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.
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:
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