Memphis Blues

Developed in the early 20th century, the Memphis blues syncopated style was often played on homemade instruments and made famous by names like Frank Stokes and Sleepy John Estes.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Memphis
The Orpheum, Memphis
Located on Beale Street, the Orpheum was once the Grand Opera House and considered the finest theater outside the Big Apple. Today, it remains an active venue.
FedEx Forum
Home to the NBA Memphis Grizzlies, the FedEx Forum also serves a multitude of uses when the team is away.
Peabody ducks
For over 90 years, twice a day several ducks march through the Peabody Hotel lobby to visit its' fountain. The Peabody duck march is a Memphis institution.
Memphis Barbecue
Tangier, sweeter, and wetter than other American barbecue styles, Memphis barbecue is a must-try for every traveler.
Malco Theater
Elvis worked at The Malco for some time after getting fired from Loew's State Theatre.
Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley came from very humble beginnings and grew up to become one of the biggest names in rock 'n' roll. Born in Tupelo, he moved to Memphis as a teenager, and as his fame grew he purchased Graceland in March 1957, where he finally died at the age of 42.

Related Tours

Private Walking Tour of Memphis with Entrance to National Civil Rights Museum
Jump into the music, flavours, and history of Memphis. On your private walking tour, you will: 

  • Begin your tour at the Mississippi River and learn how green spaces and geography have defined the city. 
  • Pop into The Peabody Hotel to see the iconic Peabody ducks, if the timing is right! 
  • Stroll down Beale Street - an iconic street one of the historic centres of African-American culture for nearly two centuries. 
  • Learn about the heritage of the historic Orpheum Theatre. 
  • Enjoy a small taste of Memphis barbecue at a local stop, recommended by your expert guide. Find out the best places to continue your taste of Memphis after the tour ends. 
  • Visit the National Center for Civil Rights, and enjoy an hour tour by your guide. 
Your tour begins at the heartbeat of Memphis’s origin story: The Mississippi River. Like cities the world over, the history of Memphis is one best understood by knowing the lay of the land, the geography which shaped it. As you walk through the city, your guide will explain how the city’s features have defined and shaped the institutions and culture of Memphis. 

Visit historic Beale Street - where nightclubs, pawnshops, restaurants, and theatres have been playing the blues for over a century. Learn about the street’s history dating back to the mid-19th century, where Black commerce thrived in spite of the odds. Hear tales of Ida B Wells, 'Beale Street Blues', B.B. King, and Dr King. 

Then, enter into the heart of the American story at the National Center for Civil Rights Museum, where your guide will take you on an hour tour. Learn about the legacy of Memphis in the struggle for Civil Rights, and see the Lorraine Motel - now part of the museum - where Dr King was assassinated in 1968. Hear how the centre continues to play a central role in moving forward the push for civil rights nationwide. Should you wish to stay beyond the hour to experience the rest of the museum, please do at your own leisure. 
Private Walking Tour of Beale Street with entrance to Sun Studio
Memphis is one of America's great music cities - famous for blues, soul, and rock 'n' roll influence which originated there. Immerse yourself in the worlds of Elvis Presley, B.B. King, and Johnny Cash, and enjoy a visit to the streets they walked and the legendary Sun Studio, where they each recorded albums.  

On your private walking tour of Beale Street, you will:

  •  Meet your guide at W.C. Handy Park, which commemorates William Christopher Handy, a composer and musician who saw himself Father of the Blues and whose music paved the way for America's Rock n’ Roll.
  • Visit the legendary Peabody Hotel, where history was made with the signing of Elvis' first contract with RCA and where Sam Phillips started his musical journey with the likes of Glen Miller.
  • See WDIA Radio Station, which has been continuously open since 1947, programmed entirely for African Americans. B.B. King and Rufus Thomas started their work at WDIA, and it had a huge impact on Elvis
  • Stroll down Beale Street - a must-see attraction during your tour of Memphis as it's one of the most famous streets in America. Your guide will point out to you the legends hidden in plain sight, including the Domino Lounge, Pee Wee’s Saloon and BB King's nightclub
  • Lastly, enjoy an easy walk to Sun Studio, where your guide will part with you, and you'll join a Sun Studio guide for a small group tour.
On your Private Tour of Beale Street and Sun Studios you'll learn the musical history of Memphis, the stars of the show and their stories. You'll find out who W.C. Handy was and the influence that Sam Phillips had on the journey of rock'n'roll, the blues and the many famous musicians associated with these influential strains that have made Memphis famous for its music. Beale Street is in Downtown Memphis and runs from the Mississippi River to East Street, a distance of nearly 2 miles. It is just as important in the city's history, as it is in the history of blues music. Your expert local guide will lead you on the guided tour and will buy your tickets for you at Sun Studio. You will enjoy your guided tour of Sun Studio led by an expert Sun Studio guide. Sam Phillips was the  founder of Sun Records and Sun Studio which opened on January 3rd, 1950, where he produced recordings by Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis,  Johnny Cash and many others.

Get beyond Graceland and dive into the many stories of Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and BB King, artists that put Memphis on the musical map.  Whether you are a music lover or simply a curious traveller, this musical history tour of Memphis is a great place to start.


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