Saturday, 12 April 2014

Memphis TN (Day 3)

Action packed day today so I hope y'all brought your sneakers!!

First thing we did was a tour of Sun Studio. The same recording studio where Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, etc. all recorded very famous records. They run a great free shuttle from the Hotel/RV area right to Sun Studio. After you tour there, the shuttle will drop you off at Beale Street. It returns pretty much every half of each hour for the day. It costs about $12 per person to do the Sun Studio tour and we felt it was very much worth it.

Standing in so much musical history. Pretty incredible that's for sure. If I felt it then Doug surely was in his glory! He is the music person in our household.

The upstairs area is now set up to show lots of the memorabilia from the Sam Phillips studio. They have the set up from Dewey Phillips DJ booth. The day Elvis recorded "That's Alright Mama" Dewey Philips put it on the radio and played it 14 consecutive times!!  



Teagan - this one is for you!!




The very first recording machine that Sam Phillips had. He could
press out a record for you for about $4 back in those days!!

After touring the "museum" it was off the THE studio where it began for some of music's most famous people. apparently, when Bono came in to this studio he got the chills, Ringo called it Ground Zero and Bob Dylan got on his hands and knees and kissed the floor! So, yes, this is the exact studio where those recordings came from. I thought it strange that we were even allowed in here. Nothing has been changed, all the same tiles on the floor, acoustic ceiling, etc. In fact, you are even allowed to sit at the piano bench etc.... 


Funny story, as the young lady was telling us some of the stories, she looked over at me and said, "if the lady in the orange shirt will look down at her feet and see that "X" on the floor you will see the exact spot where Sam Phillips liked to have Elvis stand to record. Same tape on the floor. Yup, right where I was standing!!!
For me and my foot shots, to stand RIGHT where Elvis was...
It could be the Holy Grail of foot shots for this trip!!
That's Elvis' and my spot!!
See that microphone??
Yes, the very same one they used in the recordings.
Apparently, it is pretty much indestructible and yes, Elvis, among others used it too!

....and here's my Elvis!!!

Secretary's desk outside the recording studio.....

Wow - totally cool part of history and we were really glad to have seen it!

Declared a National Historic Landmark in 2003
So, once that tour is over, the shuttle reappears and takes you down to Beale Street. where you can spend as much time as you like. There is no schedule for returning, you are on your own. The shuttle comes back every hour all day long. Beale Street is also an interesting spot. We were here for a little while this afternoon and had a great lunch at the BB King Club and then wandered around for a bit. It is only 2 blocks long, unlike Bourbon Street in New Orleans, which is about 8-9 blocks long.
It is a walking strip for these 2 blocks..... 




The old Daisy Theatre.....

Pretty quiet during the day....just wait til evening!!




Beale Street Flippers....
A group of young men, anywhere from about 8 yrs old to late teens who do
all these running flips and cartwheels. Super talented and fun to watch....


Ahhh...lunch spot!

 Okay, one more foot shot....

Doug in his glory, listening to a blues lunch!!!
The best part of our day was Paula & Jerry arriving at the park to spend a few days. We were so excited to see them again. We missed seeing them this year when we didn't go to Mexico.



Now it's getting a little busier.....


Getting to that "wall to wall" people part.....
Interesting strategy. The police have all entrances to Beale Street blocked off so you can only enter and exit at certain points. In the evening they then start checking bags etc. for weapons and contraband and they actually do metal detector sweeps. When it gets a bit later you will be ID'd and only over 21 years old can come onto Beale Street. Very big police presence but absolutely no problems anywhere....

This is a cheerful group....and good looking too!!
So, the wrist-banded peeps are ready to go home....
What a great evening with friends!!
We had a great day!! Sun Studio was amazing and so was seeing Paula & Jerry!!. There is so much more to see in Memphis but we don't have any more time! We are on the move tomorrow. Before we vacate town though we are making one more little stop at Stax Records. Our daughter, Teagan is a real music buff for the blues and old soul music. She says we absolutely must see Stax so we will see what we can find there and then it's off to.......NASHVILLE!!!
Thought for the Day: .....I'm all shook up! 


  1. It was tons of fun and the good thing is, there's much more fun to come! This Tennessee time together is a perfect warm-up for your visit to Nova Scotia! Can't wait!

    1. It was a great evening out, wasn't it? We are pretty stoked to be able to spend some time with you guys too!!