Music in the South is different to say the least
8 Nights From €1489 (Per Person)
Fly Drive Holidays
The studios in Nashville, Memphis and Muscle Shoals are the epicentre of Southern Music and Birmingham which is Alabama's largest city is known for it's music heritage and live music venues. This magical music triangle is a great Road Trip with each destination offering a different aspect of American music.
Day 1 & 2
Start in Memphis where you can visit Graceland, Elvis' home. That night visit Beale Street for great restaurants and live music including BB King's Blues Club.
Then it's back on the road to visit the four adjacent small Alabama towns of Florence, Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia and Sheffield (1 hour 50 minutes, 90 miles) better known as Muscle Shoals - The Hit Capital of the World.
Day 3 & 4
You are now in Muscle Shoals, one of the major recording centers in our music triangle. It is here that the Muscle Shoals Sound was born. Visit FAME Recording Studios and learn how Muscle Shoals became the Hit Recording Capital of the World in the 1960s and where Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart and other artists from around the world came to this small southern town to record. Also see the birthplace and museums of both Helen Keller, political activist and the first deaf blind person to earn a Batchelor of Arts degree; and W.C. Handy, "Father of the Blues".
Day 5 & 6
Travel to Birmingham
Drive 120 miles to Birmingham, home to the more than 100-year-old Birmingham Music Club; the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame; Tuxedo Junction, a place made famous in song by Erskine Hawkins and his Orchestra; and Ona’s Music Room, a jazz club that has been listed as one of the top 10 in the nation.
Birmingham’s musical heritage runs deep. African-American cappella quartet singing that developed in Jefferson County as the “Birmingham Sound” in the 1930's and 40's is played today by the local group the Birmingham Sunlights. The Birmingham Sound has been called the direct-line ancestor to the most popular versions of African-American harmony later made famous by The Temptations . Several of the members of The Temptations , the most successful soul group of the 1960's were from Birmingham. Visit the Eddie Kendrick Memorial Park in downtown which honours The Temptations and its lead singer. Nearby is the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame where you can learn about Frank “Doc” Adams ’ who worked as a member of Duke Ellington Orchestra and the first Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame inductee as well as the work of Erskine Hawkins known for his band’s worldwide hit “Tuxedo Junction” about a local streetcar stop in the Ensley neighborhood at the intersection of Ensley Avenue and 20th Street.
The Birmingham based Original Gospel Harmonettes was a highly successful group from the mid 1940s until the lead singer left to become a civil rights activist in the 1960's. Considered one of the most influential saxophonists in the history of jazz music, John Coltrane recorded “Alabama” as an emotional tribute to four African American children who were killed in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. The recording took place just two months after the tragic incident.
Artists with ties to Birmingham also include great women of the early Classic Blues period, such as Lucille Bogan and Leola “Coot” Grant . Legendary blues drummer Sam Lay , known for his famous double-shuffle, was born in Birmingham as were visionary jazz artist Sun Ra , blues pianist Walter Roland , folk and jazz singer Odetta, and Cleveland Eaton, one of the greatest jazz string players ever. Birmingham is also the birthplace of American Idol stars Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks , and current jazz performer Eric Essix . Ona Watson , whose Ona’s Music Room draws crowds and has a loyal following of music lovers, also lives in the area.
If in the area on a Saturday night, be sure to visit Gip’s Place . It is located in the backyard of Henry Gipson’s home that sits beside the big curve along the 3100 block of Avenue C in Bessemer. Gipson is a gravedigger by day and a musician at night. For more than 50 years, some of the best musicians around have been coming to his backyard to play. Many Sundays you can find Cleve Eaton playing at the Open Door Café in the Birmingham suburb of Mountain Brook or on many Wednesdays at Old Car Heaven in downtown Birmingham.
Birmingham has several entertainment areas with live music. You can people watch, dance to great live music, and enjoy fantastic dining at Five Points South , one of the city's top entertainment districts. Stroll along the tree-shaded streets or stop and admire the artistry of the Frank Fleming sculpture, "The Storyteller," at the famous fountain. Some of the establishments in Five Points South include the famed Highland Bar & Grill , one of the top restaurants in America. Bell Bottoms , and Zydeco are two of the places to hear live music. Other popular nightspots include Blue Monkey Lounge , Bailey’s Pub , Dave’s Pub , Club 1120 , Club Rize , The J. Clyde , The Nick , and Twist n Shout . Located inside Hotel Highland is the H Bar, where you can live jazz music Tuesday through Thursday and blues on Saturday.
Day 7 and 8
Travel to Nashville which boasts the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Depart for the UK from Nashville.
Depart home from Nashville or Atlanta
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