Elvis & the Southern Sounds - Elvis 40th Anniversary Special Memorial Departure
If you are only planning one visit to Memphis & Graceland make sure you're there for Elvis Week in August 2017 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the King's death. Book Early With heavy demand for this tour you are encouraged to book early before places run out. Every August, Elvis fans from around the world and of all ages are drawn to Memphis, for Elvis Week - a commemoration of the music, magic and memories associated with the legacy of Elvis Presley. Join us on this special departure and be at Graceland for the famous Candle Light Vigil, when fans are invited to Elvis' gravesite in the Meditation Gardens carrying a candle in quiet remembrance.
Elvis Aaron Presley is one of the USA's greatest popular music icons, whose influence on other performers has been profound and long lasting. He has sold more than one billion records worldwide - more than any other artist. And his premature death in 1977 has done nothing to lessen the enthusiasm of his legions of loyal followers.
This highly enjoyable holiday is for all fans of 'The King', as well as devotees of the rich musical legacy that he and his fellow Southerners have given the world, including rock 'n' roll, blues, bluegrass, rhythm 'n' blues and country music.
You'll visit Elvis Presley's Birthplace in Tupelo, the humble two-room house where the 'King' was born, the adjacent museum, Times and Things Remembered, which contains rare photos and memorabilia - and Memphis, the 'Home of the Blues', where he grew up and cut his first disc. You'll be able to trace the musical influences which affected the young aspiring singer, including country music, gospel and the blues he heard on Beale Street, epitomised in the compositions of the great WC Handy. And you'll visit locations which featured prominently in The King's life and work, including Sun Studio and Graceland, his impressive mansion - today a famous pilgrimage site for fans. The mansion tour consists of the living room, music room, Elvis' parents bedroom, the dining room, kitchen, TV room, pool room and 'jungle den' in the main house. Behind the house are Elvis' racquetball building and his original business office. You will also see his trophy building, which houses his enormous collection of gold records, awards and career mementos. Don't miss the section of the mansion where you can find significant items like the desk from Elvis' personal office and an extensive collection of his stage costumes. The tour ends with a quiet visit to the Meditation Garden, where Elvis and members of his family have been laid to rest.
Besides discovering more about Elvis, you will learn about the music that influenced him by experiencing the soul roots of Memphis and visiting revered country music sites in Nashville.
In Nashville, the home of country music, you'll enjoy a performance at the renowned Grand Ole Opry, the world's premier country music venue since 1925 and the setting for the nation's longest running radio music show. Enjoy a very special private performance with John Carter Cash, the only son of John and June Cash. Studio B, Nashville's oldest surviving recording studio and one of the most important in the USA. Also visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, which houses classic memorabilia such as Elvis' 'gold Cadillac' and illustrates the roots and development of Bluegrass, Cajun, cowboy and western-swing music.
Fly to Memphis where you will transfer to your hotel for four nights.
During your sightseeing you will get a unique, 'behind the scenes' perspective from your expert guide. Discover the hard to find, 'hidden' Elvis sites such as his Lauderdale Courts apartment, Humes High School and Overton Park Shell amongst others. Next visit the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, which celebrates great Memphis soul music made famous by Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, and Booker T. and the MGs to name just a few. Afterwards visit the Rock 'N' Roll Museum which traces Memphis's cultural past. End the day with a visit to Sun Studio probably the most famous recording studio in the world, where rock 'n' roll was first recorded. Hear out-takes from sessions, touch Elvis' first microphone, see memorabilia, and relive the history of the studio that launched the careers of Johnny Cash, BB King, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and many other music legends.
Today, travel to Tupelo, Mississippi, to visit the Elvis' Birthplace & Museum, a small, 2-room house built by the singer's father, Vernon Presley. You will also visit the Elvis Presley Museum, featuring "Remembrance of Things Past," an exhibit displaying memorabilia from Elvis' childhood. It's here that you can see, feel, and touch where the "King of Rock 'n' Roll" began his musical journey. Return to Memphis, "Home of the Blues," where the evening is free for independent activities. You may choose to visit one of the famous clubs on Beale Street, immortalized in WC Handy's famous songs, or sample some famous Memphis barbecue.
Today is dedicated to a guided audio tour of Graceland. The mansion tour consists of the living room, music room, Elvis' parents' bedroom, the dining room, kitchen, TV room, pool room, and "jungle den" in the main house. Behind the house are Elvis' racquetball building and his original business office. You will also see his trophy building, which houses his enormous collection of gold records, awards, and career mementoes. Recently opened is a section of the mansion with never-before-seen items, such as the desk from his personal office and an extensive collection of his stage costumes. The tour ends with a quiet visit to the Meditation Garden, where Elvis and members of his family have been laid to rest. Tonight you're invited to be at Graceland for the famous Candlelight Vigil.
Today head to Nashville, 'Music City USA'. Visit the Johnny Cash Museum where you will see never before seen historical documents, awards, costumes and instruments. Then settle in for a private performance and discussion with Johnny and June's only son, John Carter Cash. John Carter will entertain you with his own original music, as well as a few numbers made famous by his legendary family and even be available for photographs and autographs. This evening there is reserved seating for an performance at the World famous Grand Ole Opry. Accommodation in Nashville is at Opryland Resort a lavish resort featuring Southern hospitality that offers indoor gardens, waterfalls and an indoor river all under an amazing atrium.
Nashville is the ideal destination for all kinds of visitors: music fans, history buffs and southern lovers. This morning, visit Studio B, Nashville's oldest surviving recording studio, and one of the most important in the USA. From 1957-1977 there were more than 35,000 songs recorded here including 262 Elvis Presley recordings. Afterwards enjoy an orientation tour of the city, passing the famous recording studios of Music Row, the centre of the recording industry, which first developed in the 1950's. Go behind the scenes of the music industry on a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and see glittering costumes, rare instruments and the solid gold Cadillac that belonged to Elvis Presley.
Today is at leisure to explore more of this vibrant city. Visit the historic Ryman Auditorium, restored home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943-1974, or perhaps the Hermitage, home of Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States. Shop for old and new music along with souvenirs at the historic Nashville landmark, Ernest Tubb Record Shop.
Transfer to Nashville airport for your overnight flight to the UK.