Music Voyager - Tennessee

Memphis:  Memphis Mojo

Memphis has played an important role in the history of blues, rock and roll and soul music, not to mention being the hometown of one of popular music’s greatest icons: Elvis. We experience the meeting of young and old generations of the blues when veteran Bobby “Blue” Bland jams with young guitar wizard 17-year old Will Tucker. The elder statesman schools the young Tucker in the finer points of the blues, before a scorching performance at the B.B. King nightclub on Memphis’s famous Beale Street. Brandon Bailey shows us how blues is heading in new directions, with his unique blend of harmonica with beat boxing, and the North Mississippi All Stars give us a down and dirty blues-rock jam at one of Memphis’ hippest record stores. Music Voyager arrives in Memphis during “Elvis Week”, an annual remembrance of the King of Rock and Roll that takes place around the anniversary of his death. We visit Sun Studios, where Elvis made his first recordings, and discover that the studio’s current sound engineer has a great band himself, the Bluff City Backsliders. We attend the candlelight vigil in front of Graceland, and interview some of the thousands of Elvis fans that travel hear from around the world to find out why The King is so special to them, followed by a gospel tribute by the Spirit of Memphis Gospel Ensemble. Music Voyager also explores the sound of Memphis soul music with The Bo-Keys and a visit to the Stax Museum. Young singer-songwriter Amy Lavere demonstrates the diversity of the contemporary Memphis music scene, while up-and-coming hip-hop stars Freesol, who were just signed to Memphis-native Justin Timberlake’s label, discuss the local urban sound.