Virtual Reality Concerts Are on the Rise

Virtual Reality Concerts Are on the Rise
by Kris Wellen

Check out this clip from the FR (Virtual Reality) concert by Coldplay. Thank you Samsung for bringing us the future today!

East Bound and Down

When you think of music in the United States, you don't often think about the 1700s, but that's exactly when the first music society in America began. The St. Cecilia Society was born in South Carolina, at the time home to many colonial musicians from Europe.

Josephine Baker does the Charleston in this undated public domain photo. 
Fast forward a couple of hundred years. South Carolina is home to a thriving rock, and hip hop scene. It's also credited as being the spot where African American  Spirituals (the foundation of R&B and then Rock) first entered our country's conscience. But the genre South Carolina is best known for is ...wait for it.... Beach music. You read that right. Not Cali, not Florida. South Carolina. "Beach" music, not to be confused with Surf,  Calypso, or whatever Jimmy Buffet plays, is  an offshoot of early R&B and rock'n roll that featured a shuffling beat which spawned a dance called The Shag. Oh- and while we're talking about South Carolina dancing, let's not forget that little number they came up with back in the 1920's known as the Charleston (photo). 

The Palmetto State's current bumper crop of popular music venues include the Grand Strand in Myrtle Beach which has become one of the major centers for country music on the East Coast. Each year, Myrtle Beach hosts the South Carolina State Bluegrass Festival.

Hootie the Blowfish hail from South Carolina, as do Duncan Sheik, Dizzy Gilespie, Peabo Bryson, Chubby Checker, and that other "King"... James Brown. 

Up in Memphis the Music's Like a Heatwave....

Here's a challenge. Try visiting Memphis, TN and avoiding Elvis. I'll spare you some time & money...  it's not going to happen. Ever since The King moved to Memphis (he was born in Tupelo, MS), the town has been synonymous with his work. Don't get us wrong, there are plenty of other great music must-dos in Memphis, but we'll save those for another post. This is all about Elvis.

Of course, I have to mention Elvis' home, Graceland. To see it while in Memphis goes without saying. Still, there are a myriad of sites that will tell you more, and if you're reading this page, you already know about it. But I'm continually surprised by those who don't know about the other Elvis related sites, such as restaurants, and hotels in the area. There is even an "Elvis Week" long festival every August.

Did you know you can eat like Elvis? Yep. Restaurants like the Rock-n-Roll cafe will serve up Elvis' infamous banana and peanut butter sandwich to your liking. It'll cost you around $9. My insiders tell me, that another local haunt, The Arcade, will make the same sandwich for less than a King's ransom, but you won't find it on the menu. It's a secret item that you'll have to ask for.  

When you're finished there, walk off your sandwich (if you've actually managed to finish it!) at Elvis' auto row to check out his many cars, and of course the Lisa Marie private jet in all it's tacky glory. When you're finished for the day, head back to your room at the Heartbreak Hotel, where you can check into your own private Elvis-themed room, such as the Jungle Room, the Billiards Room, or a room inspired by Elvis' real (and famously off-limits) room upstairs at Graceland.

Georgia on my Mind

Hey music lovers-

If you find yourself in The Peach State, don't forget to check out the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. You'll find it in Macon, Georgia, about an hour and a half outside of Atlanta. Why Macon? Good question! While Atlanta may currently be a modern mecca for hip hop and r&b, Macon is where stars like James Brown, Otis Redding, Little Richard, and the Allman Brothers Band began.

I'm Goin' to Jackson

Photo in the Public Domain
The song "Jackson," made famous by Johnny Cash & June Carter never says whether or not they are  referring to Jackson, Mississippi or Jackson, Tennessee, but ask anyone from Mississippi, and they'll claim the song as their own. Why? Because Jackson, MS also calls itself the Birthplace of America's Music, and they certainly have a right to claim it too. Dozens of musicians were born in Mississippi, many of whom got their musical start in Jackson. Today, live music can be heard throughout the city. Top venues include Martins, WC Dons, and Hal & Mal's. Gospel, Country, Blue, Rock: they all have a foundation in Mississippi, and as Jackson is the largest city in the state (and the state capitol), you're sure to find some here.

You'll also find the Mississippi Music Hall of Fame. Admission is free, and the museum itself is located inside the Jackson International Airport.If your plans don't lead you in this direction, or you need to skip the airport, the Hall of Fame's website is a wealth of information, and they offer a Mississippi Blues Map in their online store.

Following is a list of musicians (of varying genres) born in the state of Mississippi, according to the Mississippi Music Hall of Fame. 

Elvis Presley (Tupelo), Glen Ballard (Natchez), Jimmy Buffett (Pascagoula), Ike Turner (Clarksdale)< Jerry Lee Lewis (Nesbit), Mary Wilson (Greenwood), Robert Johnson (Hazlehurst), B. B. King (Itta Bena), Muddy Waters (Rolling Fork), Howlin Wolf (White Station), Tommy Johnson  (Terry), Honey Boy Edwards (Shaw), Faith Hill (Star), Charley Pride (Sledge), Conway Twitty - Friars Point, Tammy Wynette - Tremont, Mose Allison (Tippo), Cassandra Wilson (Jackson), Lance, Bass (Laurel/Clinton), Sam Cooke (Clarksdale), Bo Diddley (McComb), John Lee Hooker (Clarksdale), Junior Parker (Clarksdale).