Because of a fellow named Elvis Aaron Presley, Memphis’ place in musical lore is secure. Dig a little deeper than Graceland in the liner notes, though, and you’ll uncover a list with so many other monumental names (Aretha Franklin, W.C. Handy, Al Green) that you start to get all shook up by the city’s true historical significance.
Blues City celebrates its place in the sonic sphere every year with the month-long Memphis in May extravaganza, with the Beale Street Music Festival being the headlining event. This year’s showing on May 5 to 7 will feature behemoths in rock (Kings of Leon) and soul (Jill Scott), but it’ll demonstrate its diversity with hip-hop (Wiz Khalifa), reggae (Ziggy Marley) and country (Sturgill Simpson) as well.
But tunes aren’t the only place where Memphis is mixing it up. Of late, the city has also shown that it can jazz things up in the kitchen and make some noise in the hotel world. With our Forbes Travel Guide editors’ 48-hour itinerary, you’ll be able to sample some of the new with a bit of the old, and put it all together in one sweet-sounding getaway.