The Memphis Years

Mitchell graduated from Christian Brothers College (now University) in 1977 with a BS in Mathematics.  He performed around the area with another CBC grad, Joe Oser, for a few years while also teaching guitar at Yarbrough's Pickin' Post (now Memphis Audio).  He left for one year to study math and computer science as a Graduate Teaching Fellow at The George Washington University, but left after one year to return to Memphis in order to continue study with Fusco.  (He ultimately earned the M.S. in Operations Research from Georgia Tech in 1993.)

 

Before leaving Memphis for good in 1990, he performed regularly at Playhouse On The Square as a musician for many musical productions, and sometimes as an actor (very minor roles).  He also had the role of Horace Bixby, who taught a young Sam Clemens to pilot a steamboat, in the world premiere of the musical adaptation of Life On The Mississippi in 1982. In 1985 Mitchell was chosen to serve two years as the first Artist in Residence for the town of Germantown, TN. From 1987 through 1989 he was a Touring Artist for the Tennessee Arts Commission. He was part of the Calvary And The Arts series at Calvary Episcopal Church throughout the 80s, and became a member of that choir.  He served as guitarist for Mimi Goode's award winning show Handy! (voted Best Musical, 1985) at the Old Daisy Theater on Beale Street, at the W.C. Handy Festival in Florence, AL, and finally as one of the featured shows in the rotation for the Beale Street Repertoire Theater in 1988.  Also with BSRT that same summer, he had the lead in Scapino, a liberal adaptation of Moliere's ''Les Fourberies de Scapin'' written by Jim Dale and Frank Dunlop.  He appeared regularly on WEVL radio, and also did television appearances on WKNO and WHBQ.  In 1989 he was featured in a 30-minute special for the Arkansas Educational Television Network and was featured in an episode of Coming On! on The Disney Channel. 

 

During those years he also met and began performing with the late Mama Toy Norwood.  With multi-talented musican Bill Haymes (then an Artist In Residence for the Arkansas Department of Education, now living in Nashville) they became Mama Toy And The Boys, and played frequently across Arkansas at state parks and other public venues.  Mitchell still performs "Unattainable Star," one of Mama Toy's best songs, whenever he can to this day.

 

All of this musical activity was done while also working full time as a systems programmer in the computer center at the University of Memphis.  During those years he also was a feature writer for Unisphere, the magazine for Unisys computer users (no longer published).

 

Mitchell left Memphis for good in 1990.  But when the time came to record Good Touch, his first CD, in 2010 he looked back to Memphis as the best place to do this recording.  So, in a sense, the Memphis Years are still going on...

News & Views

Good Touch is available through CDBaby.  See the Music page for more info and song samples.

 

8/26/16:  Guitar music featured during dinner hours for the 8th annual Mountain Resource Center Bowls event on Tuesday, October 18th. 


8/27/14:  Good Touch accepted by Pandora for inclusion in the Music Genome Project.  See the press release page for more information.

8/10/14:  Incomprehensible lyrics to 60's hit Along Comes Mary linked to Mayan hieroglyphs...see Blog for more...

7/1/14:  Audio pages updated to allow streaming of all songs from Good Touch in full.

6/7/14:  New blog entry describing recent experience with ArtistPR.com - scam, or legitimate service?  

4/1/14:  Radio Guitar  chooses "Mine/Her Dance" from Good Touch for their New Tracks playlist.