The Deep South is undoubtedly one of the most influential areas for music in the USA, it is not surprising when you consider the amount of inspiration that can be taken from such a diverse, cultural and uplifting area. If you travel to the Deep South you will be greeted with music and an insight into the lives of some of the most famous singers in the world. A journey to see where the likes of Dolly Parton, Elvis and Patsy Cline all climbed their way to stardom
With such a high concentration of stars originating from one area, it is difficult to not be captivated by the passion and fire that has clearly been such an influence on the many raw-talented artists who made their name here.
Elvis Presley is one of the USA’s greatest ever musical exports. Born in Mississippi in 1935, his family later moved to Memphis where a mixture of pop, country, R&B and gospel gave the young Elvis an eclectic musical education. He was signed in 1954 – aged only 19 – and by ‘56 was an international sensation. The King, as he became known, brought about such a change in the music listened to in the South – and far beyond – that he is most certainly one of the 20th century’s most influential musical figures.
Today thousands of fan make their way to his former home, Graceland, in Memphis each year to get a snapshot of his life and see the stunning array of iconic exhibits on display. The bars of his former city are alive with today with the sounds of Rock ‘n’ Roll, and you will not have to look very hard to find an old fashioned jukebox or tribute act blaring out his classics – truly enough to get you all shook up.
Nashville, Tennessee is the undisputed home of country music. The city that has been the stomping ground of stars like Dolly Parton and Johnny Cash remains to this day the beating heart of the country & western sound. The world’s longest-running live radio show is one of country music’s best events; held every week since 1925, the Grand Ole Opry has had every country star from Dolly Parton to the Dixie Chicks tread its boards. This one hour ‘Live Barn Dance’ is so popular with our customers that we include it in several of our tours – it really is a must.
Back on the streets on Nashville, the Country Music Hall of Fame is rightly a highlight of many people’s time in the south. It is country music at its very best and is as much an education in the catchy rhythms of the genre as it is a local folk museum. Once seen it is never forgotten – partially because all of the windows are arranged to make the building look like a piano!
Whether you are a fan of the honky-tonk bars of Nashville’s Lower Broadway district, or a disciple of good old Rock n’ Roll, the Deep South is an exhilarating, magical and fascinating place – and that is without even mentioning the Jazz down in New Orleans and the Mississippi.