Vlog 18 – Lots of music in the ‘Home of the Blues’
B.B. King, Ike Turner, Howlin’ Wolf and Elvis all started out with Sam Phillips. A creative, authentic guy with a good heart and love for music. He made no difference between black or white and made a big difference in the music industry by starting Sun Studio around 1950. From the outside the recording studio looks really small but this historic treasure has got more hidden space then you would expect.
If you want to read more about this interesting and inspiring person read the book: Sam Phillips – The man who invented Rock ‘n’ Roll, written by Peter Guralnick. All the books written by Guralnick are recommended by the way.
From there I took the free shuttlebus to Graceland, because I think you can’t leave Memphis without seeing this. I wasn’t really expecting anything of it, just wanted to tic it of my list. So I bought a ticket for the Mansion and Elvis’ airplanes. You can really go crazy with a VIP-tour and see his cars, clothes and other exclusive things, but this was perfect for me.
Surprisingly the Graceland Mansion of The King got to me. I thought everything would be glitter and gold, but no. This man had a very specific and original taste. You could also see by the printed bills and communication on it that he arranged everything himself. I liked it. It was a very special and impressive experience I have to say.
The day after I went to the Levitt Shell in the afternoon, a stage in the beautiful Overton Park in Midtown Memphis. You can see free concerts there, bring your own food and drinks or buy some beers and snacks over there. I got lucky because there was the celebration of Royal Studios’ 60th anniversary. All sorts of artists came by and it was a such a good night with blues, rap, bluegrass and soul.
It was still early so after that I went to see Chic Jones Blues Express at Earnestine & Hazel’s. Got me the best soul burger ever and was able to sing a couple of songs with the great band. So cool!
Hope you enjoy this music stuffed vlog.
Next up: Reverend Al Green & Stax & Singin’ on Beale Street