Nashville, Memphis and Graceland

I’m now in the Heartbreak Hotel, yes, at the end of Lonely Street at Graceland, just off Elvis Presley Boulevard!DSC00873

As an Elvis fan from 1955 it was quite a trip down memory lane and I just had to “lash out” by staying here!

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Lobby

Lobby

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Back to the story

I left Asheville at 7.00 and had covered the 465k by lunchtime. It was a beautiful drive through the Great Smokey Mountains

Nashville Tennessee

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Azulo meets some friends

I did the Hop on Bus which I always do as its a great way to get a perspective of a City

State Parliament Building

In Nashville are many famous recording studios. RCA Studio B is where Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers and more made records!

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RCA Studio B Many stars recorded here

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They call this the Batman Building!

One thing about Nashville….Did you know there is a FULL SIZE replica of the Parthenon (Athens)…It’s most impressive although the effect is slightly reduced by the fact its NOT built in white stone marble…its done in a beige colour pebblecrete.

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I then walked around Broadway soaking up the music. I went to the Johnny Cash museum which was interesting.

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Johnny Cash's boots

Johnny Cash’s boots

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Now…. I regret to say…. I’m not a great fan of Downtown Nashville although it was fun walking around and soaking up the atmosphere.

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Boots in shop window. I took this photo for my daughter Lucy

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I expect there is fabulous music if you know where to go but I didn’t…. Just walking around Broadway there are dozens of bars playing mediocre music as loud as they can. They must buy the biggest speakers they can, so they can  bellow it out into the street. Each bar is doing the same thing trying to drown out its neighbour. You can imagine the din

There was a massive crowd milling around all “having a great time” You know the drill…I think this place would appeal to someone a little younger than me!

Memphis, Tennessee

This is a highlight for me! At 14 I was a devoted Elvis fan. I even bought his singles the moment they were released and some I ordered before release. I was only a fan of the early Rocking Elvis not the fat Elvis in white suits as he is nearly always remembered today. Actually I was very pleased to see that at Graceland, more attention is made of the early Elvis and his whole career is put into proper perspective

Graceland is a lovely old mansion and surprisingly modest and some of the rooms are even more surprisingly nice! Somewhat of a contrast to the Biltmore!

Elvis bought Graceland when he was just 22. Today, Graceland is owned by his daughter Lisa Marie who now lives in England, in Rotherfield Sussex,

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Parents Bedroom

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Elvis played his last song at the piano…went upstairs to rest and died. He was just 42

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It really is a very nice home and I can see why Elvis loved it there.

I saw Elvis’ two airplanes and some of his cars and motorbikes.

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He, his parents and grandmother are all buried here. Elvis was just 42 when he died of probably a reaction to too many prescription drugs. What a waste

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 Memphis Downtown

I went into Memphis to see the sites

Beale Street

Beale Street

Beale Street

Beale Street

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Mississippi River

Mississippi River

I then visited Sun Studios,where Sam Philips discovered Elvis. It’s amazing how many super stars recorded here…Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Howling Wolfe and on and on.

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DSC00883It from this very Radio Booth that Elvis first record, “That’s all right” was played. The response was instantaneous and Sam signed Elvis up immediately

Tomorrow I head South.

My first stop will be Tupolo, Elvis birth place. That’s the end of my Elvis pilgrimage! (I can practically hear Merry saying…Thank heavens for that)

After that I head for Vicksburg, Natchez Trace Parkway and New Orleans.

By the way….after my whinging last post that few people seem interested in Azulo, I have met some friendly people who have shown much interest!….. Joe and Irene Bennet shared a seat next to me at the Biltmore Winery…They have put a comment on the blog as has Kristan who served the wines! 

