Civil Rights and Rock and Roll Journey, Day 4

Before I forget I have to set down my thoughts on visiting Sun Studio. Wow. Ellie was right. Best part of the trip. To be in the room and see the equipment so many famous songs were recorded with was nearly spiritual. Johnny Cash used the same mic that our tour guide showed us, and he guide even let us touch it. Why couldn’t I touch the mic like the kids did? Too much reverence I guess.

The outside of Sun Studio:

Sun Studio

Our tour guide in Sun Studio. In this room, Elvis, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded hit songs:

Sun Studio

Microphone used by artists who recorded at Sun from 1952 to about 1960, including Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and presumably Elvis, though the guide didn’t mention him by name:

Sun Studio's Mic

I wish the weather had cooperated so we might have been able to sit next to the river. I wanted to connect with Jeff Buckley [before Buckley fans get too excited, yes, I realize that he drowned in the Wolf River, not the Mississippi, but he was in Memphis] I guess. I suppose there is next time. I want to come here with Steve.

Looking toward the river at night from the top of the Peabody Hotel:

Peabody Lookout

I really enjoyed Graceland, too, but again, our tight schedule didn’t allow us to really enjoy our trip through a museum — I guess you could call Graceland a museum.

Some of our students waiting to enter Graceland:


Elvis’s grave:

Elvis's Grave
I ate fries alone at the Pig on Beale. I was the only customer for a while, so I chatted with the waitress. She was really nice. We talked about what we (the students) had seen and done. Very friendly.

The Pig on Beale:

The Pig on Beale

Billy was right. Memphis does get under your skin. I think it’s the river, the blues, and the lights.

How do I begin to describe seeing the balcony where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was shot? So many times I’ve seen it in photographs and film. The Civil Rights Museum was interesting. I was especially moved by the Rosa Parks bus exhibit.

View of balcony where Dr. King was assassinated:

King Assassination Site

Memorial plaque:

King Plaque

As far as our discussion with Jacqueline Smith, I found her ideas interesting. She was nice to talk with us. I found it intriguing to learn she was an opera singer. She mentioned that Carmen was what made her want to sing and that she tried out for the Met. Considering she’s been protesting the museum for 19 years, I doubt Steve knows her. He might have heard of her protest.

Protester Jacqueline Smith:

Jacqueline Smith

Best day of the trip. I hope the kids learned as much as I did.

[tags]Elvis, Sun Studio, Jacqueline Smith, Martin Luther King, Civil Rights Museum, Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee[/tags]