After visiting the Graceland mansion and Whitehaven church, we were full of positive feelings and impressions. Now we went to Memphis to get even more.
We started with Beale Street, Memphis’ entertainment district. Plenty of expensive clubs, restaurants, souvenir shops, and neon signs exist. The blues clubs and restaurants that line Beale Street are major tourist attractions in Memphis.
Beale Street has been playing the blues for more than half a century. The street is named after an unknown military hero. But Beale Street’s heyday was in the 1920s when the area took on a carnival atmosphere, and gambling, drinking, prostitution, murder, and voodoo thrived alongside the booming nightclubs, theaters, restaurants, stores, pawnshops, and hot music. We walked on Beale Street in the daytime, but still, it was noisy and full of music. Between the 2nd and 3rd streets, there was a Walk of Fame—musical notes embedded in the sidewalk with the names of blues artists.
Behind Beale Street, we found the Gibson Guitar plant, where world-famous guitars are manufactured. There was a museum of Rock’ n’ Soul within the plant, but we did not visit it. We spent time in the factory shop and bought some souvenirs for our son, who had just started showing interest in guitars.
We stopped our car at the most famous recording studio in the world—Sun Studio. This is where it all began—when 18-year-old Elvis walked into legendary Sun Studio for the first time, he was asked who he sounded like. And he said, “I don’t sound like anybody.” And he sang “That’s All Right Mama” like nobody ever had… After visiting Graceland, it was enjoyable to think about that.
The story continues at Natchez, Mississippi.