Our "Sense of Place" visit to Memphis, Tenn., moves away from soul music to the place where some of the seminal American power-pop records were created. Ardent Studios is where the Memphis band Big Star made three albums that helped define the genre.
Here, we talk with Jody Stephens, Ardent manager and drummer for Big Star, about recording with his now-deceased bandmates Alex Chilton, Chris Bell and Andy Hummel. Stephens also praises Ardent owner John Fry, who started engineering at 14, for helping to forge Big Star's sound. The group inspired many other bands to record at Ardent, including R.E.M. and The Replacements.