Last Train to Memphis
I ran into a few dead ends while tracking David Guralnick's path through Memphis. The Chisca Hotel was home to WHBQ radio and that's where Sam Phillips took Elvis Presley's first record - That's All Right Mama. The hotel - once a hotspot is now an apartment house - but the sign still remains and I spotted it from the roof of the Peabody Hotel.
The Goyosa Hotel has also been converted into apartments and townhouses.
The Loews Theater, where Elvis worked as an usher was demolished in 1972. The Suzore Number 2 is where Elvis was when he got a call from Sun Records. His mother pulled him out of the theater to wait for the return call. The Suzore was demolished in 1967 to build Cook's Convention Center. Ellis Auditorium, where Elvis saw many acts and then later performed was demolished in 1999 to expand the Cook Convention Center.
I was particularly interested in the many restaurants Elvis visited - among them, Johnny Mill's on Fourth and Beale, and Toddle House. I love a good burger and was excited about K's ond Crump Boulevard or Earl’s Drive-in - but I had no luck finding them.
The Firestone plant seems like an interesting stop - it was once the largest tire production facility in the world. I learned it closed for good in the early 1950's. All you can see now is the smokestack with the faded name on the stack and that made for some great picture taking.