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Top 5 Memphis History and Culture spots to Visit
Episode 96 • 19th February 2024 • Talk With History • Scott and Jenn of Walk with History - The History Inspired World Travelers
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This episode of 'Talk With History' is dedicated to discussing historical landmarks and must-visit locations in Memphis, Tennessee. The hosts share their personal experiences while visiting iconic locations such as Graceland (Elvis Presley's home), the Lorraine Motel (now the National Civil Rights Museum), Beale Street, Peabody Hotel, and the Memphis Pyramid. The episode also covers Memphis's contribution to music and its storied past with racial segregation and civil rights movement. The couple also shares tips for the best barbecue spots in the area.

00:00 Introduction

00:41 Listener Reviews

02:28 Exploring Memphis, Tennessee: The City of Soul and Stories

04:01 The Birth of 'Walk With History' in Memphis

06:16 Top 5 Must-Visit Places in Memphis

09:03 # 5 The Pyramid

11:20 # 4 The Peabody Hotel

14:23 # 3 Beale Street

20:34 # 2 The Lorraine Motel

27:08 # 1

32:27 Bonus

34:01 The Taste of Memphis: Barbecue

36:07 The Stories of Memphis

Locations

Bass Pro Shop Pyramid

Hotel Peabody

Beal Street

Lorraine Motel (Civil Rights Museum)

Sun Studio

Graceland

Food:

Central BBQ

Blues City Cafe

Gus’s Fried Chicken

Rendezvous

Memphis BBQ


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Transcripts

Scott:

I'm watching, and I'm listening.

Scott:

This is Talk With History.

Scott:

That's what we do.

Jenn:

well, you better listen to me.

Jenn:

I don't think I listened to you, which is fine.

Scott:

And that, folks, is how the show rolls.

Scott:

Welcome

Scott:

to Talk With History.

Scott:

I'm your host, Scott here with my wife and historian,

Jenn:

Hello.

Scott:

On this podcast, we give you insights to our history inspired

Scott:

world travels, YouTube channel journey, and examine history

Scott:

through deeper conversations with the curious, the explorers, and

Scott:

the history lovers out there.

Scott:

Now today, Jen, before we get into our main topic, I wanna thank our

Scott:

Spotify listeners for 5 star reviews.

Scott:

We actually just got a couple more last time I

Scott:

checked, and so we're up to 9.

Scott:

So if you're listening on Spotify, if you could be our tenth 5 star

Scott:

review, that would be fantastic.

Scott:

And we actually got another 5 star review over on Apple Podcast

Scott:

from our friend, GE Historian.

Scott:

So this 1 is her review starts with the subject line.

Scott:

It's for the Masters of the Air episode that we did not too long ago.

Scott:

The history of the Masters of the Air with an aviator turned historian, 5 stars.

Scott:

Love this episode, Jen and Scott.

Scott:

It was so fascinating to hear the history of aviation during World War 2 and how

Scott:

it helped shape the future of aviation.

Scott:

I'm a huge fan of Masters of the Air in your podcast.

Scott:

My 2 favorite characters from the show is Buck and Bucky.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

I think

Scott:

I I would agree with that.

Scott:

I also love Curtis too.

Scott:

Like you, Jen, I sympathize too with the aviators and how they have to make split

Scott:

second decisions up in the air that may or may not go against the plan that their

Scott:

superiors had created down the ground.

Scott:

Keep up the good work.

Scott:

Well, thank you so much.

Scott:

We actually inter we actually interact with GE Historian a fair amount on

Jenn:

Instagram.

Jenn:

So if you wanna follow us on Instagram, we have a pretty big following

Jenn:

over there, and we post pretty much

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

We're pretty active over on Instagram.

Scott:

A lot quicker hit kinda history, little little hits over there.

Scott:

We do have some membership options over there, and we appreciate this kind of

Scott:

the support wherever we can get Today, we're taking a whirlwind tour of Memphis,

Scott:

Tennessee, a city dripping with soul, swagger, and stories that shaped America.

Scott:

From the king's throne to the fight for equality, Memphis packs a

Scott:

historical punch, so put on your blue suede shoes and grab some dry rub

Scott:

ribs because we're hitting the road on a Mississippi Delta adventure.

Scott:

We're going to explore the birthplace of rock and roll, uncover a hotel with

Scott:

a bit of adorable whimsy, and leave you humming a blues tune and hungry for more.

Scott:

So stay tuned, history enthusiasts.

Scott:

The Memphis magic is about to begin.

Scott:

Now,

Scott:

Jen Yes.

Scott:

We actually haven't recorded in a couple weeks.

Scott:

We recorded ahead, so we've been staying on our regular schedule, but

Scott:

we didn't record because you and I are getting ready to move back to the

Scott:

greater Memphis area, some navy moves.

Scott:

And so with that, we wanted to kinda share some tips and tricks, travels, some top

Scott:

5 things that you picked out that people can go see in Memphis that have both a

Scott:

historical significance and are like the must sees in the greater Memphis area.

Jenn:

Yes.

