Day Trips and Beyond

If you decide to go on a road trip from Memphis, these are some blues destinations well worth your time.

Delta Blues Museum

photo by SueReed99, Flickr
photo by SueReed99, Flickr

 About an hour’s drive south from Memphis, this homespun museum in Clarksdale covers important musicians from the Mississippi Delta like Muddy Waters, Otis Spann, Pinetop Perkins, Charlie Musselwhite, and many more. They have some great displays and artifacts, including the remains of Muddy’s cabin from Stovall Farms where he lived as a sharecropper and tractor driver.
Delta Blues Museum
1 Blues Alley, Clarksdale, MS 38614
Phone: (662) 627-6820
http://www.deltabluesmuseum.org/high/index.asp

Ground Zero Club
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Also in Clarksdale, MS, the club owned by Morgan Freeman showcases modern blues musicians. You might see him when he’s between movies and back in his home town.

photo by exploreTeam, Flickr
photo by exploreTeam, Flickr

Ground Zero Club
252 Delta Ave, Clarksdale, MS 38614
Phone: +1 662-621-9009
http://www.groundzerobluesclub.com/

Mississippi Blues Trail
Mississippi-Blues-trail

If you are driving south to New Orleans, the two cities are about 800 miles apart. You can motor through Mississippi along the Blues Trail and see many historic blues landmarks and museums along the Mississippi Delta.

Along the Blues Trail, the impressive B.B. King Museum in Indianola, MS is a shrine for blues lovers.
http://www.bbkingmuseum.org/

photo by paintoutloud, Flickr
photo by paintoutloud, Flickr

Mississippi Blues Trail – MDA Tourism
P.O. Box 849, Jackson, MS 39205
Phone: (601) 359-3449
http://msbluestrail.org/

Memphis on Screen

If you want to know more about the history and culture of the area, these are helpful documentaries and movies:

Eyes on the Prize

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Multi-part PBS documentary about the Civil Rights movement. Superb archive footage and insightful interviews. A must-see. Aired on public television in 1987 and was finally released on DVD in 2010.
http://www.shoppbs.org/eyes+on+the+prize

Boycott
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Well-told drama about Martin Luther King Jr. (Jeffery Wright) leading the sanitation workers strike in Montgomery, Alabama. (2001.)
http://www.allmovie.com/movie/boycott-v234660

Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story

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Music-filled documentary about the rise and fall of Stax Records and its important place in the history of American soul. Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. Highly recommended for the archive footage of all the big stars like Otis Redding, Booker T. & the M.G.’s, Sam & Dave, Rufus Thomas, The Staple Singers, Isaac Hayes, and many more! (2007.)
http://www.amazon.com/Respect-Yourself-Stax-Records-Story

West of Memphis
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Director Amy Berg’s documentary examines the West Memphis Three–teenagers who seemingly were falsely convicted for the murder of three little boys. (2012.)
http://www.allmovie.com/movie/west-of-memphis-v553701/

Let Freedom Sing

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Chronicles the power of music that helped move a generation during the Civil Rights Movement. Features 29 inspiring performances including Respect, Change Is Gonna Come, People Get Ready, Fight the Power, and What’s Going On.  (2009)
http://www.allmovie.com/movie/let-freedom-sing-how-music-inspired-the-civil-rights-movement-v482106

Elvis: Return to Tupelo
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Features interviews with childhood friends, first girlfriends, and early bandmates to build a complete picture of the well-mannered Southern boy with a talent for singing.  It’s the story of Elvis’s dirt-poor upbringing in Tupelo, MS, his job as a Memphis truck driver with musical aspirations, and his rapid rise to stardom in 1956.  Even if you know a lot about Elvis, this documentary is still full of surprises. (Elvis was actually blonde!) (2008.)
http://www.amazon.com/Elvis-Return-Tupelo-Presley

Other movies filmed in Memphis and nearby:

21 Grams (2002)
3000 Miles to Graceland (2001)
The Angel Doll (2000)
Black Snake Moan (2007)
Cast Away (2000)
The Client (1994)
The Delta (1996)
Elizabethtown (2005)
Elvis (2005 TV Movie)
Elvis and Me (1988)
A Family Thing (1996)
Finding Graceland (1998)
The Firm (1993)
The Grace Card (2011)
The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag (1992)
Forty Shades of Blue (2005)
Great Balls of Fire! (1988)
Heart of Dixie (1989)
Highway 61 (1991)
Hustle & Flow (2005)
Leningrad Cowboys Go America (1989)
Making the Grade (1984)
Memphis (1992 TV Movie)
Memphis Beat (TV Series)
Memphis Belle (1990)
Mystery Train (1989)
Nothing But the Truth (2008)
A Painted House (2002)
The People Vs. Larry Flynt (1996)
The Rainmaker (1997)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Soul Men (2008)
Take Me to the River (2014)
This is Elvis (1981)
Trespass (1991)
Tricks (2007)
Walk the Line (2005)

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has a complete list of movies filmed in Memphis:
http://www.imdb.com/search/title?at=0&locations=Memphis,%20Tennessee,%20USA&sort=moviemeter,asc

