Day 2 – Tuesday
Start the day at Graceland. You can drive here (parking is $10). Book the VIP tour if you want to avoid the lines Add a further $5 and go and see inside his planes. Further tips on this website:
Graceland is not as you might imagine. It isn’t actually all that big (although it was luxurious for its time). It had the feel to me of being a happy home and not particularly ostentatious or tasteless. Obviously, the museum is stuffed full of Elvis memorabilia and it takes quite a while to view it all. His music accompanies as you rock and roll your way through it all. You need to allow at least a half day here – devoted fans may well need more!
Lunch – Glady’s Diner (!). Pick the Cadillac booth for a great photo opportunity – It just has to be done?!
Drive onto Stax Museum of American Soul Music. This was the least interesting of all the museums we visited, but does help you to piece together the history of the music scene here and how it all developed. If you can’t pack everything in, I would leave this one out. It is often included on combo ticket deals, so if you can, you might as well see it while you are here.
Last, but not least, the Memphis Rock and Soul Museum is well worth a visit and opens until 7pm, so it is a good thing to do right at the end of the day. You need to get there by 5pm though to do it justice. There is a good audio tour which takes you around all the interesting exhibits. I added a lot of new music to my playlist Wishlist on this tour! Blues was the mindfulness of the day – it helped oppressed, dirt poor workers focus on something that took their mind off the difficulties of their lives. Blues and soul music were often played by black and white musicians together – you could tell the depth of the friendship by how well they played together. Despite segregation laws, blues, gospel, soul and country music refused to be segregated – its appeal crossed right through colour lines. When the different genres began to fuse with the white dominated Country music scene, something really beautiful began to flower. Music has such a power to unite people.
By 7pm, Beale Street begins to strut its stuff, so this is a good time to take a walk down its neon filled sidewalks.
Dinner: Charles Vergos Rendezvous – 52 South Second. www.hogsfly.com. You can access the restaurant through an alley just opposite the back entrance of the Peabody Hotel. They serve to die for ribs and brisket which you can eat smothered in their own special recipe absolutely delicious BBQ sauce. They sell the sauce too, if you want to take the taste home – choose regular or hot. I am not usually a BBQ sauce fan – but I would definitely recommend trying this out!