Travel by motor coach to Sun Studio and Civil Rights Museum. Short walk to Rock n Soul Museum.
At the hotel.
Learn about the Mighty Mississippi River. The Mississippi River is the chief river of the largest drainage system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, it rises in northern Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for 2,530 miles to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 31 US states and 2 Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains. The Mississippi ranks as the fourth longest and tenth largest river in the world. Afterwards, we’ll head over to Sun Studio via motorcoach. Rock-and-roll, country music, and rockabilly artists, including Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Charlie Feathers, Ray Harris, Warren Smith, Charlie Rich, and Jerry Lee Lewis, recorded here throughout the mid to late 1950s. See where they made musical history.
Lunch is on your own to enjoy what you like. Your Group Leader will be happy to provide suggestions and directions.
After lunch, we will travel by motorcoach 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. After visiting the Civil Rights Museum, we will travel by coach to visit the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, the first museum ever jointly developed by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Museum of American History. Debuted 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-guided 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.
Dinner will be at a local popular restaurant. The atmosphere is laid back, the live music is Jazz, blues, and standards, and the mouth-watering menu is a reflection of cultural interchange up and down the Mississippi with Cajun specialties, Memphis-style BBQ, and more. Your meal includes beverage choices of coffee, tea, water.
At leisure. You can stay on to enjoy live blues music at King’s Palace Café. Or, you might like to walk over to the nearby Rum Boogie Café for more music to delight your senses. If you want still more music, continue exploring Beale Street on your own. This is the heart and soul of old Memphis, home to pioneering musicians such as W.C. Handy, who wrote the first blues song here in 1909. No other landmark has held such mystique, intrigue, fame and infamy over the years. Beale Street was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966, and by the early 1980's a full tilt renovation was taking place. Today, not only the Blues is heard on Beale Street, but Soul, Gospel, Jazz, Rock, Fusion, and Reggae.