The tour ended last night with a sold out show in San Sebastian, Spain. Thanks to everyone who came to my gigs over the…

Posted by Otis Gibbs on Saturday, July 1, 2017

Otis Gibbs -Sputnik Monroe (Official Video)

This is the story of how a professional wrestler fought to desegregate a Memphis auditorium. Sputnik Monroe was a "bad guy" or "heel" who wrestled in Memphis in the late 1950s. It was his job to make wrestling fans hate him so much, that they would lay down their hard earned money to see him get beat by the "good guy." He was so good at his job, that thousands of people paid to see him wrestle every Monday night at Ellis Auditorium. When he wasn't wrestling, he was hanging out with his friends in the cafes on Beale Street. Sputnik was one of the few white people that you'd find on Beale Street and his friends were all black. He was often arrested for the crime of being a white person who would dare to drink in public with a black person. This was scandalous at the time. When his day in court arrived, he was the first white person in Memphis to be represented by (his friend) a black lawyer. This was even more scandalous. It became common knowledge among the African American community of Memphis that Sputnik Monroe was alright. When his black friends came to see him wrestle, they were forced to sit in the balcony, while the whites sat in the good seats down below. When Sputnik entered the ring, a huge round of cheers would rain down from the balcony. This would make the white folks hate him even more. Sputnik one day confronted the promoters and told them that he would refuse to wrestle unless they allowed his black friends to sit anywhere they wanted. The promoters realized that Sputnik was making them a ton of money, so they gave in to his demands. This lead to the very first desegregated sporting event in the southern part of the United States. All of that because a professional wrestler was willing to take a principled stand. Imagine what the rest of us might be capable of.I think more people should know about Sputnik Monroe, so I wrote this song. Please share this with anyone who might be interested. I need your help to get the word out.Thanks for giving a damn,-Otis

Posted by Otis Gibbs on Friday, February 3, 2017

This is the story of how a professional wrestler fought to desegregate a Memphis auditorium. Sputnik Monroe was a “bad guy” or “heel” who wrestled in Memphis in the late 1950s. It was his job to make wrestling fans hate him so much, that they would lay down their hard earned money to see him get beat by the “good guy.” He was so good at his job, that thousands of people paid to see him wrestle every Monday night at Ellis Auditorium. When he wasn’t wrestling, he was hanging out with his friends in the cafes on Beale Street. Sputnik was one of the few white people that you’d find on Beale Street and his friends were all black. He was often arrested for the crime of being a white person who would dare to drink in public with a black person. This was scandalous at the time. When his day in court arrived, he was the first white person in Memphis to be represented by (his friend) a black lawyer. This was even more scandalous. It became common knowledge among the African American community of Memphis that Sputnik Monroe was alright. When his black friends came to see him wrestle, they were forced to sit in the balcony, while the whites sat in the good seats down below. When Sputnik entered the ring, a huge round of cheers would rain down from the balcony. This would make the white folks hate him even more. Sputnik one day confronted the promoters and told them that he would refuse to wrestle unless they allowed his black friends to sit anywhere they wanted. The promoters realized that Sputnik was making them a ton of money, so they gave in to his demands. This lead to the very first desegregated sporting event in the southern part of the United States.

All of that because a professional wrestler was willing to take a principled stand. Imagine what the rest of us might be capable of.

I think more people should know about Sputnik Monroe, so I wrote this song. Please share this with anyone who might be interested. I need your help to get the word out.
Thanks for giving a damn,
-Otis

It looks like my Mountain Stage appearance is streaming over at NPR .org. Everyone there treated me wonderfully and were…

Posted by Otis Gibbs on Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The day Ernest T. Bass terrorized Nashville. Howard Morris came to town on Nov. 22, 1986, to celebrate Ernest T. Bass…

Posted by Otis Gibbs on Friday, May 19, 2017

You can listen to Mount Renraw in it’s entirety on the player below. Please help us spread the word by sharing this with your friends and/or including Mount Renraw on your next Spotify playlist.

This is my love letter to the back roads and byways of old, weird America. From my new album, Mount Renraw (released January 13th, 2017). Thank you kindly for sharing this with your friends and helping me get the word out.  -Otis

I visited a slave cemetery earlier this week outside of Wyndale, Virginia. In the center is a massive 500 year old oak…

Posted by Otis Gibbs on Saturday, April 8, 2017