I’ve made it to the halfway mark of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Today’s topic begins with ‘M,’ and in Elvis’ world that means Memphis! Now I could have written about Mississippi, where Elvis was born, or Minnie, Elvis’ grandmother, or any of the great songs that begin with ‘M,’ but I had to write about my favorite city Memphis – Bluff City, The Home of the Blues and The Birthplace of Rock ‘n Roll! It still baffles me that Cleveland was chosen for the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame just because Disc Jockey Alan Freed was from there and coined the phrase ‘Rock n Roll’ – big deal! Memphis is the home of Sun Records and Elvis Presley where Rock n Roll was born! But I digress, that is for another blog post at another time! Memphis was founded in 1819 and incorporated in 1826. It was named after the ancient capital of Egypt on the Nile River, which explains the Pyramid in downtown Memphis.
I love Memphis! In fact, I love it so much I moved there twice! I first visited Memphis in 1999 because of Elvis (Elvis moved to Memphis with his family when he was 13 and lived there until he died at age 42). But more than Elvis, I love Memphis for its music, its food and its people. So I went back and visited Memphis again in 2001 and that is when I started going to the Beale Street Music Festival every year the first weekend in May. Then I moved to Memphis in 2002 and stayed just for a year. While there, I lived at the William Len Apartment Building (now the Residence Inn hotel) downtown on Monroe Street just a couple of blocks from The Peabody Hotel where I worked. I visited Memphis in 2005, 2006 and 2007 then moved back to Memphis in 2008. I lived in a house in Crosstown (just a few miles down from Sun Studio where Elvis and many others recorded and got there start) until 2011 while working at the National Civil Rights Museum (among other places). Since then I have visited Memphis every year, sometimes two or three times a year.
My favorite places to visit in Memphis are Graceland, Sun Studio, Tom Lee Park, Cooper Young district, Stax Museum, Beale Street, the National Civil Rights Museum, the Peabody Hotel and its ducks, the Rock n Soul Museum and Flashback (the retro store in Midtown). Some of my favorite places to eat in Memphis are The Cupboard (on Union just down the street from Sun Studio), Marlowe’s (just down the street from Graceland), Central BBQ in Midtown, Rum Boogie, Alfred’s, Dyer’s and Blues City on Beale Street and now Vernon’s at Elvis Presley’s Memphis and EP’s at the Guest House at Graceland. Memphis feels like home to me. I am never happier then when I am in Memphis. I feel it as soon as I step off the plane or as enter into the city off route 40 – that giddy, relaxed ‘i’m home’ feeling.
If you’d like to read about one of my yearly trips to Memphis (that isn’t Elvis Week), please click here.
What is your favorite movie, song, book, topic about Elvis that begins with ‘M’? Please comment below. If you missed any of my Elvis ‘A’ to ‘L’ topics, please click here. Remember to check back Monday to see what ‘N’ topic I’ve chosen for Elvis.