Also Donald and Linda originally from Illinois

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14 thoughts on “Nashville, Memphis and Graceland

  1. Graceland isn’t at all what I expected – it looks lovely – the garden style room looks fun! Glad you got to indulge in some Elvis fan mania! Karen x

  2. Beautiful Graceland. I liked also Elvis, hardly a fan like you….
    I’m thinking now that maybe for you a Harley to travel across United States hahahha,,,,Azulo better for central asia, but she is realy a Queen.

    greatings from spain

  3. The exterior of Gracelands really appeals to me, but most of the rooms leave me cold! Sorry!
    I certainly can remember Elvis’ first hits – I can recall where I was when I first heard HeartBreak Hotel. I also know where I was when JFK was assassinated – but that’s another story. The link is, of course, that both events where hugely significant.

    I agree with Colin’s remark about speeding. However there may be mitigating circumstances if you are talking kilometres!

    Hope Azulo isn’t intimidated by all those big Harleys.

    Great travelogue – keep them coming.

    Vic

  4. Gillian sent me the link to your Elvis blog. Great photos and a lasting memory of that part of your trip. I will never forget the first time that I heard ‘Heartbreak”, aged 14. Just stunning and so original.

    Are there any speed limits in USA?
    “I left Asheville at 7.00 and had covered the 465k by lunchtime.”

    Keep going ‘old bloke’ All the best for the future Geoff.
    Do you sing Elvis songs to Merry then?

    Colin & Stephanie Cooper

  5. Hi Geoff, loved the photo visit to Memphis ,almost good as actually being there. Isn’t the sign for Heartbreak Hotel marvellous. Did you feel any Elvis vibes while you were seeing around Gracelands I wonder, it all looks just as if the people could walk right back in. Looking forward to your next post, best V and N

  6. Hi Geoff
    Great pictures and story telling – just as we have come to expect. We’re wrestling with the comparisons between this trip and Vladivostok to London – in one you’re outside your comfort zone, existing on Plov, and communicating in a foreign language; now, everyone speaks the same language (well, you know what I mean!), you’re well inside your comfort zone, great quality of life, great places to visit, and the weather’s much warmer than Siberia. What’s not to like!
    Keep up the good work, and we’ll raise a glass to you at our 50th Wedding Anniversary this weekend.

  7. Hi Geoff,
    Enjoying going back through your blog. We’ve been through a lot of the small towns in Virginia, Pennsylvania and Tennessee that you recently posted photos from; but it’s nice to get the perspective of someone new to the area. Interesting to hear others views on our Civil War and Jefferson’s ownership of slaves – latter are hot political topics here in US even today.
    Have fun in New Orleans (“Big Easy”). Hope you can get your bike close enough to Bourbon Street to get a good picture. Might also want to check Jackson Square, Superdome, cemeteries, riverfront and streetcars – sure those are already on your list.
    Regards, Joe & Irene Bennett

  8. Finally. Get to see what Graceland is really like. Elvis fan too, Geoff.

    Still doesn’t seem to be many people in your pics. What’s going on? Does Azulo have wind?
    Shirley

  9. Graceland looks amazing, Geoff, much nicer than I thought it would be,
    wonderful to see it so well cared for . Terrific photos yet again. Freezing cold and wet here in Melbourne, I feel envious of you being able to travel around in warm , sunny weather….enjoy every minute!!!
    Love,
    Wendy.

  10. Hi Geoff – Not sure that I had heard much of Howling Wolfe but the others ring a bell or two. Great photos of Memphis. You’ll be in cowboy territory with Fort Smith, Wichita etc.
    You might need to purchase a fancy holster and a shiny sixgun to blend in with the locals.
    Rod

  11. What a lovely retreat for Elvis in the mad, mad world he lived in.
    Sorry, haven’t got any cheeky or rude comments today. Just keep those blogs and pics coming. They are great reading.
    Love, Merry

  12. Love the exterior of Graceland. Its larger inside than it looks….. great tour.
    Elvis certainly churned out many fabulous songs…….hard to believe he would have been 80!!
    Great photography always….thanks. Safe travelling.

  13. Interesting stuff. You’ll find Elvis started poor. “Shotgun house”…. believe they call it that as from the front door you can see out the back (or a shotgun fired in the front will go out the back?). He was an unusual talent. The life as a superstar chews up most people.
    In some ways he kept a connection to the world of his youth… unfortunately not enough. Col. Parker was responsible for a lot of his troubles, IMHO.

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