Guest post including photos by Angela Gary
Visitors to Memphis, Tenn., can walk in the footsteps of the legendary Elvis Presley by visiting his beloved home, Graceland, and the studio where he got his start in the business, Sun Studios.
Elvis Presley died 38 years ago, but his home remains a destination for thousands of people every year. Graceland is a national historic landmark and the 14-acre site includes the mansion, the graves of Elvis and his parents, a museum, automobile collection and Elvis’ airplanes. Since 1982, 19 million visitors have toured the home. It was even a stop for Prince William and Prince Harry on a recent visit to Memphis.
The audio tape that is offered for your self-guided tour through the home is wonderful. As you walk through the home, you hear information about the rooms, mementoes and displays that you pass by. Presley’s daughter, Lisa Marie, offers narration of her time in the home, which is especially touching. The home has remained unchanged since Elvis’ death and a walk through the home is like stepping back in time when shag carpet and pastel décor were in style.
The tour ends at the gravesites for Elvis and his parents, as well as other family members. It’s a very peaceful, tranquil spot and visitors are quiet as they walk by the graves.
Be sure to allow plenty of time to explore Graceland and the entire complex. For more information, go to www.graceland.com.
Elvis fans have heard of Sun Studios, where in 1954, Elvis recorded “That’s All Right Mama” and it’s another stop on a visit to Memphis. Sam Phillips established Sun Studios and launched the careers of Elvis, as well as Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, B.B. King and many others.
It’s a very unique experience to be able to stand in the spot where Elvis made his music magic. A microphone used by Elvis is still in the museum and visitors can stand behind it for a photo.
For more information, go to www.sunstudio.com.
Another stop for music lovers should be the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, where photographs and mementoes from the famous Stax Sound are located. Stax Records was called Soulsville USA for the sounds of Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Otis Redding and others who recorded here.
For more information, go to www.staxmuseum.com.
Music fans will also love exploring Beale Street while visiting Memphis. Just wander along the famous street and you will find a number of places to stop and listen to blues, rock, country, soul and all kinds of music. As the sun goes down, the neon lights of the businesses begin to glow and the crowd grows. It’s soon bustling and filled with energy and excitement.
Angela Gary is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism. She has over 30 years in the newspaper business and is editor of a North Georgia publication. She has won numerous writing and photography awards from the Georgia Press Association and the National Newspaper Association.