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5 Cool Things You Didn’t Know About Memphis

5 Cool Things You Didn’t Know About Memphis

Memphis, Tennessee sits along the Mississippi River and is the second most populous city in the state after Nashville. Memphis is located in western Tennessee and is probably best known for its role in the Civil Right Movement, being the place of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968, as well as its music scene.

If you are planning a visit or a move to Memphis, you will probably want to know a little more about the city before you arrive. Here are a few fun facts about the city of Memphis:

The King of Rock ‘N Roll’s Home

Elvis Presley moved his family to Memphis from Mississippi in 1948. Elvis actually began his career at Sun Studios in Memphis, which is known as the “Birthplace of Rock and Roll.” Elvis lived in Memphis at his mansion called Graceland until his death in 1977. You can still visit Graceland today, and it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state, and possibly even the country.

Known as the “Home of the Blues & Birthplace of Rock and Roll”

Memphis is probably best known for its music scene, both historically and currently. Many major musicians, including Elvis, as you already read, got their start in Memphis. You also already read that Sun Studios is considered the “Birthplace of Rock and Roll,” but Memphis also has the distinction of housing the “Home of the Blues,” which is Beale Street.

Musicians who began their careers in Memphis (besides Elvis) include Aretha Franklin, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Otis Redding, and B.B. King. If you would like to make your home in this historic musical city, there are plenty of Memphis houses for sale.

Name Origin

If you like to explore the origins of meanings of names, Memphis has some cool history behind it. Memphis was named after Memphis, Egypt, which was the ancient capital before Alexandria. The word “Memphis” means established and beautiful. Those are definitely some interesting meanings, especially for a city you may be considering visiting or moving to.


Memphis style barbeque is recognized as one of the four distinct styles of US barbeque and is world renowned, partly due to the World Championship Barbeque Cooking Contest, which is held in Memphis each year in May. Memphis BBQ is usually pork ribs or pulled pork and can be wet or dry (BBQ sauce or a dry rub with sometimes many, many ingredients). If you love BBQ, Memphis is the city for you.

MGM Lion

Do you know the lion at the beginning of the classic MGM films? The original lion was named Slats and later renamed Volney, after his trainer. After Volney retired, he was moved to the Memphis Zoo. He remained at the Memphis Zoo and called Memphis home until his death in 1944.

From serious to musical to meaningful, from culinary to historical, Memphis has a rich history and many interesting facts and stories to share. If you are considering a visit or a move to Memphis, these are 5 facts to get started, but there are so many more.

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