"I smell something in the air / you know, it smells like barbecue. / If I had some, I wouldn't care / because I like barbecue." – Wendy Rene
I (like many Memphians) love barbecue, but Memphis soul singer Wendy Rene loves it so much that she sang a song about it.
I suppose her barbecue fiending makes sense - Wendy (aka Mary Frierson) is a native Memphian, and we are big fans of slow smoked meats.
She began recording at Stax in 1963, and though her career was productive, it was shortlived. It seems that Wendy, like so many women before and after her, felt like she had to choose between her rising career and her growing family. According to her bio on Light in the Attic:
"The Drapels dissolved almost as quickly as Wendy’s first marriage, partly due to the attention lavished on youngest member Wendy’s solo career. But a real hit eluded the singer, and in 1967, with a growing family with second husband and Stax employee James Cross, Wendy decided to retire from the business. “I wanted a baby to hold and coochie-coo to, and I didn’t want to miss any more time away from my kids,” she says."
Thankfully, before she chose to commit to full-time coohie-coo-ing, she left us this gem about the way meat seems to constantly be in our thoughts, no matter what we're doing.
Take a listen: