Memphis time is getting closer. The International Blues Challenge is right around the corner. Fans have already arrived in Memphis.
So what do you do in Memphis if the blues haven’t started? Well one of the first thoughts is eating. Good thought, the BBQ is terrific. But there are also plenty of sights to see. Top of the list is the Blues Foundation’s new home. Staff will be on hand to welcome the tourists.
On the way into town, you will probably go by Sun Studio. The legendary Sam Phillips recorded enough legends in this little space.
For bigger venues you are welcome to see the Rock n Soul museum. It is right off Beale Street near the Fed-Ex Forum. Across the street is the Gibson guitar factory. I was in the first group to be give a plant tour. Back then manufacturing was not complete within the building as some parts came from Nashville.
A little further on the outskirts of Memphis is soulsville the STAX record museum. Add the art galleries and there is plenty to do and see.
Of course one of the most historic spots is the Civil Rights Museum. It is on the site of the former Lorraine Motel. Speaking of Civil Rights, the family of noted photographer Ernest Withers has established a gallery at the site of his old office and studio. Right down on Beale Street. I spent many an hour with Dr. Withers listen to stories of early Memphis. He was an historical icon, capturing the Civil Rights movement through the Mid-South.
He also has a collection of entertainment photographs. One of the most famous is of a young Elvis and BB King. It can be purchased poster sized.
Now there is more than one good place to eat. Everyone has their own. My personal bbq is because of my friendship with the family that runs the place, Desire Robinson and family.
Outside of bbq, the fried chicken takes center stage. Now if the place is recommended by Rachel Ray, Guy Fieri and the Travel Channel, it must be good. Got to try Gus’s Fried Chicken. I have and am going back.
The next blog that will be posted will come from Memphis, probably Wednesday morning. I have got to meet the shuttle owner tomorrow and get a Trolley ticket.
Remember Thursday the Blues Schedule will be posted.