 

Background and Resources

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Memphis Travel
http://www.memphistravel.com/

Memphis Travel – Mobile Apps
http://www.memphistravel.com/interactive-map#mobileapp

Memphis Magazine
http://www.memphismagazine.com/

ILoveMemphis Blog
http://ilovememphisblog.com/

Memphis History
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memphis,_TN

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National Civil Rights Museum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Civil_Rights_Museum

Unpublished MLK Assassination Photos
http://life.time.com/history/mlk-assassination-photos-from-memphis-tennessee-april-4-1968/#1

Graceland
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graceland

Memphis Trolley
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MATA_Trolley

Memphis Railroad and Trolley Museum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memphis_Railroad_%26_Trolley_Museum

Memphis Central Station
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Station_(Memphis)

Gibson Guitars
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibson_Guitars

Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burkle_Estate#Slave_Haven_Underground_Railroad_Museum

The Cotton Museum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotton_museum

Steamboats of the Mississippi
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steamboats_of_the_Mississippi

Ernest C. Withers
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Withers

Memphis Rock ‘n Soul Museum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memphis_Rock_N%27_Soul_Museum

The Orpheum Theatre
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orpheum_Theatre_(Memphis)

Center for Southern Folklore
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_for_Southern_Folklore

Memphis & Shelby County Music Commission
http://www.memphismusic.org/Programs.aspx

Little Kids Rock
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Kids_Rock

photo by micro43, Flickr
photo by micro43, Flickr

All-Music Guide – Blues
http://www.allmusic.com/genre/blues-ma0000002467

Memphis Blues
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memphis_blues

The Blues Foundation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blues_Foundation

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Woman With Guitar: Memphis Minnie’s Blues
http://www.amazon.com/Woman-Guitar-Memphis-Minnies-Blues/dp/0872866211/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402586730&sr=1-1&keywords=Memphis+Minnie

B.B. King
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/bb-king-mn0000059156/biography

Al Green
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/al-green-mn0000607448/biography

Elvis51Elvis Presley
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/elvis-presley-mn0000180228/biography

Sun Studio
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Studio

Levitt Shell (Overton Park Shell)
http://scottymoore.net/overton.html

Rocket 88
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocket_88

WDIA Radio
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WDIA

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Wheelin’ on Beale: How WDIA-Memphis Became the Nation’s First All-Black Radio Station and Created the Sound that Changed America
http://www.amazon.com/Wheelin-Beale-Wdia

The Stax Museum
photo by Kim, Flickr

Stax Records
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stax_Records

Stax Records (Concord Music Group)
http://www2.concordmusicgroup.com/labels/Stax/

Stax at 50: A 50th Anniversary Celebration
http://www.allmusic.com/album/stax-50-a-50th-anniversary-celebration-mw0000452604

Wattstax
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wattstax

photo by AOK Library and Gallery, UMBC
photo by AOK Library and Gallery, UMBC

Otis Redding
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/otis-redding-mn0000414251/biography

Booker T. & the M.G.’s
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/booker-t-the-mgs-mn0000772733/biography

Staple Singers
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-staple-singers-mn0000577235/biography

Sam & Dave
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/sam-dave-mn0000282709/biography

Isaac Hayes
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/isaac-hayes-mn0000101946/biography

John Németh
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/john-n%C3%A9meth-mn0000484219/biography

The Bo-Keys
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bo-Keys

photo by sarah james, Flickr
photo by sarah james, Flickr

Hi Records (Official)
http://www.hirecords.com/

Hi Records
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hi_Records

Hi Times: The Hi Records R & B Years
http://www.allmusic.com/album/hi-times-the-hi-records-r-b-years-box-mw0000125619

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Big Star
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/big-star-mn0000051992/biography

Ardent Studios
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ardent_Studios

A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, From Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man
http://www.amazon.com/Man-Called-Destruction

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FedEx
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FedEx_Express

Changing How the World Does Business: FedEx’s Incredible Journey to Success – The Inside Story
http://www.amazon.com/Changing-How-World-Does-Business

FedEx Delivers: How the World’s Leading Shipping Company Keeps Innovating and Outperforming the Competition
http://www.amazon.com/FedEx-Delivers-Innovating-Outperforming-Competition

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photo by Jack Delano, Wikimedia Commons

Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brotherhood_of_Sleeping_Car_Porters

Jim Crow Stories: The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/jimcrow/stories_org_brother.html

Miles of Smiles, Years of Struggles
http://www.paulwagnerfilms.com/miles-of-smiles-trailer/

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photo by Joseph, Flickr

Amtrak
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amtrak

National Train Day
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Train_Day

Content Creation for Train Simulator 2014
http://www.engine-driver.com/article/show/3465/interview-content-creation-for-train-simulator-part-1

Chuggington
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuggington

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Mississippi Blues Trail
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississippi_Blues_Trail

Delta Blues Museum
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta_Blues_Museum

Ground Zero Club
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground_Zero_(blues_club)

photo by Amy and Turgay, Flickr
photo by Amy and Turgay, Flickr

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