Jenn:

So we've lived there before.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

We lived there for 3 years.

Jenn:

And moving from California to Memphis, we really didn't know anything about Memphis.

Jenn:

So it is really the birth of Walk With History.

Jenn:

Your very first video is from Memphis, Tennessee.

Jenn:

It actually has to do around a Confederate statue that neither

Jenn:

of us even knew who this guy was.

Jenn:

And it was such a well known character in Memphis in the south that we

Jenn:

were just shocked that there's so much knowledge and history of the

Jenn:

south that is just not widespread.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

We we've we've told this story a couple times, and if you've never heard it

Scott:

before the the channel actually started in about 20 21, not long after the

Scott:

pandemic, and and you had been watching some YouTube you had actually gone out.

Scott:

We were living in Memphis where I moved there for the Navy, and you had gone

Scott:

out just with your, iPhone, you know, 10 or something like that at the time,

Scott:

and just started filming vertical video saying, hey, I wanna show this to my

Scott:

family and show them who this person

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

I made a Facebook group.

Scott:

a Facebook group.

Jenn:

was called walk with history.

Jenn:

And I added a bunch of friends and family and asked them if they are interested.

Jenn:

I'm gonna just film around the South and Memphis and things that I'm learning and

Jenn:

if they're interested in learning too.

Jenn:

And you have to also understand it's just coinciding with me

Jenn:

getting my master's degree there.

Jenn:

So, again, former military used my GI bill and went back to school

Jenn:

at the University of Memphis and got a master's degree of history.

Jenn:

So for me, it was so poignant to get that degree there because my undergrad

Jenn:

is from Penn State, a a Yankee school.

Jenn:

And to get your graduate degree in a southern school, I it really is

Jenn:

a crossroads of American history.

Jenn:

And I did not realize how important Memphis is to American history until

Jenn:

I started to really immerse myself into that culture and history.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

And so that was really the Genesis of Walk With History.

Scott:

It started there, and then we kinda moved and life moved on.

Scott:

And then all of a sudden, you know, a few years later, here

Scott:

we are with Walk With History.

Scott:

So let's start with the where Memphis fits in the greater

Scott:

American history picture, and then we'll go into some some top

Jenn:

Top 5.

Scott:

Top 5.

Scott:

Top 5 places to visit.

Scott:

If you were going to Memphis for the first time, this is our list,

Scott:

and we're gonna go in reverse

Scott:

order.

Scott:

But we'll start with some history, and then we're gonna go go in the top 5.

Scott:

So

Scott:

stick around.

Jenn:

So usually when I listen to podcasts, I'm driving somewhere

Jenn:

and I'm like, oh, does anyone have a podcast about this so I can

Jenn:

listen to it before I get there?

Jenn:

So if you're on your way to Memphis, first time, these are your top 5 places to visit

Jenn:

if you've never been to Memphis before.

Jenn:

But some background on Memphis is it's at the southern west tip of

Jenn:

Tennessee on the Mississippi River.

Jenn:

It is an old Chickasaw area.

Jenn:

So Chickasaw was the American Indians that live there, the Chickasaw people.

Jenn:

And then it was bought by Andrew Jackson pretty early in in land grants.

Jenn:

Andrew Jackson's from Tennessee.

Jenn:

And if you remember, he his home is outside of Nashville.

Jenn:

And so he's a early landowner of the Tennessee area.

Jenn:

So he owns Memphis.

Jenn:

And him and 2 other people established the city.

Jenn:

And that's about 18 19.

Jenn:

And because it's on the Mississippi, which is the second largest river

Jenn:

in America, it looks like the Nile.

Jenn:

And so for Andrew Jackson, he wanted to name it after a city in Egypt.

Jenn:

And Memphis is the name of a city on the Nile in Egypt.

Jenn:

So Memphis, Tennessee is like Memphis, Egypt because of its place along the Nile.

Jenn:

Because of that, there's a lot of Egyptian influence in Memphis.

Jenn:

And even when I went to the University of Memphis, we have a big statue

Jenn:

of Ramses out front of the school because we have an Egyptology program.

Scott:

And I think it's it's 1 of the largest in the country.

Jenn:

Yes.

Jenn:

So if you like Indiana Jones, everybody most people who I

Jenn:

went to grad school with are are Egyptologists, reading hieroglyphics.

Jenn:

And we have at the University of Memphis Museum, we have mummies.

Jenn:

And a lot of that schooling is there.

Jenn:

So it is 1 of those larger programs.

Jenn:

Most people will go to Egypt and do a dig.

Jenn:

And I also got a certificate in museum studies.

Jenn:

So I was also working with them in that realm as well as well.

Jenn:

So you may not realize how big Egyptology is in Memphis because

Jenn:

it's like the middle of the south.

Jenn:

That makes no sense.

Jenn:

But it is.

Jenn:

It's it's

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

It was it was neat to learn about that as you were going through

Scott:

grad school and and it kinda

Scott:

makes sense for some of our 1 of the items on our list here, and actually

Scott:

probably the first 1 that we're gonna talk about about kinda why it

Scott:

was designed the way that it was.

