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Beale Street

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(back to Music Travel)

Center for Southern Folklore / Lansky’s Clothing Store (130 Beale St)

The music and culture of the Mississippi Delta region is documented in this museum, and it also offers tours of the Memphis region. The museum is located in the old Lansky’s building, a clothes store mainly frequented by African American shoppers, and where Elvis bought his sharpest clothes. The museum includes the very mirror in which Elvis admired himself dressed in his new suits. After he became famous, Elvis continued to shop at Lansky’s and would regularly have the Lansky Brothers (Guyy and Bernard) over to Graceland for a BBQ. The museum is open daily from 9 am to 5.30 pm (except Sundays when it opens at 1 pm). T

B B King's Blues Club (143 Beale St)

As the name suggests, this is a blues club owned by the man himself. King frequently plays here when he is not on tour.

Rum Boogie Café (182 Beale St)

This is a popular Beale St blues club.

Willie Mitchell's Rhythm and Blues Club (326 Beale St)

The late Willie Mitchell is best known as the co-producer (together with drummer Al Jackson) of Al Green’s classic soul recordings at Hi Records. The club is still run by Mitchell’s family, and the blues and R&B shows are consistently good. Talent nights are held on Wednesdays.

Memphis Music Hall of Fame (329 Beale St and 97 S. Second St)

The Hall of Fame documents the musical heritage of the Memphis region via TV and film, photos, old instruments and records. The collection is split over two branches: the Beale St branch specialises on the pre Elvis years, while the Second St branch (which is located just opposite the Peabody Hotel) focuses on the rock and roll years, soul, and beyond. The Hall of Fame is open from Monday to Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm,

W.C. Handy’s House / The Blues Foundation Building (352 Beale St)

In 1910 W.C. Handy wrote what was arguably the first published blues song - Memphis Blues - in memory of corrupt mayor Edward Crump

The Lorraine Motel / National Civil Rights Museum (450 Mulberry St)

Martin Luther King was shot and killed by James Earl Ray (who may or may not have had accomplices) at the Lorraine Motel on 4 April 1968; King was in town to support striking black city council workers. The Civil Rights Museum is built around the old Motel, and is located close to Beale St.

Ambassador Hotel (South Main Historic District)

The Ambassador was the seedy hotel featured in Jim Jarmusch’s Mystery Train; in the movie, the ghost of Elvis haunts the rooms, Joe Strummer accidentally shoots his brother in law in the leg, and Screaming Jay Hawkins is the hotel receptionist. The hotel has so far escaped demolition.

Arcade Restaurant (540 South Main St)

Featured in the movie Mystery Train.

(back to Music Travel)

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