Memphis Promotional Products
"Then I'm walking in Memphis, Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale..." Those are lyrics from Mark Cohn's 1991 hit, "Walking in Memphis" and when he sings Beale he is referring to Beale Street, a road that runs through downtown Memphis to the Mississippi River and is a major tourist attraction and source for Memphis promotional products as it has been nationally declared "the Home of the Blues." This designation can in part be attributed to B.B. King, the legendary blues singer and guitarist who came out of this part of Shelby County and whose name is actually a shortened version of the nickname he gained as the "Beale Street Blues Boy." But it is not just the traditional blues that finds its origins here: Johnny Cash, known as the King of Country and Elvis Presley, the King of Rock n' Roll, along with B.B., the King of Blues, got their start by the Mississippi River in the 1950's! And we'll include a brief mention of pop phenomenon Justin Timberlake who grew up just outside of nearby Millington in Shelby County.
Memphis and Graceland
Elvis Presley, the King of Rock n' Roll not only gave Memphis his iconic sound and image, but he also gave the city his 13.8-acre estate, Graceland located in the Whitehaven community, which now serves as a museum and place to find plenty of Elvis-and-Memphis themed products. First opened to the public in 1982, Graceland has since been declared a National Historic Landmark and welcomes over 600,000 visitors each year from nearby Tipton County, Fayette County, and all over the nation - the second most visited private home in the United States (the first is the White House). DVDs of an insider's tour of Graceland are actually available as souvenires. One can even purchase authentic blue Christmas lights that once lined Elvis' Graceland driveway in Whitehaven. Elvis would decorate the driveway with hundreds of blue lights each year and the staff at Graceland continues this tradition. There are tons of other Memphis keepsakes available too to keep the Elvis spirit alive.
Memphis Pand Dr. King
There is one more King whose spirit is being kept alive in Shelby County - the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King came to that side of the Mississippi River to speak with African-American sanitation workers on strike and was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel on April 4, 1968. The Motel is now the site of the National Civil Rights Museum. Products featuring the museum's name and logo are available for purchase and proceeds help to fund the museum's initiatives and we all know his legacy today stretches well beyond the borders of Shelby County, Tipton County, Fayette County and any other county lines.