Jenn:

So the fifth place on our list, because we're gonna jump into

Jenn:

this, I don't want people sitting on I hate sitting on a podcast going,

Jenn:

when are they gonna get to it?

Jenn:

Is the pyramid.

Jenn:

There's a huge pyramid in Memphis right on the Mississippi and because of Egypt.

Jenn:

So think of if you've ever been to Vegas and you've seen the

Jenn:

Luxor, it's almost the same thing.

Jenn:

But it was built as arena in 19 91 to hold 20000 people.

Jenn:

And it had some famous concerts there.

Jenn:

The Grateful Dead played there.

Scott:

Oh, I didn't realize

Jenn:

It's also known for a Mike Tyson fight.

Jenn:

In 2002, Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson actually fought

Scott:

Oh, I didn't know that.

Jenn:

was like an arena.

Jenn:

But after that, it it closed, and it was revamped as a Bass Pro Shop.

Jenn:

And that's what it is today.

Scott:

let me tell you folks, it is such a fun Bass Pro Shop.

Scott:

I I so enjoy going there.

Scott:

And if I know there's people that have been stationed with me there in in

Scott:

Memphis, Millington area before, and I'm I'm sure they probably feel the same way.

Scott:

It's just kinda 1 of those things that hey.

Scott:

I'm gonna go after church.

Scott:

I'm gonna go there on a Sunday afternoon and just you could spend a couple

Scott:

hours there literally just walking out looking at whatever you wanna look at.

Scott:

And it has all sorts of stuff inside, like lakes and fish

Scott:

and gators and all this crazy

Jenn:

It it's so it's free.

Jenn:

So if you wanted just something fun to do with your family,

Jenn:

you could park there, walk in.

Jenn:

You can look at all the cool aquariums.

Jenn:

They have a bowling alley.

Jenn:

They have a nice restaurant upstairs, like fine dining.

Jenn:

They have an a a good restaurant downstairs.

Jenn:

It's more family friendly.

Jenn:

And you can even stay there.

Jenn:

They have rooms and

Scott:

That's right.

Scott:

There's a hotel.

Scott:

There's a hotel aspect to it, but it has all the classic Bass Pro Shop stuff.

Scott:

All the classic Bass Pro.

Scott:

It's it's super fun.

Scott:

Well, I highly recommend if you're if you want something a little

Scott:

that every the whole family would enjoy, I I think this is a a an easy

Jenn:

And you would see it.

Jenn:

If you're driving through Memphis, and you're taking the Memphis bridge across

Jenn:

the Mississippi, you'll see the pyramid.

Jenn:

It is right there on the on the coast of the Mississippi

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

that Memphis Bridge it's going across you know, the Mississippi

Scott:

there, it looks like a big m.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

It's right there.

Jenn:

It's

Jenn:

right there.

Jenn:

So let's move on to number 4.

Jenn:

And this is important historically.

Jenn:

We'll talk about that as well.

Jenn:

It also is in a movie, but it's the Peabody Hotel.

Jenn:

So the Peabody Hotel is 1 of these old Southern hotels.

Jenn:

The original was built in 18 69, right after the

Jenn:

Civil War.

Jenn:

Now, it wasn't at the present location.

Jenn:

It is today.

Jenn:

The present location of the Peabody today was built in 19 25.

Jenn:

But you would remember it from The Firm, the Tom Cruise movie where he

Jenn:

gets offered the job and they're on top of the Peabody having a party.

Jenn:

And you can see the big words, the Peabody.

Jenn:

It also has a great view of the Mississippi from it.

Jenn:

And another thing that people love to see at the

Scott:

Yes.

Scott:

And that was cool.

Scott:

I it wasn't something I had seen the firm, you know, before we moved

Scott:

there, but I wasn't aware of the

Jenn:

Mhmm.

Jenn:

So the firm is that Tom Cruise movie.

Jenn:

It was written by Grisham, where he plays a lawyer in Memphis.

Jenn:

Just so people like what?

Jenn:

Yes.

Jenn:

If you remember that 1 of the John Grisham novel, john

Jenn:

Grisham is from the South.

Jenn:

But the ducks in night in 19 33, some duck hunter came into the hotel and

Jenn:

they have a big fountain in the middle.

Jenn:

And he thought it was funny to put his duck decoys in the fountain.

Jenn:

And it just made people laugh.

Jenn:

And so they thought it would be like a novelty to have real ducks.

Jenn:

And so they do now.

Jenn:

So every day they parade the ducks in in the morning and it's a big deal.

Jenn:

You can sit there.

Jenn:

They're they're housed at the top of the hotel.

Jenn:

They come in in the morning.

Jenn:

They walk across the red carpet and they sit in the fountain all day.

Jenn:

And then at the afternoon or the 3 or 4, they parade the ducks out to go to bed.

Scott:

and and don't I guess, certain people on host hotel staff, they're

Scott:

like they're like I want I don't know the word for it, but they're,

Scott:

like, integrated with the ducks.

