News Item

Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Launches “Historic Walking Tours of Beale Street”

May 07, 2012

Elvis fans visiting Memphis can now enjoy an audio guided tour of the rich history behind the world-famous Beale Street.

The intricate, much-talked-about façade supported by green, iron girders outside of Silky O’Sullivans patio once fronted the Gallina Building, “The Pride of Beale Street.” The Randolph Office Building which once stood on the MLG&W site was so large, it drew its own water supply through an artesian well dug 400 feet through the basement. Blues City Café was once one of Clarence Saunders’ early Piggly Wiggly stores.

These are just a few of the historical facts which tourists enjoying chicken and waffles from Miss Polly’s or live music from Run Boogie may never know about. That’s why the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, located just a half block from Beale, is launching “Historic Walking Tours of Beale Street” to add to tourists’ rich “musical pilgrimage” of Memphis. The walking tours were made possible through generous funding from ArtsMemphis. The research was drawn from the book "Beale Street Talks: A Walking Tour Down the Home of the Blues" through permission from its author, Richard M. Raichelson, a Memphis historian and member of the museum’s Advisory Board.

To walk back in history, visitors will have the opportunity to check out an MP3 audio guide from the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum. The audio player will be accompanied by a printed map of Beale with numbered buildings and details (including a fun map of other unique musical sites and attractions throughout Memphis). The audio guide narration was produced by long-time Memphis radio announcer, Henry Nelson, providing a fun, comfortable and historically informative stroll down Beale.

For more information on the “Historic Walking Tour of Beale Street,” visit