If you’ve been watching all the news stories coming out of Memphis presented by reporters standing waist deep in water, you’re probably wondering whether the city’s famed music landmarks are endangered. As it turns out, places like Stax Records, Sun Studios and Graceland are keeping dry. Too bad that can’t be said for the entire town.
For the past few days Mother Nature sure has been doing a number on Memphis as a flooding Mississippi River turned several streets into waterways and forced many local residents to evacuate their homes.
But many of Memphis’ historic music-centric landmarks aren’t in harm’s way. Stax Records, currently a museum, wasn’t affected by rising waters. Ditto for Sun Studios, where Elvis Presley began his recording career.
Speaking of Elvis, his Memphis home known as Graceland appears to have been spared by the rising waters. But then, most Memphis residents would rather watch their own homes wash away than see the King Of Rock 'N' Roll’s famed mansion suffer any damage.
“I want to say this: Graceland is safe,” Shelby County Emergency Management Agency Director Bob Nations Jr. told Associated Press. “And we would charge hell with a water pistol to keep it that way and I’d be willing to lead the charge.”
Beale Street experienced some water pooling at one end of the road, but most of the avenue’s famous nightclubs are located on high ground even though the street itself is about a half a mile from floodwaters.
But life and music go on. Tonight’s “Celtic Woman” performance at Memphis’ Orpheum Theatre is still a go. Local venues are still advertising this week’s concerts by Jackson Browne and Between The Buried And Me scheduled for tomorrow night at The Orpheum and New Daisy Theatre, respectively. In fact, New Daisy has a notice on its website stating the venue is on a bluff and is no way endangered by floodwaters.
Meanwhile, Memphis Convention Center and Visitors Bureau President and Chief Executive Kevin Kane thinks the nasty ol’ media has exaggerated flood conditions in his city.
“The country thinks we’re in lifeboats and we are underwater,” Kane said. “For visitors, it’s business as usual.”