Scott:

The ducks know these

Scott:

particular people, and they wranglers.

Scott:

They they will follow them.

Scott:

through the through the hotel.

Scott:

And so I think I've seen it once, but only kinda on the periphery because I

Scott:

was trying to kinda help the kids see

Scott:

it.

Scott:

So I'm actually looking forward to going back and actually seeing it truly

Scott:

seeing it for myself, you know, sometime

Jenn:

Again, it's free.

Jenn:

It's something fun to do with your family.

Jenn:

They have a great lobby area where you can go have a drink or hot cocoa,

Jenn:

and you can get food or just dessert.

Jenn:

We go there after date night sometimes, and we just sit in the lobby.

Jenn:

It's a beautiful lobby.

Jenn:

They have a lot of events there.

Jenn:

So Saint Jude is in Memphis.

Jenn:

And a lot of Saint Jude's events will be at the Peabody.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

And now the Peabody all that's there, and it's right in the downtown area

Scott:

next to our number 3 place on the

Jenn:

I wanna talk a little bit more about the history of Memphis.

Jenn:

So Memphis, again, along the Mississippi River and during

Jenn:

the early times of America and enslavement, this was a cotton area.

Jenn:

And Memphis was the cotton market of America.

Jenn:

That's where they they did the cotton exchange because you could

Jenn:

bring cotton up the Mississippi, exchange it, and then send it further

Jenn:

up north to basically sell it and

Scott:

Well and and also in that neck of the woods, in that part of

Scott:

the south of the Mississippi Delta area you can grow cotton for so

Scott:

long.

Scott:

Yes.

Scott:

You know, the the the growing season is is pretty

Scott:

long.

Jenn:

still see cotton growing there today, which is something

Jenn:

we never saw until we moved there.

Jenn:

But during enslavement, this is where you get a lot of African Americans and working

Jenn:

through getting free or not being free.

Jenn:

And so you have the blues.

Jenn:

The birthplace of the blues is Beale Street.

Jenn:

they really think the birthplace of jazz will be Bourbon Street in New Orleans,

Jenn:

but this is the birthplace of the blues.

Jenn:

And Beale Street is our number 3 place to visit because it is that birthplace

Jenn:

of that particular kind of music, which is jazz, but more on a sadder

Jenn:

storytelling, just like your your your travels and trials through life.

Jenn:

And you get famous people like BB King and Muddy Waters who really

Jenn:

left their mark on Beale Street.

Jenn:

But it was WC Handy who was a trumpet player, who African American, who

Jenn:

wrote the song and became known as the Memphis City Blues or the Beale Street

Scott:

Oh, cool.

Jenn:

how Beale Street got its name.

Jenn:

So you would know it from the new Elvis movie, Lansky Brothers, where Elvis

Jenn:

got his clothes is on Beale Street.

Jenn:

Elvis visits Beale Street.

Jenn:

It's just a major musical influence

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

there.

Scott:

was actually a pretty long scene in that movie where he's at some bar, some

Scott:

music spot downtown, and he's hanging out right with other musicians down

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

He's hanging out with just other influential musicians because the African

Jenn:

American sound was so influential to his

Scott:

And if you It's it's an easy Google search.

Scott:

You can Google Beale Street, and there's a there's a lot of fantastic places to eat,

Scott:

great bars you can go listen to music too.

Scott:

They actually have what do they call them?

Scott:

The Memphis Street flyers

Scott:

where Yes.

Scott:

They will they will kinda do gymnastics.

Scott:

They will tumble, kinda doing

Scott:

flips.

Jenn:

you remember in The Firm, when Tom Cruise is kinda challenged to do flips

Jenn:

down the street, they have people who do

Scott:

And they They still do it to this

Jenn:

still do it to this day.

Jenn:

Great places to eat like you said.

Jenn:

We love Blue City Cafe which is right on the corner.

Jenn:

It's also from The Firm where Tom Cruise meets the FBI agents for the first time.

Jenn:

But they have the best gumbo cheese fries I've ever had

Scott:

They're they're fantastic.

Scott:

1 of the other places that I wrote down that's just off of

Scott:

Beale Street is Rendezvous.

Jenn:

So rendezvous so so when we say gumbo cheese fries, that's not barbecue.

Jenn:

When we're getting into barbecue and you get into rendezvous, rendezvous

Jenn:

is by the Peabody, which is just 2 blocks away from Beale Street.

Jenn:

And Rendezvous is down a back alley from the Peabody.

Scott:

And and if folks, if you're listening and you're like, oh my gosh.

Scott:

I gotta take all these notes.

Scott:

Don't worry.

Scott:

I have links to all of these places.

Scott:

I will put them in the show notes.

Scott:

So just save this episode or text it to your husband or your wife

Scott:

or whatever and be like, hey.

Scott:

On our trip, we have to relisten to this, and we gotta look in the

Scott:

show notes because I have links.

Scott:

I'm gonna have links to all these places in the show

Jenn:

Yes.

