Home of Elvis Presley, the king of rock and roll
(Article taken from NWA World Travler, June 2004)
Its one thing to
read about and listen to Memphis music, but its another
altogether to immerse oneself in it. Theres no better way to understand and really
feel where the music came from than to get out in the city, says American
Dream Safaris Tad Pierson.
This year, Memphis comes alive for the 50th Anniversary of Rock and Roll with a series of major events to commemorate the day Elvis Presley recorded his first single, Thats All Right on July 5, 1954, at Sun Studio.
To lead this celebration, Memphis Mayor Willie W. Herenton appointed world-renowned musicians B.B. King, Isaac Hayes, Justin Timberlake, Scotty Moore and Sam the Sham Samudio as Musical Ambassadors for Memphis. They will travel to such places as New York and Liverpool to represent the city, its history and the Memphis scene. Rock and roll began in Memphis, and the city continues to be a focal point of enormous musical creativity today, says Hayes.
On July 5, the world comes together for the Global Moment In Time, when radio stations around the globe will simultaneously broadcast Presleys Thats All Right. Also in store for Memphis yearlong celebration is a weeklong homage to The King during Elvis Week, from August 7 to 16. Fans can partake in music, dance, sports and charitable events, including the Candlelight Vigil and live entertainment in Graceland Plaza. Also in August (28 to 30) is the annual Liverpool Mathew Street Music Festival, which will dedicate one of its large outdoor stages to the music of Memphis.
September will bring the long-awaited opening of the FedEx Forum, the new home of the Memphis Rock n Soul Museum, and the citys sports and entertainment complex. Other events scheduled throughout the year include Zoo Rendezvous in October, and a 50th Anniversary of Rock and Roll Fashion Show in December.
And when its all said and done, the city hopes people will walk away feeling like theyve taken some of its rich music history with them?and perhaps return. All roads lead back to Memphis, says Sam the Sham. Wherever I lived, I always had a place here. Theres just something about the Mississippi River, and I keep coming back.