Hidden beneath the tall buildings and major venues of Downtown Memphis lies General Washburn’s Escape Alley, which is home to a significant piece of Memphis history.
Union Major General C.C. Washburn was in Memphis during the Union army’s occupation of the city during the Civil War. The alley, which runs from Front Street to Autozone Park, backed-up to the General’s home.
For the grand sum of $5.50, Memphis residents could have attended the only local performance of the Beatles. As one of only 14 stops during their summer tour, the Beatles scheduled two shows at the Mid-South Coliseum for August 19, 1966.
The Memphis engagement lives large in the lore of the Beatles for the controversy surrounding the concert. A month before the Memphis shows, a controversial article appeared in the magazine Datebook in which John Lennon was misquoted as he attempted to describe the hysteria surrounding the band’s fame.
From 1927 through 1934, the Memphis Jug Band created an exceptional sound, combining harmonicas, violins, mandolins, banjos, guitars, washboards, kazoos, and, of course, jugs.
African American musicians from across the Mid-South centered on singer-songwriter Will Shade, otherwise known as Sun Brimmer.
Their music was a mix of blues, ballads, dance tunes, and knock about novelty numbers. At first, they played wherever they could around Memphis, but, soon, their music was popular with both black and white audiences.
In August of 1878, Memphis was struck with its most disastrous Yellow Fever epidemic. The Howard Association, a volunteer group of young businessmen, organized a medical corps to help the devastated city.
Volunteer physicians and nurses came from all over the country to treat the thousands of disease victims. Many stayed at the Peabody Hotel, the only hotel to stay open during the epidemic. Each physician was assigned to a district where they often started their rounds at dawn.
Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. He grew-up there in a shotgun shack that his father, Vernon, built. Elvis was thirteen when his parents moved to Memphis. Throughout his teens, the family moved around, living in small apartments and low-cost public housing.