Beale Street businessman Tommy Peters dies

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Tommy Peters

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis’ music and entertainment community is mourning the loss of Tommy Peters, owner of several music clubs and restaurants throughout the city and in other cities.

Family members confirmed his death Sunday at age 66, saying he died of kidney failure. His daughter, Sara Fay Egan, said Peters died in Orlando while visiting one of his other businesses.  

“He loved people so much. He loved helping people,” Egan told WREG by phone. “He cultivated this community to where everybody who worked for him truly felt like family,” she said.  

Peters was founder and CEO of B.B. King’s Blues Club Memphis and Itta Bena on Beale Street, as well as president of Lafayette’s Music Room in Overton Square.

WREG’s Alex Coleman, who knew Peters and interviewed him several times, described Peters as passionate about Memphis and Memphis music.

“He was a huge part of the revival of Beale Street,” Coleman said. “Many huge entertainers just wanted to hang out there and Tommy just loved that.”

Numerous friends such as singer Wendy Moten and County Commissioner Mark Billingsley took to social media on Monday to express their sadness at his passing.

Peters leaves behind three daughters and two grandchildren.  

Peters was the second recent death of a Beale Street business owner. Robert “Lunchbox” McRae, the owner of Peoples on Beale, died Sept. 1 after what his family describes as ongoing health issues. He was 38.  

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