Beale Street, Memphis, Tennessee

Day 216

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     Beale Street was created in 1841 by entrepreneur and developer Robertson Topp, who named it for some military hero. In the 1860s, many black traveling musicians began performing on Beale. It was soon, and today is, a Mecca of aspiring blues players. Strolling down the street, you can hear music emanating from the various restaurants and bars. 

     The shops on Beale street sprang up in the 1890 – 1900 with waves of immigrants, Italians, Jews, Greeks, and Chinese coming here to seek their fortunes. By 1910, they were catering mostly to a black clientele. 

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     We stopped at Silky O’Sullivan’s for lunch. Two musicians were playing at the restaurant. On the patio were the bar’s goats,

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and cement walk with hand prints and signatures of various personalties. 

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     Not far off the street was the Memphis Rock N Soul museum, which covered the early years of blues in Memphis, from gospel to blues morphing into Rock & Roll and hillbilly music (now called country music).

     Here I am with my homeboys:

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     WIDA radio station was a white owned station that catered to the black community of Memphis. Its black announcer, Nat D. Williams, was a history teacher at the high school. He hosted and announced amateur nights on Beale Street.

     Tidbit of information: In 1952, Sam Phillips, started a hotel he called Holiday Inn in Memphis.  

Here, this Buds for you:

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