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Larry Sepulvado: Music

Why Paint Memphis Blue?

writer: Larry Sepulvado

I can't write very well when I'm depressed but I was depressed when I wrote this song. It took me 4 years & continuous prodding by Nashville songwriter & song critiquer Barbara Cloyd before I was satisfied with the lyrics.

When I was laying the rhythm track down with Delbert McClinton's band it wasn't going well at first. We stopped & I said, "How about we think Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham, Reggie Young, & James Carr's original version of "The Dark End Of The Street". They got it in one take! 

Lloyd Maines (father of Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks) played some exquisite steel guitar by my measure! And what can I say about The Hanshaws backup vocals & Kelly Hanshaw's closing harmony?!!


From hello to goodbye, to nothin' left to say

Bet your new love lights up your nights out in L.A.

But it's midnight in Memphis & I'm more than missin' you

I'd go out and paint the town but why paint Memphis blue?


From sunrise to sunset, I lay staring at the walls

Hanging on to the telephone knowin' you'll never call

And why get up when the sun goes down why spread the news

I'd go out and paint the town but why paint Memphis blue?


Remember that night we caught Delbert live

You danced across the tables while I nearly died

Now I may stumble down Beale Street past Lonely Avenue

But I can't hear the music if I can't dance with you


Sooner or later, I'll get out and around

Chase down a new love like some new kid in town

But all the women I'd been through pointed me straight to you

So why go out and paint the town, why paint Memphis blue?

Why go out and paint a town that's already got the blues?

Piano: Kevin McKendree

Bass: Steve Mackey

Drums: Lynn Williams

Guitar: Rob McNelly

Steel Guitar: Lloyd Maines

Backup vocals: The Hanshaws