On our first day we visited Graceland, the home of Elvis. We tried to get ourselves out of the bluesy (music) feel we had and into the Elvis mood by listening to some of his songs. Maybe this didn’t help as I think we both realised that we weren’t after all huge fans but still we thought it might be interesting as we understand the impact he had on the future of music.
The house and grounds have been preserved since his death and so it is really quite strange to walk around what he actually lived in. The decor was pretty out there in some of the rooms! Unfortunately it was the most expensive sight we have seen on the trip so it left s little sore taste in the mouth as there is more queuing than seeing and really it’s not overly impressive. (Unless you are a massive Elvis fan I guess).
The next morning we toured Sun Studios which was a major contributor to the music industry. The owner Sam Phillips was a lover of the blues and realized that a lot of the blues artists along Beale St were not getting recorded. Mostly due to segregation. White people frowned upon their children listening to the blues! So anyway he started this recording studio and recorded artists like Howling Wolf and BB King.
But then a man called Elvis Presley walked in and recorded and pretty much overnight he became a star! Interestingly Sam sold his contract after a year to a big music company in order to pay his bills and sign other newer artists. About this time as well Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins were all signed to Sun, producing hits as well. It was pretty awesome to see where it all began.
The crazy thing about the place is it was actually abandoned for 25 years but luckily no body else leased it or changed it so all the original fittings are still there.
We then went off to the Civil Rights museum. The museum is actually in the hotel where Martin Luther King was assassinated. It was pretty eery as they have preserved everything down to cigarettes in an ash tray and 50’s cars still out front. On top of that they have also preserved everything from the boarding house where the assassin made the shot. It was very morbid but fascinating.
The museum was so in depth and thought provoking and without even knowing it we spent 3 hours there. It detailed the history of African Americans from slave trading to the present day. We found it so hard to comprehend the atrocities that were undertaken to keep segregation in place.
On a lighter side we then went to the Peabody hotel where they have a duck master and resident ducks who have their own penthouse……
Apparently the general manager in the 1930’s after an unsuccessful duck hunt and too much booze left the decoy ducks in the fountain and since then they have stayed. A bellboy taught the ducks to march to and from the elevators to the fountain. It draws a massive crowd every 11am and 5pm. S
Where Martin Luther King was assassinated