Our second day in Memphis started out with a city tour with a twist. Our tour guide was a musician who entertained our group with live music as we toured we heard about the city’s history as well as the impact of the great musical history that built Memphis in so many ways.
Once completed we had lunch at The Arcade, the famous restaurant where Elvis was known to nosh on his favourite grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Many of us followed his example while others chose chicken fingers, pizza or club sandwiches. We took advantage of some good wifi to broadcast our first Facebook Live of the trip. Check out our Facebook page to see the archived copy.
Next up was a tour of the Stax Museum and a return visit with Wayne Jackson and his wife Amy. Wayne was one of the Memphis Horns, a duo that played on most of the huge catalogue of Stax recordings. A previous band trip was fortunate to connect with Wayne and Amy and enjoyed hearing about the fabulous history of Stax recordings so much that a visit to Memphis had to include a return visit with them. Wayne loves to connect with music students and never tires of telling stories about the heyday of Stax Records. We learned today that the famous ‘baa, baa, baaaah’ from Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline was Wayne playing his famous trumpet.
A quick, unplanned stop at the house made famous for Big Star’s record, “Keep An Eye on the Sky” provided a great opportunity for another group photo and a few questions from curious neighbours! Tomorrow’s agenda includes a tour of Ardent Studios led by Big Star drummer, Jody Stephens, so this provided a little tickle to carry us into that part of our day.
Dinner at B.B. King’s Blues Club was followed by a visit to Royal Studios where Boo Mitchell, the studio’s owner and producer of artists such as John Mayer, Snoop Dog, and Boz Scaggs, personally took us around the studio, played for us and told wonderful stories about artists who have recorded at Royal Studios not only during his tenure but during that of his father, Willie Mitchell. While most of our group returned to our hotel for some pool fun, the Jazz Combo stayed at the studio to record a session produced by Boo. What an enormous opportunity!
Bed will feel good tonight but everyone will have big smiles on their faces remembering so many details from today’s adventures. Stay tuned to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages to keep up with tomorrow’s activities.