Jenn:

And rendezvous Justin Timberlake is from Memphis, and

Jenn:

rendezvous is his favorite ribs.

Jenn:

So if you want some good barbecue ribs, rendezvous is where Justin

Scott:

Rendezvous Rendezvous really good.

Scott:

It's it's pretty cool too because 1 parking is it can be tricky around

Scott:

there, but it's like you have to go into this alley to get into Rendezvous, and

Scott:

then it's like down inside, and it's actually pretty expansive once you get

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

And I still use Rendezvous spices when I make chicken for us.

Jenn:

So I buy it even for that because it's special.

Jenn:

But yeah.

Jenn:

You can't miss Beale Street.

Jenn:

FedEx Forum is there right off of Beale.

Jenn:

FedEx Forum is our big arena now where the Grizzlies will play.

Jenn:

We saw Justin Timberlake there.

Jenn:

We saw Garth Brooks there.

Jenn:

There's a great hotel right beside it.

Jenn:

If you don't wanna stay at the Peabody, there's a hotel right there by the FedEx

Jenn:

Forum, which is your right on Beal then.

Jenn:

There's other great music places on Beal.

Jenn:

You can hear the blues coming out the door and you can stop in and have a drink.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

Beale Street is 1 of those things if you can't hit all 5 of these places

Scott:

in 1 day, if you do 1 thing in the morning and then you kinda do 1 thing

Scott:

later on evening dinner time, Beale Street is the is that great place.

Scott:

That 1 last thing kinda before we move on to the next 1 that I noticed the

Scott:

last time we were there, They have those musical notes like Hollywood

Scott:

Boulevard has the, you know, walk of fame, but they have these kind of

Scott:

brass notes that are in in the sidewalk with all these famous musicians that

Scott:

have been there, played there, or or from the area or something like that.

Scott:

So you can see all these names that you will recognize

Scott:

that are in the sidewalk

Jenn:

The musical influence of Memphis is tremendous and far reaching.

Jenn:

I will also mention the oldest establishment on Beal is Schwab.

Jenn:

It's it's a good store.

Jenn:

It has great ice cream in there now.

Jenn:

It's another great place to start with your family

Scott:

Great great place to get souvenirs and all the

Jenn:

Yes.

Jenn:

And that's what has the fountains.

Jenn:

If you go up on the second floor, they have a little museum and they

Jenn:

show you fountains from segregation.

Jenn:

Because again, Memphis is really a part of American crossroads and segregation and

Jenn:

enslavement is all part of the history.

Jenn:

And we'll get more into that in our next location.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

So our our next location is a little bit more of a serious note, but this

Scott:

is actually pretty well known and a lot some people may know it as the

Scott:

National Civil Rights Museum, but in Memphis, it started off as something

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

Lorraine Motel.

Jenn:

So it's important.

Jenn:

If you're in Memphis again for a day, you can just drive by it and stop.

Jenn:

You don't have to go inside the actual motel, which is now the National

Jenn:

Civil Rights Museum, because because you can see the balcony where Martin

Jenn:

Luther King was assassinated on April fourth 19 68 just by standing outside.

Jenn:

And it's open and free to the public to do that.

Jenn:

So Martin Luther King was in Memphis for the sanitation strike.

Jenn:

Again, this is the sixties.

Jenn:

This is Jim Crow.

Jenn:

This is segregation.

Jenn:

Sanitation workers were the basically the garbage men in town.

Jenn:

And it was segregated where white workers drove and black workers had to

Jenn:

stay in the back of a garbage truck.

Jenn:

And a garbage truck had malfunctioned and killed 2 black men.

Jenn:

And the sanitation workers, African American sanitation workers, walked

Jenn:

off the pick walked off the job because of their working conditions.

Jenn:

They weren't paid as much.

Jenn:

They weren't allowed time off.

Jenn:

They had to sit in the back of a garbage truck, and then 2 men had died.

Jenn:

So if you ever see those I Am a Man posters, that's from the sanitation

Jenn:

strike of Memphis, Tennessee.

Jenn:

And that's what Martin Luther King was doing in town to help

Jenn:

support that strike and that

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

We actually have a great video that you did from there.

Scott:

And if if you know anything about Martin Luther King and you're familiar with his

Scott:

I have seen the mountaintop speech, that is the last speech that he gives because

Scott:

he's there for those sanitation strikes.

Scott:

You know, if you I would encourage you to listen to the whole thing because a lot

Scott:

of people are familiar with that phrase.

MLK:

But somewhere I read.

MLK:

Of the freedom of Assembly somewhere.

MLK:

I read of the Freedom of Speech.

MLK:

Yes.

MLK:

Somewhere I read of the Freedom of Press.

MLK:

Yes.

MLK:

Somewhere I read that The Greatness of America is the right to protest.

MLK:

for right.

MLK:

I'm so blessed.

MLK:

As I say, we aren't gonna let.

MLK:

Dogs or water hoses turn us around.

MLK:

We aren't gonna let any injunction turn us around.

MLK:

Well, I don't what will happen now.

