Memphis Journals

Musical Memphis

An October 2004 trip to Memphis by mre16

Memphis Rock n Soul Museum Photo, Memphis, Tennessee More Photos
Quote: My husband and I spent a long weekend in Memphis to explore the history/roots of rock 'n' roll, as well as the country we live in and call "home".

Musical Memphis

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Overview

Gibson Tour Photo, Memphis, Tennessee
Quote:
If you're musically oriented (like my husband, who works in the music industry, collects music and musical instruments), Memphis is a must-visit. Touted as the birthplace of rock-n-roll, Memphis still bubbles over with its musical heritage. Either music or scrumptious aromas waft out of every storefront along Beale Street, which is permanently blocked off to allow tourists to explore without having to dodge the traffic. Music buffs will enjoy the Gibson Factory Tour, The Rock and Soul Museum, Graceland, Sun Studios, and the endless choices of live bands playing every night at every juke joint on Beale Street. There are additional attractions for the not-so-musically inclined (like me) who may en...Read More

Wyndham Garden Hotel - Memphis

Hotel | "Wyndham Garden Hotel"

Quote:
When I was making our travel arrangements, I reasoned with myself that we should spend less on the hotel and spend the money elsewhere. Hindsight tells me that that theory is stupid and to stay in the heart of the action to save money on transportation. This hotel has NO amenities, no continental breakfast, no fridge in the room, no shuttle to downtown, no gift shops, and the desk clerks can't be bothered. When I asked for transportation options, they referred me to MATA (public bus) and handed me a phone number to call myself. Since I was a stranger to town, I couldn't even decipher the MATA phone message - USELESS. In addition, Tulane used this hotel as their home during an away game, so we walked i...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on August 4, 2005

Wyndham Garden Hotel - Memphis
300 N 2nd Street
Memphis, Tennessee 38105
(901) 525-1800

Rendezvous

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Restaurant | "The Rendezvous"

Rendezvous Photo, Memphis, Tennessee
Quote:
Be warned that Memphis' Famous Rendezvous Restaurant has a challenging entrance. It's listed as 52nd South Second Street, but when you're on Second Street, all you can see is Erika's German Restaurant. If you take a second look, you might see the barely noticeable stained-glass window above a door that has "Rendezvous" etched in the glass. We had to walk up to the door to see a paper that directed us to the main entrance in the alley around the corner. We had to walk through an alley and past several dumpsters to get to the "front" entrance. The hostess asked, "How many?" and pointed to the general area where she wanted us to sit, all the while never giving her stool seat a chance to cool. An elderly,...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 5, 2005

Rendezvous
Behind 52 South Second Street (downstairs) Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous Alley
Memphis, Tennessee 38103
(901) 523-2746

Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum

Attraction | "Rock and Soul Museum"

Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum Photo, Memphis, Tennessee
Quote:
The Rock and Soul Museum has appeal for everyone. Not being specifically musically inclined, I was drawn to the roots of rock and soul, in particular the plight of the sharecropper and the emigration of 7 million sharecroppers and farmers to the cities in search of a better life. Apparently, BB King worked as a sharecropper, making about $15 a week. He migrated to Memphis one weekend, opened up a guitar case, and started playing music. At the end of the day, he'd made $400 and never went back. I loved the recordings of the cotton pickers singing gospel hymns - such sorrowful laments over their lives and hardships. It was so mystical and sad. I loved this tour because it was self-guided, with individua...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 4, 2005

Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum
191 Beale Street
Memphis, Tennessee 38103
(901) 205-2533

National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel

Attraction | "National Civil Rights Museum"

National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel Photo, Memphis, Tennessee
Quote:
The National Civil Rights Museum is riveting for all Americans of all races and cultures. The museum is set in the exact location of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at the Lorraine Hotel. The museum goes into great depths explaining the plight of black Americans during this tumultous time in our history, culminating in the assination of Dr. King. You CANNOT truly see Memphis until you visit this poignant display. You could easily spend 4+ hours in this museum perusing the events leading up to the death of Martin Luther King Jr., as well as the aftermath and investigation. In addition, the tour ends with an intensive exploration of many (if not all) civil rights milestones that l...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 4, 2005

National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel
450 Mulberry Street
Memphis, Tennessee 38103
(901) 521-9699

Mr. Handy's Blues Hall

Attraction | "Blues Hall Juke Joint"

Mr. Handy's Blues Hall Photo, Memphis, Tennessee
Quote:
We meandered into Blues Hall, drawn in by the sign that read, "No Cover Ever," and we stayed for the rest of the night, captivated by the atmosphere and the band. The inside immediately reminded me of somewhere you might see in New Orleans. The walls are exposed brick with artifacts, flags, and old photographs of Southerners dressed in their Sunday finest--possibly taken over 100 years ago. The staff was courteous and as attentive as they could be to the standing room-only crowd. The band we were captivated by was talented, playful with the crowd, and fun to be around. I believe they called themselves the MOJO Blues Band. The crowd ranged in ages from the barely legal to empty nesters....Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 5, 2005

Mr. Handy's Blues Hall
Adjoining the Rum Boogie Cafe
Memphis, Tennessee 38103
901/528-0150

Graceland

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Attraction

Graceland Photo, Memphis, Tennessee
Quote:
What visit to Memphis would be complete without a visit to Graceland? Graceland is highly underrated compared to today's "Cribs" and other reality shows giving you insight into the way Hollywood stars live today. I myself was shocked by the size of Elvis' home. Once you put yourself into the mindset that this mansion was decorated and lived in during the 1970s, it's still hard to grasp that such a pinnacle of our time lived in these surroundings. It's flashy, yes, but it's by no means over-the-top. Easily you could see a family of four residing in the same house today (with some major decorating modifications, of course). The grounds are impeccably maintained, and I enjoyed the audio tour, as it...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 10, 2005

Graceland
3734 Elvis Presley Blvd.
Memphis, Tennessee 38116
(901) 322-3322