Who is Muriel and What is the Hollywood?

••• The Hollywood Cafe. Photo courtesy of Fiona Smallcorn, licensed to About.com

Question: Who is Muriel and What is the Hollywood?

Answer: In Marc Cohn's 1991 hit, Walking in Memphis, there is a line that puzzles even lifelong Memphians:

"Now Muriel plays piano every Friday at the Hollywood"

The Hollywood Cafe is a small restaurant 20 miles south of Memphis at 1585 Old Commerce Road in Robinsonville, Mississippi. The Cafe features all things southern - catfish, country vegetables, and a heaping helping of soul.

In the 1980's, a gospel singer named Muriel did indeed, play the piano every Friday night at the Hollywood Cafe.

In 1986, Marc Cohn visited the Hollywood Cafe and was invited to sing Amazing Grace with Muriel. This encounter inspired him to write his hit song.