MLK:

We've got some difficult days ahead, but it really doesn't matter with me now

MLK:

because I've been to the Mountain Top

MLK:

like anybody.

MLK:

I would like to live long.

MLK:

Life Longevity has its place, but I'm not concerned about that now.

MLK:

I just want do God's will and he's allowed me to go up to the mountain

MLK:

and I've looked over and I've.

MLK:

The Promised Land.

MLK:

I may not get there with you, but I want you to know the night that we as

MLK:

a people will get to the Promised Land.

MLK:

So I'm happy tonight.

MLK:

I'm not worried about anything.

MLK:

I'm not fearing any.

MLK:

My eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

Scott:

But listening to the whole thing that I remember doing this for the

Scott:

videos, it's it's a phenomenal speech.

Scott:

It's it's absolutely incredible.

Scott:

That's the last speech that he gives.

Scott:

And then the next next morning?

Jenn:

Next evening.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

He's at 6 0 1 PM.

Jenn:

He's out of room 3 0 6 on the balcony there at the Lorraine Motel.

Jenn:

Today, the Lorraine Motel is the National Civil Rights Museum.

Jenn:

So if you do visit, it's a tremendous museum.

Jenn:

It walks you through the African American experience in America from enslavement

Jenn:

to civil war, reconstruction Jim Crow, segregation, and now mass incarceration.

Jenn:

So it's a really fantastic museum.

Jenn:

And then they also own across the alleyway, the boarding house

Jenn:

where James Earl Ray was staying.

Jenn:

And that walks you through more Martin Luther King and the assassination.

Jenn:

But like you said, we have a video.

Jenn:

And we go to the church where Martin Luther King delivered that last speech.

Jenn:

We show you what that's off the beaten path.

Jenn:

But if you're interested in that, that video will show you where that is at.

Jenn:

It's about 2 miles away from the Lorraine Motel.

Jenn:

And then we take you to the Lorraine Motel and give you all of that background

Jenn:

as well if you're interested in watching that video before you visit.

Scott:

And I believe we actually have another podcast episode that's a little

Scott:

bit more in-depth about the Martin Luther King assassination, things that you

Scott:

learned while you were in grad school,

Scott:

and kinda different perspectives of people who who grew up and

Scott:

and lived in the area of that.

Scott:

So,

Scott:

If you're if you're interested in kinda going further into depth in that, I'll

Scott:

I'll put some links in links in the show

Jenn:

And like I said, I got my degree there.

Jenn:

So it was a lot of learning for me as a white woman learning a

Jenn:

lot about understanding this race problem that has been happening

Jenn:

in Memphis for years, centuries.

Jenn:

The Lorraine Motel was a segregated motel.

Jenn:

So that is why Martin Luther King was staying there.

Jenn:

There were white and black hotels at the time, and you

Jenn:

couldn't stay in the same hotels.

Jenn:

It was built in 19 25.

Jenn:

It was named after the owner's wife.

Jenn:

But famous African Americans had stayed there.

Jenn:

Nat King Cole had stayed there.

Jenn:

Aretha Franklin had stayed there.

Jenn:

It was the place you stayed if you were an African American

Jenn:

influencer in Memphis at the

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

Highly recommended.

Scott:

That's why it's number 2 on our list.

Scott:

Moving on from there is someone who is a a Memphis local that

Scott:

many of you most people will know.

Scott:

And this is the, I believe, the second most visited house in the entire nation.

Scott:

So what is number 1 on our list

Jenn:

It's Graceland.

Scott:

It's Graceland.

Jenn:

How can you not?

Jenn:

It's the king.

Jenn:

Again, so when we learned we're moving to Memphis, I think

Jenn:

that is the 1 thing we knew.

Scott:

It was Graceland.

Scott:

And I because I had actually been there before.

Jenn:

Mhmm.

Scott:

15 years prior or something like that, maybe 12 years prior.

Jenn:

So the other 4 places, Bass Pro Shop, Peabody, Bill Street,

Jenn:

Lorraine, they're pretty close.

Jenn:

You could probably walk to all of them.

Jenn:

Graceland is off the beaten path.

Jenn:

You you will have to wanna go visit that if you, specifically,

Jenn:

if you wanna see it because it's at 37 64 Elvis Presley Boulevard.

Jenn:

But at the time, it was the out skirts of Memphis, the only 4

Jenn:

miles from the Mississippi border.

Scott:

of a ranch

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

He had bought a ranch and it was Elvis's home from 19 7 to 19 77.

Jenn:

So 20 years he lived there.

Jenn:

And it it's preserved in the way it would have looked in the sixties.

Scott:

It's awesome.

Jenn:

it's amazing.

Jenn:

And so what they have there too is they have the new Graceland

Jenn:

Hotel, which is right beside it.

Jenn:

And you can stay there and you can get suites with all different kind of themes.

Jenn:

And they recreate the staircase in Graceland so you can actually because you

Jenn:

can't walk up the real staircase, but you can walk up the staircase in the hotel.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

If you've been to Graceland before and you're you're listening to this, but you

Scott:

haven't been, I think the hotel and kind of the new exhibits opened in about 20 19.

