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According to Billboard Magazine, Memphis is mentioned in more songs than any other city in the world.  One visit to Memphis, and you will know why!  But there’s more to Memphis than its music—Memphis is also an iconic destination for the civil rights movement. NCUR attendees have three choices for an excursion in the afternoon on Saturday, April 8:  the National Civil Rights Museum, Elvis’ Graceland, and the STAX Museum and Sun Studio.

All tours include transportation back to your hotel.  

Tour 1:  National Civil Rights Museum ($25)2017excursions1

Visit the site of the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968.  The museum features multi-media and interactive exhibits that chronicle the civil rights movement from the 17th century to the present, and also includes Room 306, the hotel room Dr. King was staying in at the time of his death. Next, visit the museum’s Legacy Building (the boarding house from where the assassin’s shot was allegedly fired) to learn more about the case against James Earl Ray, and the ensuing conspiracy theories.

 

Tour 2:  Graceland Tour ($70)2017excursions2

Put on your Blue Suede shoes and pay homage to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll at Graceland, the sprawling white-columned mansion situated on a 13-acre estate that Elvis called home from 1956 to 1977. Gawk at the home’s over-the-top d�cor and view the infamous Jungle Room, along with the music room, TV room, living room, and parents’ bedroom. The Archives Experience will allow you to see rare artifacts, such as Elvis’ costumes, photographs, documents, and film clips. The final stop is in the Meditation Garden where Elvis and his family members have been laid to rest.  This tour also includes Elvis’ automobiles and airplanes.

 

Tour 3: Memphis Means Music Tour (STAX Museum and Sun Studio) ($30)2017excursions3

Come to Soulsville, USA to experience the home of soul music and the place where Rufus Thomas, Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes and others cut ground-breaking records.   The museum tour takes visitors through exhibits highlighting the roots of soul, STAX beginnings, and several recording studios. You’ll also have the opportunity to behold Isaac Hayes’ glittering custom Cadillac Eldorado which is fully equipped with unique amenities like a television, 24-carat gold exterior and white fur carpeting. Finally, we invite you to “shake what your mama gave you” on the Express Yourself dance floor.

Then it is on to Sun Studio. Sam Phillips opened Sun Studio in 1950 and launched the careers of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, B.B. King, Roy Orbison, and many others. There’s a saying at Sun Studio: “If music was a religion, then Memphis would be Jerusalem and Sun Studio its most holy shrine.” Visit Sun Studio to find out why.