After our sobering and thought-provoking visit to Montgomery, we headed to Memphis to explore some of that city's famous musical roots. Much as we acknowledge Elvis Presley's impact on rock and roll, a visit to Graceland was off the table; they've built tall buildings all around the mansion so you can't see it from the road, and $65/person is just too much admission. Instead, after an outstanding barbecue lunch at William's roadside shack across the river in West Memphis, we stopped in at Stax Studios. Despite being a reconstruction of the original building, on the same site and with the same theater marquee outside, this is an outstanding retelling of the Stax story, of founding a soul-based recording studio in an old cinema in a quiet, multi-racial suburb close to where Isaac Hayes, Booker T. Jones and so many other brilliant musicians lived. Very well worth the visit. Click on any image to enlarge..
After a quick stop at Sun Studio (where Elvis started) we wound up at the Rum Boogie Cafe on Beale Street for dinner. Great blues club with a red hot band! I was quite taken with Memphis in general, too, and would love to spend more time here.