Not long ago I was feeling all kinds of tender toward this city on the bluff... I'm beginning to process just how soon I'll be leaving this kooky, wonderful, unique place. There are a few things on my Memphis Bucket List despite all the craziness that is all around me. It feels wrong (shameful, even) to spend two years here without partaking in the following biggies:
Graceland is a large white-columned mansion and 13.8-acre estate that was home to Elvis Presley in Memphis, Tennessee. It is located at 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard in the vast Whitehaven community about 9 miles from Downtown and less than four miles north of the Mississippi border. It currently serves as a museum. It was opened to the public on June 7, 1982. The site was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on November 7, 1991 and declared a National Historic Landmark on March 27, 2006. Graceland has become the second most-visited private home in America with over 600,000 visitors a year; only the White House has more visitors per year. (wiki)
2. Sun Studios
Sun Studio is a recording studio opened by rock pioneer Sam Phillips at 706 Union Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 3, 1950. It was originally called Memphis Recording Service, sharing the same building with the Sun Records label business. Reputedly the first rock-and-roll single, Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats' "Rocket 88" was recorded there in 1951 with song composer Ike Turner on keyboards, leading the studio to claim status as the birthplace of rock & roll. Blues and R&B artists like Howlin' Wolf, Junior Parker, Little Milton, B.B. King, James Cotton, Rufus Thomas, and Rosco Gordon recorded there in the early 1950s. (wiki)
3. Stax Museum
Because the Stax Museum is one of only a handful of museums in the world dedicated to soul music (the Motown Museum in Detroit is another), it not only celebrates the legacy of Stax Records and its artists such as Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, the Staple Singers, Johnnie Taylor, Albert King, Booker T. & the MGs, Rufus and Carla Thomas and others, but also features other soul music labels such as Motown, Hi Records, Atlantic Records, and Muscle Shoals, and visitors are treated to vintage video footage of non-Stax artists such as Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Ann Peebles, The Jackson Five, Patti LaBelle, Parliament-Funkadelic, Sam Cooke, James Brown, Ike & Tina Turner, and others. (wiki)
4. Wild Bills
Wild Bill’s is an out-of-the-way hole-in-the-wall delta juke joint with live music, chitlins, and beer by the quart. Bring your own liquor and stay all night. You can’t get more down-home Memphis than this.
So Memphians, what else? What needs to be seen, done, tasted?
I want to soak it in, if ever I can find a moment....