Our trip to Memphis included much more than Graceland and the National Civil Rights Museum. We toured Sun Recording Studio in a small storefront building where Sam Philips started the business in 1950. Sam’s partner Marian was the first to hear Elvis perform and a year later got Sam to bring him in. The session didn’t go particularly well so Sam took a break. During the break Elvis tore into Big Boy Crudup’s “That’s Alright” and made rock and roll history. Sam Philips found the sound he was looking for. Sun recorded many early rock and roll pioneers like Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis as well as blues legends like BB King and Howlin Wolf. Johnny Cash got his start at Sun. But Elvis made music history.
While the big attractions in Memphis are Graceland and the National Civil Rights Museum there is so much more largely centered around music.
Memphis also had the first black owned and first woman owned radio stations in the United States. They had the first radio station that played black music and white music on the same station. STAX music was another recording studio that featured great R & B acts like Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding and Bobby Blue Bland.
B B Kings Blues Club on Beale st is just one of many live music venues in Memphis today. It’s a nice compact area with plenty of Bar B Q too
Memphis even has a vintage streetcar line. Which of course we had to ride.