Holidays to Memphis
Memphis is inextricably linked with the music of bluegrass and country, rock 'n' roll and rhythm 'n' blues and soul. Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, BB King, Otis Redding and many more have graced Memphis with their presence and each made their own indelible print on popular music. Book one of our holidays to Memphis and soak up the history.
"Long distance information, give me Memphis, Tennessee"
Aficionados and casual music fans alike will want to make their way to Beale Street, the location of Sam Phillips' Sun Studio. This is where Presley, Cash, Perkins and Roy Orbison all made their first recordings, and was effectively the birthplace of rock 'n' roll. Hear original studio recordings, sing into the microphone used by Elvis himself, and listen to tales of this incredible era.
Stax Records was a contemporary of Motown with, perhaps, a grittier sound than the Detroit label. Founded in 1957, Stax produced many great artists including Booker T & the MGs, Sam & Dave and Isaac Hayes. Visit the Stax Museum of American Soul for the lowdown on a great label that is still nurturing artists. And for a fascinating overview of the Memphis music scene, head over to Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum for a marvellous interactive experience.
"I'm going to Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee"
No self-respecting Elvis fan will want to miss a visit to Graceland, the home of The King from 1957 to the year of his death in 1977. See the Vegas-era jumpsuits, the piano that Elvis played on and visit Elvis' grave in the backyard. Whether you're a fan of Presley or not, Graceland is sure to fascinate.
"I have a dream"
Built around the Lorrain Motel where Martin Luther King was assassinated, the National Civil Rights Museumis an important and informative memorial to King and the civil rights movement. The museum charts America's history from the time of slavery to the present day and is a captivating place in which to learn about the story of racial segregation in the States.
The shopping malls of Oak Court, Wolfchase Galleria and Southland might well tempt you to spend a dollar or two. But for an alternative to the typical retail centre experience, head to the historic South Main District where you'll discover a host of stores, most of which are locally owned. Here you can choose from a selection of more than 200 craft sodas at Love Pop Soda Shop, or thumb through some classic threads at Red Velvet Vintage, a retro-clothing boutique.
Eating and drinking
Nearly 60 years in business and still going strong, Gus' World Famous Fried Chicken is clearly doing something right. The recipes are a secret but word on the street is that the food is delicious. Also worth seeking out is Corky's Ribs & BBQ steakhouse, where they use the best local produce, cooked over hickory and charcoal – the menu makes your mouth water just thinking about what to choose.