Did Memphis Serve as the Inspiration for "Glee"? I Believe the Answer Is YES.



Our city has been the birthplace of so many wonderful things, among them: rock-and-roll music, Sun, Stax, FedEx, Holiday Inns, the world's first self-service grocery store — oh, the list just goes on and on. And then, of course, there's me, Vance Lauderdale.

But did Memphis also serve as the inspiration for the hit television series Glee?

I had wondered about that, until I turned up this photo of the Memphis Glee Club — the one, the only, the original.

Just look at these happy-go-lucky gentlemen, and I think there's no question that they were the basis for the various free-spirited members of William McKinley High School's "New Directions" ensemble. They may be posed rather formally here, but you can tell they are just ready to burst out with show tunes and assorted teenage high jinks. Especially that smirky fellow in the front row, fourth from the left. Why, he could be Chris Colfer's father!

What do you think, Gleekers?

I rest my case.

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Famed Memphis trivia expert Vance Lauderdale answers reader questions weekly here on his blog!

About This Blog

Ask Vance is the blog of Vance Lauderdale, the award-winning columnist of Memphis magazine and Inside Memphis Business.  Vance is the author of three books: Ask Vance: The Best Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History and Trivia Expert (2003), as well as Ask Vance: More Questions and Answers from Memphis Magazine's History Expert (2011) and Vance Lauderdale's Lost Memphis (2013). He is also the recipient of quite a few nice awards, the creator of several eye-catching wall calendars, and the only person we know with a vintage shock-treatment machine in his den. 

You can find him from time to time in the pages of the Memphis Flyer and MBQ, on WKNO television, and on Facebook. When he is not exploring the highways and byways of Memphis, he spends his time sleeping, napping, and dozing.

Got a question for Vance?  Email him here.

Find Vance's old blog posts (pre-April 2011) and comments here.

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