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Day 1 – The Mississippi Delta- The Crossroads
This musical adventure, in search of the Roots of Rock N’ Roll, rolls into the Mississippi Delta where you overnight near the crossroads. Bluesman Son House said, “When Robert Johnson got through playing, all our mouths was open, he sold his soul to the devil to get to play like that.”
This evening you enjoy a Southern Barbecue dinner and live music at Ground Zero, a restaurant and juke joint co-owned by actor Morgan Freeman. (B)
Day 2 -Delta Blues Museum – Tupelo – Muscle Shoals
Your morning features a visit to the Delta Blues Museum, internationally acclaimed it showcases the history and significance of the Blues here. It features exhibits to Blues great, Muddy Waters and his famous Muddywood Guitar, as well as Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf and Charley Patton. Plus many more legendary artists who were born and raised in and around Clarksdale: John Lee Hooker, Son House, Ike Turner, Jackie Brenston, Sam Cooke, Junior Parker and W. C. Handy.
You also visit the Rock and Blues Museum packed full of music memorabilia dating from the 1920’s through the 1970‘s. Here you can follow the evolution of America’s music, from Blues, R&B, and Rockabilly to Rock ‘n Roll and Soul. You will see how it influenced people all over the globe. To paraphrase the legendary Muddy Waters, “The Blues got married to The Jazz, and they had themselves a baby they named Rock and Roll.”
This afternoon you rock on into Tupelo, MS and pay homage to one of their lovechilds. This was the birthplace of Elvis Presley and you’ll see his boyhood home, the homecoming statue in his image, the high school he attended and the hardware store where his mama bought the very first guitar he played.
You then roll into Muscle Shoals, AL a night. During the ’60s and ’70s, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Picket, Rolling Stones, Cher, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan and many more stars would descend upon this small town in north Alabama to record. In search of a soulful sound now synonymous with Muscle Shoals.
This evening we bring you another great night of live music and southern food. At a restaurant known as “Swampers.” Your meal is accompanied by Muscle Shoal musicians and the special appearance of a “Swamper” (as available). The Swampers were local boys, the studio musicians who helped make all the music. (B,D)
Day 3 – Fame Studios – a Recording Session – Memphis
Your first tour FAME Studios, established in 1959 by Rick Hall who put together that talented group of studio musicians who created the Muscle Shoals Sound. Rich produced recording from Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Clarence Carter, Wilson Picket, Percy Slade and many others.
The morning highlights also include the historic Muscle Shoals Sound Studio at ‘3614 Jackson Hwy’ (Cher used the address as the name of an album). In 1969 The Swampers broke away from Fame Studios and opened there own place. While Fame survived and continued producing hit after hit, The Swampers were also successful and recorded Rod Stewart, Duane Allman, Boz Scaggs, Paul Simon, Lynard Skynard, Glenn Frey, The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Linda Ronstadt, Bob Seger, Art Garfunkel, Sawyer Brown and The Oak Ridge Boys.
Next is the Alabama Music Hall of Fame where you have a recording session of your own followed by lunch. This museum remembers the talented Alabamians who have influenced the course of music history. It is a walk through of the “who’s who” in the music world with exhibits on Nat “King” Cole, Hank Williams, Sam Phillips, the group Alabama and more.
The afternoon includes two hours of travel to Memphis where you have a two night stay. Dinner is accompanied by Live Music at B.B. Kings on Beale Street with some of the best Live Blues & Rock in the south. It’s an evening in a club built by “The King of the Blues.” (B,D)
Day 4 -MoJo Tour – Sun Studios – Graceland
This morning features a one-of-a-kind driving tour of Memphis’ musical heritage. The Home of the Blues comes alive as a professional Beale Street musician plays and sings selections from the city’s rich musical heritage. While driving you are entertained with comedy, history, and behind-the-scenes stories of your favorite Memphis personalities. It’s an exciting introduction to Memphis.
During this tour you will also visit Sun Studios – The Birthplace of Rock N’ Roll (1950) and home to the ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ – Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.
Did you know Sun Studio’s owner Sam Phillips, a music legend in his own right, also discovered BB King and recorded Howlin’ Wolf while working for another label? And, did you know that Sun Studios is still rockin’ today? You never know who may walk in the door as you’re walking out.
Your lunch break this afternoon is on Beale Street and includes a visit to the Rock N Soul Museum. Created by the Smithsonian Institution, tells the story of musical pioneers who, for the love of music, overcame racial and socio-economic barriers to create the music that shook the entire world.
The balance of the afternoon is spent exploring Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland Mansion. Where you are fully immersed in his life and career. At the new Elvis Presley’s Memphis you learn of his roots, his influences and his artistry. Admission includes the Elvis the Entertainer Career Museum, Presley Motors Automobile Museum and many other exhibits.
Dinner will be at EP’s Bar & Grill in the New Guest House at Graceland hotel. Where you enjoy the soul of the South with a modern twist. Here, Elvis’ favorite food and beverages meet contemporary interpretations. You’ll feel right at home in this Memphis-inspired setting with lots of Southern flair.
Ask us for a package price the New Guest House at Graceland as your hotel. (B,D)
Day 5 -Departure
After breakfast “it’s time to get ready and go cat go.”