Monday, July 23, 2007

A Southern sound check along the 'Music Highway'

From Elvis' Graceland to the Grand Ole Opry, America's legends sing a siren song along Tennessee's fabled Memphis-to-Nashville route.

By Robert Hilburn
Special to The Los Angeles Times

Memphis, Tennessee
Knowing how obsessed Elvis fans can be, I wasn't surprised when my wife and I drove up to the Heartbreak Hotel and found, true to the song's lyrics, that it was actually "down at the end of Lonely Street" and that the desk clerk was "dressed in black."

Our room was lined with photos of the King, and two TV channels were devoted 24/7 to Elvis Presley's music and movies. And, as expected, the souvenir shop contained such Elvis novelties as "Love Me Tender" tea sets and copies of the work shirt that a teenage Presley wore when he drove a truck for Crown Electric. (Guess which one I bought.)

But one thing that did surprise me on this, the first night of our five-day Memphis and Nashville music tour, was the Elvis look-alike chatting it up in the lobby. You might expect an official greeter in a
Vegas skyscraper but hardly at a modest, 128-room place like this.

It wasn't until I saw him chowing down on biscuits and gravy at the complimentary breakfast the next morning that I realized the laugh was on me. The guy wasn't a hotel employee but another guest, which brings us back to the point about obsessed Elvis fans.

Read the entire article in the L.A. Times

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