coordinates: N 35° 8.676    W 090° 3.05
  35.1446    -90.05083333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


The Saturday Night Jamboree


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.

Tennessee Historical Commission.