Memphis, Tennessee 3/11/17 – 3/24/17

Memphis, Tennessee:  Population =  653,450 (Metro area = 1,317,314), elevation = 337 feet, average January low temp = 41.2º (43 nights below freezing), Average July high temp = 82.7º (64 days over 90º), annual snowfall = 3.9”, annual rainfall = 53.68”

Memphis is renowned for its music.  The music has evolved from early gospel, soul, country, rock, and blues.  Musicians who got their start here include a Who’s Who of American legends: Jerry Lee Lewis, Aretha Franklin, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, B.B. King, Otis Redding, and many others.  And, of course, The King, Elvis Presley.

Elvis and his family moved to Memphis when he was 13.  When he was 19 he recorded his first music at Sun Records.  Just two years later, in 1956, “Heartbreak Hotel” was released and went to number one on the charts.  The same year, he starred in a movie, “Love Me Tender”.  By 1957 he was apparently very successful, since he gave his parents $100,000 to find a new home with some farmland.  They bought what was to become known as Graceland.

The famous gates to Graceland
The living room has a custom built extra long sofa for the many visitors
The dining room is still used by the Presley family occasionally
Not much of a drinker himself, Elvis kept a well stocked bar for friends
The recreation room featured three TVs so Elvis could watch all 3 networks at once
The jungle room, showing Lisa Marie’s favorite chair and teddy bear
Elvis and his parents lie in a memorial in the back yard

We visiting Graceland was an all day project.  Besides the tour of the mansion and grounds, across Elvis Presley Blvd lies a whole campus of museums.  We skipped the tour of the airplanes, but we did see a lot.  Here are some photos:

A 1973 Stutz Bearcat with custom red leather and gold interior
A wall of gold and platinum: 90 gold, 53 platinum, 25 multi-platinum
Famous for his iconic jumpsuits, this was the last one he wore

Elvis is just one of the musical giants to get started in Memphis.  More on them next week.  And on the other thing Memphis is famous for: barbecue.  Best ribs in the USA?

Next time: more Memphis


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We are two recent retirees who decided to sell the house, pull up stakes, and explore North America. We are both being tourists and looking for the right blend of people, place, and geography that makes for the perfect place to retire.

2 thoughts on “Memphis, Tennessee 3/11/17 – 3/24/17”

    1. Marylu and I were just talking about the evolution of American music. Elvis was king for his generation, but then for ours, the Beatles took the crown. Who was popular between? Lots of names pop up for me.


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