Let’s go to Memphis today, shall we? Writing about Sun Studios and the assassination of Dr. King earlier this year got me to thinking about my whirlwind trip through Memphis and Nashville several years ago. I loved Memphis and hope you will too so I’ll tell you a few things about that town in the coming days.
Known as the Home of the Blues as well as the Birthplace of Rock and Roll, it’s only logical that there is music coming from every nook and cranny of the city. Every restaurant, bar, hotel, store, museum and alleyway you pass you’ll hear some kind of music. Sometimes it’s a guy with a guitar, just hanging out and picking a tune. Sometimes it’s band on a stage and sometimes it’s just a radio blaring Jerry Lee.
If you like this style of music, it is Heaven.
Beale Street is a few city blocks of restaurants, clubs, stores and theaters where you’ll hear all kinds of music – rock and roll, blues, gospel, jazz – you name it. There’s a happening night life but plenty to do if you’re looking for family friendly fun. Among other things, there’s a great candy shop, the Memphis Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Soul Museum which I’ll write about another day.
A Schwab Trading Company is the oldest store on Beale Street and packed full of dry goods and souvenirs. Founded in 1876, it has a soda fountain, a Beale Street Museum and lots of fun merchandise to browse or buy. Some might call it a tourist trap but, for what it’s worth, I enjoyed it.
The day we arrived, we learned that BB King was in town and playing a show at his club. We snagged the last two standing room only tickets and enjoyed a simply amazing night of music with BB and his band.
BB passed away in 2015 but you can still see other live performers and enjoy lunch and dinner at his club. It’s barbeque and traditional southern food. In fact, we had an excellent lunch here during our stay.
Bottom line, if you’re going to Memphis, you must stop by Beale Street to sample the barbeque and the local tunes. I loved just walking down the street here and soaking up my surroundings. We’ll talk Graceland and a few other fun things in the coming days. After all, you can’t go to Memphis without visiting the King!