Jenn:

Yes.

Scott:

So we were there during the transition because it used

Scott:

to just be really centralized.

Scott:

Everything was at in Graceland proper, and then they really expanded.

Scott:

They open up the

Scott:

hotel, and they op they they took a lot of stuff, and they spread it out

Scott:

to to exhibits across the street.

Scott:

And now they have this really expansive, you know, kind of museum

Scott:

experience for all of this Elvis stuff.

Scott:

So if you haven't if you haven't been back since 20 19, there's

Scott:

a lot to kinda go back and see.

Jenn:

So we did it before and after.

Jenn:

So we can talk about that.

Jenn:

We were there for his fortieth anniversary of his death.

Jenn:

And they had prepared for that with this huge expansion where they had

Jenn:

taken everything out of the racquetball court, which used to hold all of

Jenn:

his records and all of his costumes.

Jenn:

They took everything out of the pool house, which used to hold all

Jenn:

of the family kind of memorabilia, his tuxedo, Lisa Marie's crib,

Jenn:

and moved it all into their own separate museums across the street.

Jenn:

So across the street, there are huge museums just dedicated to

Jenn:

Elvis life in the military, just dedicated to Elvis' costumes, just

Jenn:

dedicated to Elvis' life in Tupelo.

Jenn:

So it's an immersive place.

Jenn:

You can you can spend a day there, even 2 or 3 days.

Jenn:

And your tickets, you can buy tickets for different things.

Jenn:

You can buy tickets just to see the house.

Jenn:

You can buy tickets for the house and all the museums.

Jenn:

You can buy tickets for the house museums and there's like food places there.

Jenn:

And now they even have a auditorium to do shows.

Jenn:

I saw Bret Michaels

Scott:

Oh, that's right.

Jenn:

So they have it's just a huge experience now.

Jenn:

The house is great.

Jenn:

We've seen the house many times.

Jenn:

You can only visit the first floor.

Jenn:

You cannot go up on the second floor.

Jenn:

No one's allowed up there.

Jenn:

But if you wanna just see the the graveyard, these the serenity garden where

Jenn:

Elvis is buried with his parents, his

Scott:

Right next to his pool.

Jenn:

next to his pool, his grandson, and Lisa Marie, his daughter are all there.

Jenn:

It's free every morning from 7 30 to 8 30 AM.

Jenn:

You can park right in front and you can just walk right up.

Jenn:

And they allow that every day, 1 hour.

Jenn:

If you wanna pay your respects to the king like we did, we left him

Jenn:

a flag for his military service.

Jenn:

Now you don't get to go inside the house, but you can take

Jenn:

pictures in front of the house.

Jenn:

So if you didn't wanna spend the money or you didn't have the time or you're just

Jenn:

driving through, it's very easy to stop.

Jenn:

But it's only that 1 hour in the morning that is open for people to

Scott:

It it really is walking through classic Americana.

Scott:

He is

Scott:

such kind of a part of the the American culture, and there's a

Scott:

reason that is the second most visited house in the entire country, and and

Scott:

number 1 would be the White House.

Jenn:

Number one's the White House.

Jenn:

And we know because as we live there, you would hear celebrities going to Graceland.

Scott:

yeah.

Scott:

I remember it was like Aerosmith and

Jenn:

Jagger had gone when we were there.

Jenn:

And so you would just see them in the news.

Jenn:

Be like, oh, they went to Graceland today.

Jenn:

So usually everybody who visits America, it's like going to Disney World.

Jenn:

It's I'm gonna go to Disney World.

Jenn:

I'm gonna go to Graceland.

Jenn:

And when I was out there for Elvis week, it's the week of Elvis's

Jenn:

death in August, they closed down the street in front of Graceland.

Jenn:

And I would talk to people because I wanted to know, again, as a

Jenn:

historian, what did Elvis mean to you?

Jenn:

Why are you here?

Jenn:

And most everyone was born.

Jenn:

Most everyone was not from America.

Jenn:

And it was just so amazing to be a part of that in that culture.

Jenn:

So, yes, number 1 place to see in Memphis.

Jenn:

If you're even driving through, you can just stop and check out Graceland.

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

So so if you if you're listening if you're kinda listening and and you're

Scott:

curious about our list, I would actually go in the in the reverse order.

Scott:

Start with number 1.

Scott:

If you have to visit 1 thing, you have to see Graceland.

Jenn:

Well, we we need to add something onto that.

Scott:

That's

Jenn:

Sun Studio.

Scott:

Yes.

Scott:

The Sun Studio is not near Graceland.

Jenn:

It's not near Graceland and it's not really it's kinda

Jenn:

near downtown, but also away.

Jenn:

So you have to be specifically looking for Sun Studio.

Jenn:

Studio.

Jenn:

And that's why we kinda kept it as a 1 a

Scott:

This is our this is our bonus

Jenn:

because you probably would want to see Sun Studio,

Jenn:

specifically to see Sun Studio.

