Named after a major city in Ancient Egypt, Memphis is one of the most historic and culturally important cities in the United States.
Nestled on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River in Tennessee, Memphis has always attracted people from afar, and due to that mix, Memphis has become one of America’s most important and influential music cities.
Those many historic blues clubs on Beale Street heralded the unique Memphis blues sound in the early 20th century. The city’s music has continued to be shaped by a multicultural mix of influences: the blues, country, rock and roll, soul, and hip-hop.
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Yes! Rock ‘n Roll, where Elvis Presley chose to live. His former home Graceland is still one of the most visited attractions in the city.
Elvis was a Gospel singer when he walked into Sam Phillip’s Sun Studios to make a record for his mother. Sam loved that voice and encouraged him to sing rock ‘n roll, with his stable of other artists, which included Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and many more. Sam didn’t invent rock ‘roll, but he sure recognised immense talent when he heard it.
A competitor, Stax Records, introduced us to the house band Booker T and the MG’s as well as artists like Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and Wilson Picket.
Head to Beale Street at any time of the night to hear the music of Memphis live.
Following the American Civil War Memphis became one of the world’s largest cotton trading centres. The former trading centre is now the Cotton Museum. Once, only the elite members of the Cotton Exchange were allowed to enter. Today, this historic space is open to the public and is devoted to sharing the story of cotton.
Memphis Zoo is considered to be one of the world’s great zoos. With over 4,500 animals on display, and many chats, feeding displays and shows scheduled each day, you will be entranced by the variety of wildlife on display.
Home to Tennessee’s largest African-American population, Memphis played a prominent role in the American civil rights movement and was the site of Martin Luther King Jr.‘s 1968 assassination. The city now hosts the National Civil Rights Museum—a Smithsonian affiliate institution.
Whatever is your particular interest, Memphis is a fascinating place to visit. It’s vibrant and bursts with energy. A trip to Memphis will have you fully occupied, and is a destination whose charm will stay with you for a very long time.