Hearing a Memphis flight, a man said to his wife: "We're definitely not going to Graceland, are we?" to which he responded indignantly. "You're joking. I'm not going to Memphis without Greenland. "
No, traveler. Don't go to Memphis without leaving for Greenland. See all.
Memphis is history, and its history is music and the river – and that means blues and race, charm and elegance, beauty and hard times. It means what happens when a musical genius wins the hardest of circumstances, and it means what happens when you take a poor 22-year-old boy out of a gun in a home in Mississippi, Tupelo, and make him a god. :
Memphis is America.
Before the Europeans came to the area, the Chickasaw Indians had settled on the upper bluff of the river known as the Mississippi. The area actually divides the upper and lower Mississippi and looks south to the delta, base and what we think of as the Deep South. Two rivers gather here: the mighty Mississippi and the Wolf River. For this reason, the territory occupied an important and strategic position before the recorded history. In the mid-16th century, De Soto came, and 150 years later the French built a fort there, Fort Prudhomme. Later the English came and in the 1800s Memphis was incorporated as a city and renamed the former capital of Egypt. Today, Memphis has a population of about one and a half million, which is slightly smaller than the Nashville metropolitan area, although Memphis is the largest city in Tennessee within real metropolitan areas.
Because of its strategic position, Memphis was a scene of intense civil war and was eventually captured by Union forces. The devastating yellow-hot epidemics followed and it seemed for a while that the city would not be restored. But despite that, Memphis called hundreds of freed slaves who had come to town to work on bluffs and brought their music with them. In those days, Memphis had a reputation for being a free, free space, and as such it urged people who were inspired by freedom and were happy to be repressed. They were playing music for themselves, but soon found that others were coming to the area, just listening to their music and joining in on the fun. Memphis became known.
It may have been due in part to this history of racial freedom and to the mix that Memphis eventually became central to the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Dr. Martin Luther King came to Memphis to support a strike by sanitary workers and was killed in Memphis on April 4, 1968. Mott, where he was killed, has recently become a national historic site.
The Graceland site is in some ways exactly what one might expect, and also surprising in some ways. The mansion (and that word is not really an exaggeration) stands by itself and is protected from any open commercial enterprise. Ticket sales, gift shops, shells, are on the other side of the rectangle, and a small carriage takes visitors back. It is left, they say, just as it was when Elvis lived there, at least as it was when he was last transformed. It's lavish and for some, probably neat. Except that the kitchen, which we are told was the heart of the house, and where the constant flow of guests and hangers is surprisingly small and simple. We are told that Elvis loves to eat, but the fact that fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches are his favorite meal may be the reason why the kitchen seems not to be a culinary masterpiece.
But the hospitality, generosity, family love and sentimentality that are part of the legend of Elvis Presley are evident everywhere in this iconic place.
Another place where wealth testimonies are plentiful and displayed in luxury is in the luxurious lobby of the Peabody Hotel on Union Avenue. Even if it weren't for the Ducks parade, it's enough to see Peabody – elegant shops, jewelry, artwork – to make the short journey downtown. Yes, we said "Ducks parade", and if you don't know about it, we won't tell you it will spoil you. Just this. The ducks live in the hotel's penthouse at night and spend their days in the lobby fountain, walking from lobby to fountain twice a day, with as much attendance as the changing of attendance at Buckingham Palace. One more thing not to miss in Memphis.
And here's Bale Street, where the music began and where it still flourishes.
Here is the night life. Some say Memphis life. Night club after night club, 30 of them in three blocks, each playing music that you just can't hear anywhere else. Blues, of course, the music that was born here, but also jazz, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, the gospel, you name it. Choose your music and your club, but if you go to BB Kings, have ribs, and wherever you go, expect to be late, the musicians don't really start to heat up until 10pm.
Plan to stay for a few days, and it's a good idea to take a tour at some point. Otherwise, you may not know where to find Sun Studio, the small storefront where Elvis made "That's All Good, Mom," the beginning of a wild boy's journey to the South and a cultural shift. start all over the country.
This is just a sample of what awaits you in Memphis. We haven't even mentioned the famous complex of St. Jude's hospitals that you should believe, Rock & # 39; N Soul Museum, Mississippi River Museum, Civil Rights Museum, Art, and more. the opera … to name a lot. You will have to come and see for yourself, and then "You will come back, huh?"