Well, after being on the plains of Oklahoma and in the backwoods ( or so it seemed ) of Arkansas, I know I was ready for some location of a more metropolitan feel. And wouldn't you know it, we were heading into a golden day and it just so happened we were going to spend it in Memphis TN. I must admit that I wasn't all that jazzed about going to Memphis at first. I had never been, but then again I have never been to most of the places we're going. But I hadn't heard a whole lot about Memphis and all I knew about it was, well... that it's name was taken from an Egyptian city and that Elvis made his home there at Graceland. Well, all apologies to Elvis fans everywhere, but I was never a fan of the old, fat, white jump suit Elvis ( except Bruce Campbell's brilliant performance as Elvis in "Bubba Hotep" ) so I had zero interest in going to Graceland.
Well, I had an incredible time in Memphis with all the magic and fun that is Beale Street and beyond. It has a beautiful, vibrant downtown with electronic trolleys and lighted, horse-drawn carriages. The aforementioned Beale Street is the cultural heart of the city. Sun Studios is located nearby, where Elvis, Sam Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and many, many more recorded their early works. The area takes on this almost shrine-like feeling when you're there, and no surprise really, it's thought of as the birthplace of Blues and also Rock-n-Roll and modern country music. The place is just dripping with music history. If you go, check out the Rum Boogie Cafe, the place has tons and tons of autographed guitars hanging from the rafters, all signed by every famous musician that has passed thru town. Space will not allow me to list them all even if I could remember them....Stevie Ray Vaughn, Aerosmith, Muddy Waters, Alice Cooper, U2 to name just a few.
A bunch of the cast and crew went to Beale Street and ate at this place called the Blues City Cafe.
A lot of us chowed down on ribs and listened to what we were told was a Johnny Cash tribute act. Well, he did Johnny Cash extremely well but he also sang a lot of other people's music as well. It was obvious that he'd been doing this for many years, he had a good schtick and new how to play the crowd. And we even got a bit of history and backstory of the music business in the 50's....very cool. He even acknowledged us as the cast of the touring Broadway show 'Footloose"...made me feel a bit special...even though it was a teensy bit incorrect. But the restaurant had us all sign a drumhead and with the title "FOOTLOOSE 10th Anniversary Tour" and now we are immortalized along with all the other great musicians....LOL!
Next stop was a city I wish we'd had another golden day to spend in...Savannah, GA! I'd heard a lot of good things about Savannah and was excited to go there. I had forgotten that the Savannah School of Art and Design is there and that certainly adds to the flavor and eclectic feel of the city. Savannah has enjoyed a cultural and economic rebirth for just the past fifty years or so. After the Civil War and with cotton prices very low, Savannah became somewhat depressed and neglected for many years. But one needs only to stroll down the city's waterfront section with it's rows of gift shops, hip restaurants and attractions to see why Savannah is on the short list of must see southern towns.
Oh, I almost forgot...we did a show there!
Savannah has a wonderful theater and we were happy to get back to having a "full" show. Always feels better to me when we can give the audience everything we were meant to do, but I understand that it's just not possible with the smaller theaters. But Savannah was a wonderful place to be after a day off. Thanks Savannah!
Now it's on to Ft. Lauderdale!
Be back soon