Travel: To visit Memphis is to be absorbed by its rich musical lore, its vivid political history and its marvellous cuisine

Domestic visits to Memphis ended up being 10 per cent above the US national average last year. It was also named one of the world’s greatest places by Time magazine

Sunset on Beale street, where Elvis spent time as a teenager. Picture: Joshua Brown

A sudden downpour has us sheltering on the veranda of the “shotgun” timber shack where WC Handy, the father of the blues, was born. Inside, Louis Armstrong is playing Beale Street Blues on his trumpet, a legendary Handy composition filled with emotion and pathos.

It’s like a scene from Walking In Memphis, Marc Cohn’s 1991 hit about this southern US city steeped in political and musical history. “I was walking with my feet ten feet ...