Visit the Birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll with ToursByLocals

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Memphis is a city of glitz and grit, dreams realised and dreams broken. The city has been home to musical legends Elvis, Johnny Cash, B.B. King and Charlie Patton, and its name is synonymous with the Blues. Joining us today to talk about Memphis is a local guide with some serious roots in this legendary town: ToursByLocals guide Doug.

Memphis is known as "The Home of The Blues and The Birthplace of Rock and Roll"; in fact it's many layers deep in terms of origination of genres and styles of American Pop Music. Nobody will tie the stories of the origins of these music forms together into a saga and put you there like a "fly on the wall" like I can. It has been my passion to do my Memphis tour presentations, as well as working at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis as both Hotel Historian and “Duckmaster”. (Ask me about this when we meet; they tell me I'm very good at it!)

My work keeps me in touch with visitors from all over the world and keeps my historic and musical knowledge finely tuned. Recently I have presented the Honorary Duckmaster's Cane to Former President Jimmy Carter and Actress Cybill Shepherd as a part of the Duckmaster's Ceremony in our historic lobby.

What do you love about where you live?

My favorite thing about Memphis is the authenticity of its people and their stories. Consider a young man who wrote a term paper about a nationwide air package delivery service, then turned it into reality in this city, naming it Federal Express. Think of a young Memphian who was mad about the lack of family lodging services on his vacation so he built a new style motel, named it Holiday Inn, then franchised thousands of them. Envision a Memphis high school kid who combined Blues, Gospel and Country Music to create Rock n Roll. I put guests in these guys' footsteps and many more regularly.

What top three things should first time visitors to Memphis see?

1. Graceland
2. Sun or Stax Studios (ideally both!)
3. The highly acclaimed Memphis Zoo, with Giant Pandas

What’s your favourite local experience to recommend to travellers?

My favorite local experience is seeing a Memphis sunset over the river from a roof top perch with a glass of wine. If the weather isn't ideal, then being inside Itta Bena Restaurant above Beale Street as the neon from below penetrates those translucent blue windows and creates an other-worldly Blues atmosphere while a sultry Diva or acoustic Guitarist completes the mood.

What’s one food you think everyone should eat when they visit Memphis?

My favorite Memphis food is smoked Pork Ribs or Pulled Pork Shoulder at one of many BBQ eateries. Many other award winning restaurants could make your day or night here in this city. A few of my favourites:
• Chez Phillipe in the Peabody lobby
• Flight @ Monroe & Main
• Itta Bena (which I also mentioned above)

Where is the best place for travellers to take a great photo to share with friends back home?

The best photo op would be in most any direction from a spot on the rooftop of the Peabody or from the glass catwalk 30 stories above the ground at the peak of the enormous silver Pyramid by the riverfront.

Please come tour with me. I never tire of hosting visitors and telling them unforgettable stories!

Heading to Memphis in 2016? Immerse yourself in the city by spending the day with a truly exceptional local guide. You can reach Doug via his ToursByLocals guide profile to begin planning your ideal day.
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