After driving quite a bunch of miles the two days before, 4th June was planned to be a sightseeing day in Memphis. No new hotel, no hours of driving – just enjoying the magic of Graceland and all the music history around before heading to Nashville (and finishing this trip report). Elvis‘ residence was definitely expected to be one of the highlights of the whole trip, so that this daily bulletin just cannot become boring!
Rough Morning Wake Up – A Day of Two Songs
Instead of my alarm clock, it was the police who woke me up: my US mobile gave an alarm at 5:30 stating that there is an “Amber Alert” for Memphis. I had no idea about it, so I had to google. A father in Southeastern Memphis seemed to have kidnapped his 11 month old daughter. I wanted to get up slightly later anyway.
Somehow, on this day, two songs just accompanied me the whole time. First of all, there was Call Me, a pre-released of Sarah Darling’s album Wonderland, which was going to be released that week (some pictures of her are in the C2C 2019 Berlin posting). The second one, was – obviously – Marc Cohen’s Masterpiece. I shared so many feelings and places he was describing in Walking in Memphis.
Graceland, Part 1
The Graceland shuttle promised to be served by the Holiday Inn Express turned out not to leave before 9:30 – so I had a quicker-than-necessary walk through the worse-than-expected route from the hotel to the holy grounds of Elvis. I just made it in time and was warmed up for the day.
I decided to split my diary entry like I will do my Graceland postings on flyctory.com later: the first thing you do (the timed part) is the visit at Graceland mansion. Once you reached the building, you are can take as much time as you like. Honestly, the building itself was much more compact than I expected it to be. I was also a bit surprised that “the upper floor were Elvis’ private rooms and this is why we do n ot show them”. Nevertheless, visiting the building was quite impressive. But there’s a pretty little thing // Waiting for the King // Down in the Jungle Room. The Jungle Room was definitely my highlight of the mansion. There are a lot of artifacts of the King in showrooms. The final stage you visit is his tomb.
Other Graceland Exhibitions
I took plenty of time at the mansion and then was driven back in the shuttle to the Graceland Visitor Center, which is on the opposite side of the road. For many visitors, the Presley Motors are likely one highlight of their visit. But I was also imopressed of the archives, which feature a massive number of items. There is also a replica of Sun Studio (see below) and exhibitions on other topics, including Elvis’ time at the army.
As an aviation nerd, I had to go for the airplane upgrade of my ticket. On the picture, you see the “Lisa-Marie”, a Convair 880 jet. There is also the smaller “Hound Dog”
I had more than 3.5 hours in the Graceland grounds, before heading back to the hotel, having a look at the new Guest House at Graceland. Unfortunately, the previous stay having the lovely name Heartbreak Hotel is turned down and now a parking lot.
The Birthplace of Rock’n’Roll
My next stage was Sun Studio, home of the Memphis Recording Service, where Sam Phillips wrote musical history. Among many other recordings, the this studio recorded the first Rock’n’Roll record, “Rocket 88” and had the first recordings of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and others. A narrow, but magical place.
I definitely saw the ghost of Elvis on Union Avenue, where the studio is located.
Walking in Downtown Memphis
Weren’t there these lines in Walking in Memphis? Touched down in the land of the Delta Blues
// In the middle of the pouring rain? Yeah, it started raining quite heavily in downtown, when I reached the city center.
I was not just Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale, but had a walk along the world famous party road of memphis. Elvis is present here as well. Unfortunately, the weather did not allow me to stroll around too much.
Two More Music Museums – and Ducks!
There are so many musical museums and locations in Downtown Nashville (I even missed the Elvis statue…). But at least, I visited two more of them. The Memphis Music Hall of Fame is quite small, but gives a nice overview about the talents of the city.
The Rock’n’Soul Museum is quite cool and interactive, giving a nice illustration of the developments of music in the city and the region.
I passed Autozone Park, which hosts the soccer MLS…
… before I visited a very special place: The Peabody (hotel) is not just known for being a traditional and posh place in the heart of Memphis, but especially for its ducks, which parade twice a day. I just had a look at them in their habitat.
State #25: Arkansas
The Mississippi River is diving Mississippi State from Arkansas. At the end of the day, I just felt to cross the bridge over to West Memphis and the Arkansas State Welcome Center. By stepping out of the car, I have visited 25 out of the 50 US States, which also means I visited more continental US States than I did not visit. By the way, there are four more states, where I have been, but never left an airport: I will visit Chicago and Illinois in August, though, while I am still waiting for my Michigan, Texas and West Virginia (here is my trip report flying with Southern Airways via Morgantown) are still waiting to be explored.
I even did something “sensible” on the Arkansas side. Definitely, I am not a casino side – but visiting these places always guarantees free parking and a decent meal for a very reasonable prices. These T-Bones at Southland Casino (which seems to be great in Greyhound Racing) were worth the hop over the river! And I also had catfish on the table.
What a great day in and around Memphis – nevertheless,I set up the GPS already. Nashville, I am coming – and I am deeply looking forward to see you again 🙂 Prepared for the final day of my trip.
A Musical Trip to CMA Fest 2019 – Day by Day
Here are the links to the daily postings (link will be added once posting is published):
- A Musical Trip to CMA Fest 2019 – Overview Posting
- Day 1, 31st May 2019: From Germany to Washington D.C.
- Day 2, 1st June 2019: Day in Washington D.C.
- Day 3, 2nd June 2019: Chattanooga and Tupelo
- Day 4, 3rd June 2019: From Elvis’s place of birth to his place of death
- Day 5, 4th June 2019: (Not just) Walking in Memphis
- Day 6, 5th June 2019: Driving “Home” to Music City
Flyctory.com about Memphis
Here are more postings related to Memphis
Here are more Trip Report postings: