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Memphis - Home of the Blues

Memphis Celebrates Fifty Years of SoulMemphis celebrates fifty years of soul all year during 2007.  A special "Seven Days of Soul" June 16-22 celebrates the 1957 founding of Stax Records and Royal Studios, both of which launched the careers of numerous soul stars.  The highlight is the "50 Years of Stax" benefit concert at the Orpeheum on June 22.

July 5, 2004 was the 50th anniversary of Elvis' recording "That's All Right Mama" at Sun Studios, and Elvis leapt to fame in 1956.  Celebrate with a special tour!

Pink Cadillac Sweet Magnolia Tours offers an Elvis Week 2007 Package Aug 11 - 19 and an Elvis Is Vacation Package that includes Glaceland Platinum Admission, a choice of attractions, plus two nights' accommodations.

Or head out on your own!  Here's what to see:

Sun Studio Sun Studio - the birthplace of rock 'n' roll.  Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash all recorded here.  Stop by and take the tour!
Beale Street Beale Street - where the blues were born.  It's rich musical heritage goes back to the 1920's.  Many of the original buildings were torn down, but the area was revitalized and renovated in the 1980's and is now a major tourist attraction featuring blues clubs and restaurants.  Also check out BealeStreetOnline.
Handy Park W. C. Handy Park, named for the jazz pioneer and Beale St veteran, is halfway down the block.  The smaller of its two stages is often used by local musicians.  (Photo courtesy of
Graceland Graceland  The blue, white, and gold living room, the jungle room, the pool and TV room, his early costumes (unbelievably tiny), his grave - they're all here, just waiting for you to visit.
Stax Museum Stax Records Museum  Home of recording legends like Otis Redding, Carla and Rufus Thomas, Isaac Hayes, and Booker T. & the MGs, the original studio at the corner of McLemore and College was torn down in 1989.  The museum opened nearby in May 2003 and includes displays of Redding's favorite brown suede jacket and Hayes's peacock-blue 1972 Superfly Cadillac Eldorado, with television, refrigerator and gold trim.
Rock'n'Soul Museum The Rock'n'Soul Museum, just south of Beale Street in the Gibson guitar factory (which offers tours), features exhibits and memorabilia from the Smithsonian - items like Johnny Cash's black frock coat and the piano Ike Turner used to create the first rock'n'roll song, Rocket 88.  Note:: Closed from July 20th through September 1st to relocate to the plaza of the new FedExForum across the street.
Soul singer Al Green Al Green  Amost every Sunday at the 11 a.m. service, the soul singer preaches and sings at the Full Gospel Tabernacle at 787 Hale.  Visitors are welcome, but remember this is a worship service, not a concert.  And don't forget to show your appreciation when they pass the offering basket.
Stax Museum Overton Park Shell  Created by the WPA in the 1930s, it's been home to concerts by legendary musicians including Elvis (who preformed his first big concert here), B.B. King, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Rufus Thomas.  In 1982, at the request of the National Council of Christians and Jews, it was named after Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat responsible for saving thousands of Jews from Nazi death camps.  (Photo courtesy of

American Dream Safari American Dream Safari  Want to see it all in a 1955 Cadillac?  Tad Pierson, owner and driver, offers tours across the backroads of America, focusing on rock 'n' roll, blues, gospel, Elvis, and more.

And check out AAA World's article "The Ghosts of Rock and Roll".