Memphis Trip

July 7-10, 2010

Brazil Concert Band

Account written by Matthew S. Huber, Director, Brazil Concert Band and Jackson Township Band

Photos by Melanie, Matthew, and John Huber, Duane Caperton, Shelley Criss, Linda Steppe, and Joyce Stone

The Brazil Concert Band chose Memphis, Tennessee for its tour for the year 2010. Memphis drew a great deal of interest from the musicians and one of the largest BCB entourages, both in musicians and “groupies”, left for Memphis on July 7th traveling for the most part across I-70 into Illinois and then south on I-57 to Sikeston, Missouri where we merged into I-55 and on to Memphis.

Once we crossed the Mississippi River, the landscape broadened out to some of the flattest land in the United States occupying the panhandle of Missouri and a stretch of Arkansas before we once again crossed the Mighty Mississippi into Memphis.  Along the way, we were frequently entertained by crop dusters doing their thing in the Mississippi Delta. A large number of the BCB delegation stopped for lunch at Lambert’s “Home of the Throwed Rolls” in Sikeston.

At Lambert’s, a down south tradition, waiters literally throw hot rolls to the customers across the huge dining area. Others offer such treats as fried okra, macaroni and tomatoes, and black eyed peas to supplement the fine menu selections.  At least they don’t throw any other food items.  Shortly before Lambert’s, our party of six, the four Hubers, Duane Caperton and Amy Chandler, stopped at the famous Boomland fireworks emporium.  Janelle bought some sizzling snakes.

We arrived at the Heartbreak Hotel on Elvis Presley Blvd around three p.m.  Melanie is the trip coordinator and as always does a superb job of securing our lodging, tours and performance venues. At the Heartbreak, she was required to check in our people as they arrived. She told the band and friends to be there between 4 and 4:30 and nearly everyone was on time.  The front desk was indeed kind enough to check in those who had to arrive later in the evening.

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The Heartbreak Hotel was very clean with a nice breakfast buffet and several Elvis style restaurants in the area across from the Graceland Mansion.  No one went hungry.  Peanut butter and banana sandwiches, a favorite of Elvis himself, were munched by many.  The Heartbreak also offered a heart shaped swimming pool and continuous Elvis music and evening videos in the dining room.  It should be noted that our group included 110 with a band of 53; apparently a lot of folks wanted to see Graceland. Lots of Elvis fans in our band.

The Memphis people rank among the best we ever had to deal with in setting up lodging, the tour and the performances.  Special thanks go to Nina Morris of the Graceland complex for making sure everything was in place and all our requests honored. Ken Hall of the W.C. Handy Park also was wonderful to work with making sure parking was available for all of us and for securing the covered stage and local publicity. We were on two Memphis TV stations and mentioned in the local newspaper.