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“Press/Play: A Celebration of John Fry and John Hampton”  

Featuring:  Big Star, The Gin Blossoms, Tora Tora and special guests

Wednesday, April 22, 6:30pm

Rain Date: April 23 at 6:30pm


The surviving members of Big Star, the Gin Blossoms and Tora Tora are among the acts set to headline a tribute concert dedicated to Ardent Studios founder John Fry and Grammy-winning engineer/producer John Hampton.

Fry and Hampton — bedrocks of Ardent and the Memphis recording community for several decades — died within a week of each other in December.

Memphis International Records head David Less is producing the show — dubbed “Press/Play: A Celebration of John Fry and John Hampton” — which is set for 6:30 p.m. April 22 at the Levitt Shellat Overton Park (the rain date is April 23). The concert is free.

Fry, who was the guiding light behind Big Star, will be honored by the band’s founding member Jody Stephens, latter-day members Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow and various guests, including guitaristSteve Selvidge. Hampton worked closely with Tora Tora and produced several albums for the Gin Blossoms including their 1992 multiplatinum breakthrough, New Miserable Experience.

Organizers had wanted to stage a concert sooner, but given the winter weather decided to hold off until spring. The Fry/Hampton tribute will be a stand-alone event that precedes the Levitt Shell’s annual concert series.

By Bob Mehr, The Commercial Appeal, March 10, 2015

With Special Thanks:

Fred and Diane Smith

Knox Phillips

Lawrence "Boo" Mitchell

Susan Murmann

Ward and Linda Archer

William, Tommie and Kelli Dunavant

Pitt and Barbara Hyde

The Recording Academy - Memphis Charitable Foundation

Rendezvous Restaurant

Earlier Event: April 5
Easter Sunrise Service