In October of 2008, we traveled to Memphis, Tennessee and visited several historical and haunted locations through the city while we were there. One of the very historical places we spent some time was down on Beale Street.
We had a great experience down on Beale Street in Memphis. Walking in the footsteps of the great blues musicians and those responsible for the creation of the genre of music was just awe inspiriting. To witness places where the greats like Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters, Albert King, Memphis Minnie, B. B. King, Rufus Thomas, Rosco Gordon and other blues and jazz legends played, got their start, and and helped develop the style known as Memphis Blues all on one street. Of course we had to go there. We talk more about the history of Beale Street and our experiences in the following video.
To get up and down main street, we used the old trolley system that runs back and forth. Although we have taken carriage tours in other cities in the past, we did not get a chance on this trip in Memphis, but it would have been great. TIP: You hear some create stories on those carriage rides, especially if you ask the driver to share some of the local history.
The following are some of the photos from up and down Beale Street. Some of these were taken at night, and we have 2008 technology cameras with us at the time, so please forgive if some are blurry and did not come out that great.
One of the great experiences on Beale Street is there "live" music being played up and down the street. Whether it is within the buildings, with musicians out on the side walks, or even in the park areas... if you want to sit down for a moment and just take it in... it is wonderful.
The following video was not included in our main video since we did not want to deal with any copyright issues on YouTube. This is a great example of the atmosphere and music that is being played up and down Beale Street.
Elvis Presley did spend a lot of time down on Memphis. He would love to slip down there when he could in the early years and listen to the music at the different clubs.
In 1980 the world's first bronze Elvis statue was unveiled on Beale Street, where the future King of Rock and Roll crafted his early musical style. But the statue, by Eric Parks, proved too delicate for the elements and souvenir-crazed fans, who stripped its guitar strings and tore the tassels from Elvis's suit. It was taken down in 1994 and moved indoors to the downtown Memphis Tennessee Welcome Center.
That left Elvis Presley Plaza with a big, empty spot. It was finally filled in 1997 with the arrival of a new, completely different bronze Elvis statue by sculptor Andrea Lugar. This Elvis, unlike the original, shows him as he would have looked on Beale Street circa 1955 (pre-tassels), wearing a stage outfit he might have bought at Lansky Bros. down the block.
Although designed to be more sturdy than the previous statue, it's also kept at a distance from the public behind an encircling fence.
Let us know if you have been to Beale Street in Memphis down in the comments section. We would love to hear about your adventure.