Soul Cities Gets Gritty in Memphis

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Nelson George says it right up front. “Country, gospel, blues, and rock ‘n’ roll all claim Memphis as home turf, but you know what? Memphis is a soul city.” There’s no question about that. While George tours the very funky town that borders the Mississippi, he highlights some very cool spots, like Beale Street, which Rufus Thomas called the “black man’s heaven.” He checks out W.C. Handy‘s house, hits a Baptist church to explain the impact of the black congregations, swings by the Gibson guitar factory to describe B.B. King‘s instrument and sits down at Ernestine & Hazels to have a soul burger and listen to the haunted jukebox.

Al Green‘s Green Is Blues disc, the Stax label museum, the 4-Way Grill (where Martin Luther King ate regularly), the Lorraine Motel (where King was assassinated), Isaac Hayes’ legacy, Hustle & Flow director Craig Brewer – lots of important stuff in this episode. Watch the clip above, check the whole show on VH1 Soul this Tuesday at 9 pm.

Watch music videos by Memphis artists right here.

Facebook users can check pictures from the Memphis episode on Nelson George’s page.

Check extra clips and the list of the spots that Team George visited in Memphis after the jump.

Soul Cities: Memphis

HISTORICAL SITES:

First Beale Street Baptist Church
379 Beale St Memphis, TN 38103

W.C. Handy Park / Museum
352 Beale St Memphis, TN 38103

Gibson Guitar Museum
145 George W Lee St Memphis, TN 38103

Mississippi River
Riverside Dr and Huling Ave Memphis, TN

Beale Street
Beale St. between 2nd st and 4th st

Lorraine Motel / Memphis Civil Rights Museum
450 Mulberry St Memphis, TN 38103

STAX Museum
926 E Mclemore Ave Memphis, TN 38106

Peabody Hotel
149 Union Ave Memphis, TN 38103

LOCAL FLAVORS:

Ernestine?s & Hazel?s restaurant
531 S Main St Memphis, TN 38103

BEAUTY SHOP restaurant
966 S Cooper St Memphis, TN 38104

4-Way Grill
998 Mississippi Blvd Memphis, TN? 38126

MUSIC OF THE CITY:

WDIA? FM
2650 Thousand Oaks Blvd Memphis, TN 38118

Hattiloo Theater
656 Marshall Ave Memphis, TN 38103

Shangri-La Records
1916 Madison Ave Memphis, TN 38104