Give Me Memphis Tennessee

Read about our music travels and return to Memphis Tennessee

An uneventful morning.

We bade a fond farewell to the wonderful Shack Up Inn.

Heading into Clarksdale one last time, Sandra needed some cash so we insisted she use a drive-thru banking facility rather than have anyone get out of the car and walk (perish the thought).  Breakfast at Yazoo Pass again (yes we are creatures of habit, but it has good, healthy food, is clean, cool and boasts free Wi-Fi).  We discussed a little appointment we are trying to arrange for Memphis (more on that later hopefully).

Then we headed north along Highway 61, passing cotton, red sorghum and corn fields with the Mighty Mississippi on our left.  We eased past the Tunica Motel (great song by Tony Joe White) and did a slight detour to the bustling South Haven where we got some critical supplies from the chemist such as insect repellent, anti-itch lotion, beer and Mark’s Hard Lemonade.  Then to the local T-Mobile store where we finally met with success for our phones and achieved what should have been done back in Dallas.

Into Union Avenue and check in at our Vista Inn motel – truthfully a little basic but we can see the elegant and famous Peabody Hotel from here!  A little rest before having an early drink, dinner and drive off to Levitt Shell to see The Black Lillies.

First a word about Levitt Shell.

Built in 1936 and recognized as the site of Elvis Presley’s first professional performance, the Levitt Shell is an outdoor performing arts pavilion located in the heart of Midtown, Memphis in Overton Park.  On July 30 1954 Elvis took the stage before headliner Slim Whitman. Elvis stole the show in what music historians call the first-ever rock ‘n’ roll show.  Every year the Levitt Shell puts on more than 50 free concerts and events, made possible by the support of the community and encouraging common ground through the arts.  Tonight’s free show is made possible by our friends at Huey’s Restaurants.

We enjoyed a nice meal at The Flying Fish and, during the cab ride to the Shell, we learned from the driver his views about Elvis, his performance at Levitt Shell and his key relationships with Dewey Phillips and Sam Phillips (no relation).


Levitt Shell

As you can see, we got there early.  However, this gave us enough time to soak up the atmosphere and bump into Cruz Contreras, the lead singer and songwriter of the band.  He strongly  that the Bristol Rhythms and Roots Reunion Festival (Bristol Tennessee) is the real deal.  Note to self: this could be plan A for the next trip stateside.

Now for me and my companions, The Black Lillies’ performance was a revelation, above and beyond our high expectations. Sensational. I have waxed lyrical about this band previously on this site.  See previous entries.

The Wi-Fi in our hotel room is not great – I need to wrap up.

The Black Lillies – They need to be heard.


The Black Lillies

Here’s the set list – thanks Sandra.


A special hi to Barry and Marnie.


Read about our music travels and return to Memphis Tennessee

Read about our music travels and return to Memphis Tennessee


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Author: Rob Dickens

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