Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 15 miles, approximately hour riding time. Walking at field trip sites. Climbing stairs at Sun Studio Museum; no elevator.
At the hotel.
We'll be joined at the hotel by a local expert for an entertaining lecture about the famous Memphis music and why Memphis is the "home of the Blues and the birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll." Next, we will board the motorcoach for the short drive to the National Civil Rights Museum, a privately-owned complex of museums and historic buildings built around the former Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. We’ll follow a timeline that charts the course of events around the assassination and the impact and legacy of the civil rights movement.
At a local restaurant.
We will continue our exploration with a field trip to Sun Studio, an iconic recording studio where some of the most famous artists recorded in the 1950s. Whether rock-and-roll or country, and genres in between, the likes of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Charlie Feathers, Ray Harris, Warren Smith, Charlie Rich, and Jerry Lee Lewis could be found there at one point or another. Led by a Sun Studio expert, we’ll see where they made musical history. We will finish our day with a field trip to the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, the first museum ever jointly developed by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Museum of American History. Opened in August 2004, it came out of a traveling exhibition on the roots of uniquely American music in the South, from “field hollers” to work songs, blues, country, and gospel. These more countrified forms gradually met and mingled with their urban cousins: blues, jazz, and what became rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly, rhythm and blues, and soul music. It charts the story of a field of music that has had a tremendous impact on popular culture and lifestyles from the mid-20th Century through today. It also documents the story of musical pioneers who overcame racial and socio-economic barriers to create music that changed our world. The museum’s digital audio guide lets us move at our own pace on a self-directed visit through seven galleries of audio-visual programs, instruments, costumes, other musical treasures, and more than 300 minutes of information including more than 100 songs.
On your own to have what you like.
At leisure. See more of Memphis on your own, spend time with newfound Road Scholar friends, or just relax.