A Short Trip To The US


nivrip

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We flew to Atlanta, Georgia a couple of weeks back. Atlanta is now officially the world's busiest airport but it didn't look like a modern airport at all and, in fact, looked quite small. Unless, perhaps, we were only in a single terminal. Anyway, the immigration process was a nightmare, queueing up to join another queue and then finding that there were only two staff to do the final check on hundreds of passengers. No fun at all.

Only an overnight stay in Atlanta but we did manage to see a few things the next morning. We visited the church where Martin Luther King had his first job as a preacher and almost next to it is the site where he is buried, along with his wife who died 38 years after he was assassinated. She continued the civil rights work that he had been involved with.

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The church





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The burial site.


More to follow.
 
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Becky

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Sounds good, looking forward to hearing more about it :)
 

Ian

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I always enjoy these type of picture threads :D.

Was Atlanta a mid-point to another destination, or was it just a really short trip?
 

nivrip

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I always enjoy these type of picture threads :D.

Was Atlanta a mid-point to another destination, or was it just a really short trip?

All will be revealed. :)
 
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nivrip

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Well, next up we went here

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Yes, that's Chattanooga Station which is a hotel with a nice bar and lots of exhibits at the back. Sadly no trains now run to Chattanooga at all so we had to make do with the ones on display. Just had a bite in the bar at lunchtime and then on to here.

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This is Nashville and RCA Studio B where most of the records from the 50s and 60s were recorded. There's still lots of the old equipment on show and of course it's really a museum now but the stories the guide told were fascinating. The studio eventually became too small so a larger one was built next door but Studio B is the one with all the history.



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I'm sure that more than one person on PCR would find all this equipment of great interest. It's all the original bits and pieces from 1957 to 1964.

Wonderful. :)
 

Becky

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It's funny how that place looks like an old village hall, you wouldn't think it was historically significant to look at it! Why was the first one called Studio B?
 
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nivrip

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Why was the first one called Studio B?
It only got that name after the other one was built. The new one then took over all the recording and got the name Studio A. Not sure what Studio B was called originally. Probably just The Studio. :)
 

nivrip

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So, what else do you do in Nashville? Well, you have to go to The Grand Ole Opry , a country music stage show which has run since 1925. It was originally downtown but this theatre became too small and a new one on the outskirts of town finally opened in 1974.

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The theatre now holds 4000 spectators and the shows are held several times a week depending on the time of year. TBH, we're not great fans of country music but being there made it a great night out. Being a Saturday night the whole show was broadcast live on radio and lasted about 2 hours 15 minutes. Didn't know any of the performers but they were all very professional. Every well known country singer has appeared here over the years. Elvis appeared once in his early days but was thought to be "not quite right " for it.

The other thing about Nashville is that if you go downtown in the afternoon or evening every single bar will feature live music of a seriously good standard.

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One of the bars in full swing.

And I'll bet you didn't know that Nashville has its own Parthenon. We certainly didn't.

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Built for some Festival but not marble, it's actually concrete.
 

Becky

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Must have been great listening to live music wherever you went! A couple of my friends are really into Nashville (the TV series) and I bet they'd love it there :)
 

Ian

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I love how they've build a Parthenon just for a festival :lol:. I've just had a look at it in Google Street view and it's HUGE!

I'm not a fan of country music either, but when something is live like that, I pretty much enjoy anything :D.
 

floppybootstomp

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Great pix Nivrip, Nashville looks good.

I do like some country music, big fan of the original Hank Wiiliams and also like some of Dolly Parton, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and the Flatlanders.
 
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nivrip

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Right, where do you go after Nashville? Only one place, and that's got to be Memphis. :thumb:

And you just have to go here...…………….


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The world famous Sun Studio, owned by Sam Phillips, where Elvis cut his first records.

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Close up of the sign in front of the building.


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Some of the display in the museum part of the studio.

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The Million Dollar Quartet. This is a blown up photo which was taken in 1956 of Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Elvis and Johnny Cash. Perkins was there to record some new materiel, Jerry Lee Lewis was an unknown session pianist who was to play on the Perkins recording and Elvis and Cash turned up by chance. The four of them did a jam session, Elvis sitting at the very piano below the picture. Sam Phillips recorded the whole thing but could not release it as, by now, Elvis had a contract with RCA and not Sun Records. Lewis released his first hit record a few days later on the Sun Records label. Some of the jam session music was eventually released in 1981 and some more in 1987.


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Some of the original recording equipment.


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Photo of Sam Phillips using the equipment.


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Another part of the museum.



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And another.




The pics are not great as it was pretty dim inside and there was a lot of glass causing awkward reflections.

We really enjoyed the visit here. This place was at the forefront of the modern music age and it's amazing to see how small the building is and just how antiquated the equipment looks now. :)
 
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floppybootstomp

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Fantastic pictures :)

Note the turntable speed set strobe disks in the pic of Sam Phillips.
 

nivrip

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After Sun Studio we wandered down to the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King was shot down on the balcony on 4 April 1968. The motel is closed now but the balcony remains as part of the National Civil Rights Museum which is a must if ever you're in Memphis.

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The balcony where King was shot is the one with the wreath. The cars were there at the time and have never been moved.

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One of the exhibits in the museum



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Another. The whole museum visit was very moving.

In the evening we went down to Beale Street which is the heart and soul of Memphis with lots of bars, restaurants and music everywhere. Great atmosphere.

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The lights of Beale Street.



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Note the barriers. The street is sealed off by a huge police presence every night and everyone is frisked for weapons and drugs before getting through the barrier. It made us feel very safe.

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Inside Slinky O'Sullivan's Irish Bar on Beale St. This old blues singer was, I think, well past her best but claimed to have sung with Dusty Springfield on Son of a Preacher Man. Hope she sang better then.


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And here's Beale Street in the daytime. Hardly anyone around. Probably all sleeping off their hangovers.
 
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Becky

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Looks like a fascinating place, and I'm glad to hear you visited the civil rights museum. Amazing that it's still an issue in modern day USA :(

How long were you in Tennessee for?
 

nivrip

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Looks like a fascinating place, and I'm glad to hear you visited the civil rights museum. Amazing that it's still an issue in modern day USA :(

How long were you in Tennessee for?
Four or five days. :)

There's more to come. ;)
 

nivrip

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Great photos @nivrip! :) Did you go to Graceland as well?
Well, yes. You can't really do Memphis without doing Graceland.

Here's the exterior.

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You can see that it's not that big for a multi-millionaire but he liked it so much that he never thought of moving. The original owner of the land had a daughter called Grace so the whole plot became Graceland. The mansion was built in 1939 and Elvis bought it in March 1957 for $102,500 when this area was well out of town.

Parts of the interior.
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All rather gaudy and not to everyone's taste.

The kitchen seemed particularly small for someone with millions.

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Then outside to the memorial area.

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This shows the graves of his father, mother and his twin who was stillborn


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The graves of his grandmother, to whom he was extremely close, and Elvis himself.

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The whole memorial garden.

After the house tour it was back across the road (Elvis Presley Boulevard) to the ticketing area and the museums.


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The museums were huge and you could easily spend all day here. Endless numbers of planes, cars, clothes, gold discs, a cinema where you could watch some of his films and an area where you could listen to his music plus an ice cream parlour and restaurants.

I was never a great fan of Elvis but this was a magnificent day out. :)
 
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Becky

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That all looks really interesting (apart from the migraine room!), and I had no idea Elvis was a twin!
 

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