Jenn:

And this is where Elvis recorded his first record.

Jenn:

This is where the claim of they recorded the first rock and roll

Jenn:

record in 19 50 Howling Wolf.

Jenn:

And the and it Ike Turner was there and this is where they

Jenn:

claimed the birth of rock and roll.

Jenn:

Elvis Presley walked in at 18 years old in 19 53.

Jenn:

He records his famous song, That's Alright, Mama, in 19 54.

Jenn:

And it also has spawned all these other careers.

Jenn:

You get Johnny Cash from there and Jerry Lee Lewis is from there.

Jenn:

But you have famous, famous people who want to record in Sun Studio.

Jenn:

And you 2 did an entire album from Sun Studio.

Jenn:

So, again, that's I saw Mick Jagger was there and Aerosmith Steve

Jenn:

Tyler was there when we were there.

Jenn:

So it's another mecca of music, but people usually specifically want to see it.

Jenn:

So it's our 1 a with

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

It's a I I call it a a bonus place to visit, you know, for this for this top 5.

Scott:

And they do do public

Scott:

tours.

Scott:

So look them up ahead of time because you can you can get in there, and

Scott:

you can stand next to the microphone.

Scott:

You can take your picture in the studio and and do all the

Scott:

fun stuff.

Jenn:

microphone, Elvis.

Jenn:

sang

Scott:

right.

Scott:

Yeah.

Jenn:

1 last thing.

Jenn:

Let's talk a little barbecue.

Scott:

Yes.

Scott:

So those are the top place top 5 places to visit.

Scott:

Now the other thing that that area of the country is known for is the

Scott:

barbecue.

Jenn:

the barbecue.

Jenn:

And we hear we heard everyone's opinions when we moved there.

Jenn:

And we ate at a couple different places.

Jenn:

So Rendezvous, definitely best ribs.

Scott:

is phenomenal.

Jenn:

off of Peabody.

Jenn:

Blues City Cafe, definitely best gumbo.

Jenn:

But if you're looking for other, there is Tops Barbecue.

Jenn:

That's a big 1.

Jenn:

Central Barbecue

Scott:

a couple of those.

Jenn:

have the best barbecue nachos.

Jenn:

And then there's 1 that's not in Memphis.

Jenn:

It's in actually in Mississippi.

Jenn:

It's a Memphis barbecue.

Jenn:

And Guy Ferreri was there.

Scott:

That was probably honestly so we we tried all these

Scott:

places, and Memphis barbecue was actually probably my favorite.

Scott:

Just straight Scott Bennie's personal favorite.

Scott:

Again, just across the border

Scott:

That's that's right.

Scott:

Because, you know, picture Memphis, it's that bottom left corner of Tennessee.

Scott:

So it's right there.

Scott:

The border is

Scott:

not not far away.

Scott:

It might be maybe 30 minutes

Scott:

from Memphis, something like that.

Scott:

But if you wanna try the different barbecue places, again, I'm gonna

Scott:

list kinda all these places.

Scott:

I'm gonna have links to them into all all the show

Jenn:

Yes.

Jenn:

I mean, most people do go for the food.

Jenn:

You want some southern soul food and and that's definitely the places we ate at.

Jenn:

Now the commissary has to be on the list too.

Jenn:

It's outside of Memphis, but they do have amazing barbecue and banana

Jenn:

pudding, which is my favorite.

Jenn:

But, yeah, Memphis will always hold a special place in our heart.

Jenn:

And there's so much more history there that we didn't cover.

Jenn:

But these are the big ones if you've never been before and you just want to

Jenn:

get a taste of Memphis driving through.

Jenn:

These are definitely the top

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

We're we're excited to be moving back there.

Scott:

And in future recorded episodes of Talk With History, we will be recording

Scott:

from the Greater Memphis Area.

Scott:

So history buffs, we've barely scratched the surface of Memphis' magic.

Scott:

From Graceland's grandeur and to the grit of Beale Street,

Scott:

this city pulsates with stories.

Scott:

We hope you've enjoyed our whirlwind tour on this podcast.

Scott:

Remember, history isn't confined to museum and monuments.

Scott:

It lives in the music, the food, the very spirit of Memphis.

Scott:

So head down there yourself and soak it in and see what stories you uncover.

Scott:

Before we sign off, we wanna say a big thank you to all our listeners

Scott:

for joining us on this journey.

Scott:

If you enjoy this episode, please leave us a review on your favorite platform

Scott:

and let us know what other historical hotspots you want us to explore.

Scott:

And if you're feeling peckish after all that southern comfort food talk, don't

Scott:

forget to check out our show notes for the links and locations we mentioned.

Scott:

I'm gonna make sure to add some of those good barbecue options in there as well.

Scott:

If you know anybody else that might enjoy this podcast, please share

Scott:

with them, especially if they're visiting Memphis sometime soon.

Scott:

Shoot Shoot them a text and tell them to look us up.

Scott:

We rely on you, our community to grow, and we appreciate you all every day.

Scott:

We'll talk to you next time.

Scott:

Thank you.

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