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Memphis, with a population of 677,000 inhabitants, is disposed in the southwestern part of Tennessee, in the Shelby District, being its center. The city gained world renown as the birthplace of various musical genres, ranging from gospel and blues to rock’n’roll. There were such outstanding voices in the history of music as Aretha Franklin, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley, whose body rests to this days in Memphis.
The territory of today’s Memphis was inhabited for thousands of years by Indian civilizations, and the first colonial artifacts were noted in 1739 when the French built the Assumption fort to protect their river trade. When the United States began to control the territory, an agreement was signed in 1818, narrowing the boundaries of the indigenous Chickasaw to western Tennessee, and with the support of President Andrew Jackson, the development of the first settlement began. The town began to flourish thanks to the cotton market, but at the beginning of the civil war suffered from the occupation of Yankee, and at the end of the war, the collapse of the cotton market was fatal for the city’s economy. Then in 1878 a severe epidemic of yellow fever took thousands of lives, and many whites left Memphis. Later, a black community was formed, led by former slave Robert Church, that contributed to the revival of life in the city, and in the 20th century Memphis already became the center of social and civic activity of the state. Memphis was among the first centers where blues music began to spread, and in the 1950s the local label Sun Records began to record songs of blues, soul, R & B and rockabilly.
Among the most important sights of the city, many will not miss the chance to visit Memphis Graceland, where there is a house surrounded by 5.5 hectares of land, which was bought in 1957 by Elvis Presley. The famous rock star lived here until his death, and in 1977 he was buried there, near the pool, where he spent his days during his lifetime.
His ex-wife Priscilla Presley decided to open Graceland for visitors in 1982, then followed a huge stream of tens of thousands of people who want to pay tribute to the most amazing of the characters in the history of rock and roll. The house, renovated by Elvis, represents a true manifesto of the style of the 70s, where yellow walls, vinyl green ceilings and an artificial waterfall are presented.
Certainly worth a visit the beautiful area on Bill Street, where you can see the sequence of bars, restaurants, souvenir shops and other that can be compared to a real themed park in the style of blues.
Among the main tourist sites, we can mention the Orpheus Theater and its Walk of Fame, the original haberdashery in Schwab in three floors, where unique medicinal powders, ties and collars are on sale.
In Memphis Rock’n’Soul Museum you can get acquainted with the facts of social and cultural history, which gave birth to the music of the delta of Mississippi.