Memphis, Tennessee, is home to many music genres that include blues, Rock and roll, gospel and country. Such musical luminaries as Johnny Cash, B.B. King and Elvis Presley got their starts in the city around the 1950s. They are respectively dubbed the ""Kings"" of Country, Blues and Rock and Roll.
Other celebrated music stars who grew up or started their careers in Memphis include Aretha Franklin, John Lee Hooker, Jerry Lee Lewis, Al Green and Roy Orbison.There are about 650,000 people in the city. The African-American population is predominant here, making up more then 60 percent of the population. The white population constitutes around 30 percent of the inhabitants. The rest is an ethnic mix of Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Hispanic and others. It is noteworthy that about 17 percent of the families live below the poverty line.
One of the city's biggest celebrations is "Memphis in May." The month-long festival promotes Memphis' traditions and customs. Since its inception, Memphis in May has greatly impacted the economic and educational aspects of the city.
The celebration begins in the first weekend of the month at Tom Lee Park, which is the site of the Beale Street Music Festival. During International Week, Memphis honors a specific foreign country, as an effort to expand cultural awareness among young people. Other important events of the festival include the FedEx St. Jude Classic (a professional golf tournament) and the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. The festivities culminate with a performance by the Sunset Symphony.Also, there is Carnival Memphis (before known as the Memphis Cotton Carnival).
This takes place during the early summer. The Carnival acknowledges several aspects of Memphis. The Mid-South Fair takes place annually during the fall season.
After the disastrous Hurricane Katrina that impacted New Orleans in August 2005, Memphis co-hosted the Voodoo Music Experience with New Orleans. The Voodoo Music Experience brought together various musicians in Memphis' Tom Lee Park and New Orleans' Riverview Park in late October 2005. The show was a grand success.
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By: Jennifer Bailey