Touched Down in the Land of the Delta Blues…

I have listened to the song “Walking in Memphis” by Mark Cohn time and time again. But it was only when I visited Memphis that I truly understood what the lyrics meant. 

I didn’t quite put on some blue suede shoes and board a plane, nor did i touch down in the land of the Delta blues in the middle of the pouring rain…instead I took the overnight Megabus from Chicago to Memphis, Tennessee and arrived on a rather hot, sunny morning. I opened my eyes on the bus to be greeted with this view of the city skyline…

Memphis Skyline

But as I was Walking in Memphis, I couldn’t help but feel like I was walking through the lyrics to the song.

The Megabus dropped me off on an empty street corner on the edge of town…not the most welcoming of areas. However nothing could spoil my sense of wonder and excitement; this was the beginning of my journey through the South.

I dropped my luggage at the Crowne Plaza Memphis Downtown Hotel and took the hotel shuttle service to Sun Studio, to see where Elvis recorded his music. I then took their free shuttle to Graceland and…

Saw the ghost of Elvis on Union Avenue. Followed him up to the gates of Graceland and I watched him walk through

This is a photo of me outside the Graceland Mansion. One of the best things I did on my whole trip around the USA. It was so weird to be walking around the place that Elvis’s home, just as it looked when he lived there! I may not have seen the ghost of Elvis, but I did feel goose pimples here.

Elvis's Graceland Mansion in Memphis Tennessee

Now security they did not see him, they just hovered ’round his tomb

Elvis is laid to rest in the Meditation Garden in the grounds of Graceland, along with members of his family. Visitors hover here to pay their respects at the end of the tour.

Elvis's Tomb at Graceland in Memphis Tennessee

But there’s a pretty little thing, waiting for the king down in the Jungle Room

The infamous Jungle Room is a room in Elvis’s Graceland Mansion. The room has a Polynesian influence, with a green shag carpet, exotic plants, wooden carvings and animal prints.

Elvis's Jungle Room at Graceland in Memphis Tennessee

Was walking with my feet, ten feet off of Beale

Beale refers to Beale Street, the most famous street in Memphis, which is fully of blues clubs and restaurants. At night this street really comes alive- it’s filled with people and the sound of blues.

Beale Street Memphis

They’ve got catfish on the table, they’ve got gospel in the air

Catfish features heavily on every menu here, and I tried some at B.B King’s Blues Club, where I also listened to live music.

B.B Kings Blue Club Beale Street Memphis

While I wouldn’t recommend staying more than a couple of days in Memphis (the city seems pretty empty and struggling beyond Beale Street and Union Avenue), Memphis takes you on a journey through musical history. I felt like I was tracing the footsteps of music legends- all the while humming the lyrics to “Walking in Memphis” in the back of my head.

4 thoughts on “Touched Down in the Land of the Delta Blues…”

  1. I read and enjoyed your blog posts about Beale Street and Graceland but I take issue with your statement “While I wouldn’t recommend staying more than a couple of days in Memphis (the city seems pretty empty and struggling beyond Beale Street and Union Avenue)”

    A family could spend a week in Memphis and not run out of sites to visit. The Memphis Zoo is worthy of an entire day. Memphis is home to the National Civil Rights Museum where Martin Luther King was assassinated []. Their website describes a renovation which will begin in November 2012. Besides Sun Studios, Memphis has the Stax Museum [] which celebrates the birth of Soul Music, and the Rock and Soul Museum []. If you check the site [], you will find the Pink Palace Museum which houses a replica of the first “Self-Service” grocery store. There is also a Mississippi River Museum in the Mud Island River Park []. Memphis is definitely worth more than a couple of days.

    1. Hi Marr, I have been to the National Civil Rights Museum and will be writing a post about that soon, it was fascinating. I also went to the Stax Museum. For me personally, a couple of days was enough as I was staying in a hotel by myself which was quite expensive compared to the types of accommodation I would usually stay in. But thanks for the recommendations about the Pink Palace Museum and the Mississippi River Museum.

  2. A very interesting piece, you surely walked in the footsteps of the GOAT of country music. You brought this song to life. Now more than ever, I long to visit Memphis, Tennessee.

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