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Karen's younger sister, Ilse flew
from California to Tennessee
and joined the two RV Gypsies for two weeks
and they explored Tennessee, starting with
Beale Street - Home of the Blues
in Memphis, Tennessee
July 13, 2014

Home of the Blues - Beale street
Lee Duquette on Bealle Street
Beale Street

History Book clipartBeale Street was created in 1841 by entrepreneur/developer Robertson Topp, who named it for a forgotten military hero. The original name was Beale Avenue. Its western end housed shops of trade merchants, who traded goods with ships along the Mississippi River, while the eastern part developed as an affluent suburb. In the 1860s, many black traveling musicians began performing on Beale. The first of these to call Beale Street home were the Young Men's Brass Band, who were formed by Sam Thomas in 1867.

In the 1870s, the population of Memphis was rocked by a series of yellow fever epidemics, leading the city to forfeit its charter in 1879. During this time, Robert Church purchased land around Beale Street that would eventually lead to his becoming the first black millionaire from the south. In 1890, Beale Street underwent renovation.

In the early 1900s, Beale Street was filled with many clubs, restaurants and shops, many of them owned by African-Americans.

In 1903, Mayor Thornton was looking for a music teacher for his Knights of Pythias Band and called Tuskegee Institute to talk to his friend, Booker T. Washington, who recommended a trumpet player in Clarksdale, Mississippi named W. C. Handy. Mayor Thornton contacted Handy, and Memphis became the home of the famous musician who created the "Blues on Beale Street". Mayor Thornton and his three sons also played in Handy's band.

In 1909, W. C. Handy wrote "Mr. Crump" as a campaign song for political machine leader E. H. Crump. The song was later renamed "The Memphis Blues". Handy also wrote a song called "Beale Street Blues" in 1916 which influenced the change of the street's name from Beale Avenue to Beale Street. From the 1920s to the 1940s, Louis Armstrong, Albert King, , B. B. King and other blues and jazz legends played on Beale Street and helped develop the style known as Memphis Blues. As a young man, B. B. King was billed as "the Beale Street Blues Boy".

In the 1960s, Beale became run down and many stores closed. On May 23, 1966, the section of the street from Main to 4th was declared a National Historic Landmark. On December 15, 1977, Beale Street was officially declared the "Home of the Blues" by an act of Congress. Despite this national recognition of its historic significance, Beale was a virtual ghost town after a disastrous urban renewal program with every building except Schwabs boarded up.

In 1973, the Beale Street Development Corporation (BSDC) was formed for the redevelopment of Beale Street.

quote from


Handy Park and Museum ( Below quote From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

entrance to Handy Park on Beale Street
W.C. Handy Museum entrance

William Christopher Handy (November 16, 1873 - March 28, 1958) was an American blues composer and musician. He was widely known as the "Father of the Blues". (As mentioned in the above History of Beale Street).

Handy remains among the most influential of American songwriters. Though he was one of many musicians who played the distinctively American form of music known as the blues, he is credited with giving it its contemporary form. While Handy was not the first to publish music in the blues form, he took the blues from a regional music style with a limited audience to one of the dominant national forces in American music.

Handy was an educated musician who used folk material in his compositions. He was scrupulous in documenting the sources of his works, which frequently combined stylistic influences from several performers.

William Christopher Handy statue at Handy Park
sign about Beale Street
sign about Beale Street
Beale Street sign
Memphis blues & soul sign

There were Musical note shaped plaques on the sidewalks along Beale Street.

Otis Redding plaque
The Blues Brothers plaque
Elvis Presley note
window sign-Down Home Blues
Elvis Presley sign
Elvis Presley sign
Blues City Cafe on Beale Street
Wet Willies on Beale Street

Below: The upper layers of the building shown below had no backside to it.

backless building
building with no backside
Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee
Piurple Haze club on Beale Street
Piurple Haze club on Beale Street
BB King's Blues Club
Hard Rock Cafe on Beale Street

laughing dudeWhat a turkey !!!

The two RV Gypsies had lunch at the Pig Restaurant because it had a whole bunch of award trophies for best BBQ in its windows. The BBQ sandwich was amazing, but the restaurant did not have any air conditioning, just fans, and so it was very hot inside.

Lee Duquette in a turkey hat
Pig restaurant on Beale Street

Sign on a door on Beale Street

Sign in a window on Beale Street

door sign on Beale Street
Elvis Presley sign on Beale Street
Peoples Sports Bar on Beale Street
Peoples Sports Bar on Beale Street
Drist building
Voodoo Alley on Beale Street
Ticket Master on Beale street
sign about Pee Wee Saloon
Johnny Gs
murals on Beale Street
murals on Beale Street
murals on Beale Street
Flynn's Bar
B.B> King's Blues Club sign
B.B> King's Blues Club sign

The two RV Gypsies and Karen Duquette's sister ate at B.B. King's Blues Clubin Memphis, and enjoyed the entertainment and the food.

entertainment at B.B. King's Blues Club
entertainment at B.B. King's Blues Clu
entertainment at B.B. King's Blues Clu
BB King's Blues Club all star band
tablecloth at entertainment at B.B. King's Blues Clu
Coyote Ugly sign
Coyote Ugly sign

laughing dudeThe dude at the entrance to Coyote Ugly checked Karen and Ilse's ID. Guess they look like youngsters.

Karen Duquette and her sister at Coyote Ugly
Coyote Ugly

Below: Ilse and Karen danced on the bar
at Coyote Ugly

Below: Lee Duquette and the bar-maid
at Coyote Ugly

chicken dancesuch cool chicks

animated Yes clipart said Lee

Ilse and Karen dance on the bar at Coyote Ugly
Lee and the bar-maid at Coyote Ugly
Jery Lee Lewis Cafe sign
Lee Dujquette at Jery Lee Lewis Cafe
Ilse Blahak
Ilse Blahak
sign - Rum Boogie Cafe
guitars at Rum Boogie Cafe
guitars at Rum Boogie Cafe
sign - Rum Boogie Cafe
guitars at Rum Boogie Cafe
Reba's guitar at Rum Boogie Cafe

animated Yes clipart Lee Duquette met some new friends

Lee Duquette makes new friends

Menu for the two RV Gypsies Adventures
in Memphis Tennessee - July 2014

Travel to Memphis

Memphis KOA and sunsets

World Famous Beale Street (this page)

Memphis - statues, murals and more

Mud Island

Graceland, Heartbreak Hotel and more

Sun Studios

Rock N Soul Museum

choose a new page from below

go to Nashville, the next adventure of the two RV Gypsies AFTER you have viewed all ten (10) sites above, please continue on to Nashville, Tennessee - the Gaylord Opryland Hotel, the Grand Ole Opry, Country Music Hall of Fame and more.