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The Highway that Sings

A road is a road, but sometimes it's more. Sometimes a road sings. If you’re in search of music, The old Blues Highway—Route 61 between Memphis and Vicksburg is where you’ll find it at every turn.

Soul, gospel, and R&B spill out of car windows and church doors – and not a country tune to be heard for miles – oh joy! Sometimes the music is played on guitars picked with calloused fingers in juke joints tucked under the pine trees. Muddy Waters rode the Blues Highway. So did John Lee Hooker, Bessie Smith, and B.B. King. Elvis knew it too — his rock-and-roll is as rooted in the delta as a cypress tree in the lowland muck.

A few things not to miss on the route: you can take a tour with a well-informed local, Tad Pierson, who offers evening tours of Memphis nightclubs and day trips down the Delta, AmericanDreamSafari, or you could just pull into the Hard Luck Café on Beale St. and take it from there.

Pop culture fans should not miss the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, SoulsVilleUSA.

But don’t get left at the legendary crossroads in Clarksdale where the devil walks, guitar in hand, at midnight...woo hoo.

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