America, Countries, Music

Grammys boomers

They must have seen something in my re-recording of John Lee Hooker to reach out to me for my Grammys boomers.

And ask me for my vote… although I dare say the judges have made up their minds already about who they will be rewarding this Monday, February 6.

Now if you don’t get an invite out to LA for the big prize-giving or miss the broadcasts fear not.

Because the Grammy Museum themselves will give you everything any music fan will ever need.

Disney sound bad

Grammy Museum, Cleveland, Mississippi

The Grammy Museum (no, there are three) are the Disney of musical exhibitions.

And helpfully like Walt’s wonderlands they are spread around to be near you.

If you live in the States.

Or travelling, and believe me if you are near Los Angeles, Newark, Nashville or Cleveland, Mississippi, then tick off a Grammy before you head home.

Hooker by crook

Boom boom: John Lee Hooker

 

Yes, you’ll get a chance to make your own re-record of Blues legend Hooker.

At the end of your odyssey around the history of music.

But be sure to leave yourself enough time.

Because you’ll find yourself dwelling at all the other boards and exhibitions along the way.

And your party, or the staff, will have to remind you that they have places to go.

The exhibits, of course, are being currently updated alongside the staples.

I want my Mississippi

Screen test: And MTV passed it big time

And so we can look forward to celebrating MTV turning 40 from May 13-February 19.

With the tagline the memorable refrain from Dire Straits ‘I want my MTV’.

While the Deep South, the cradle of the Blues, Soul, Jazz and Rock’n’roll obviously runs right through the Cleveland museum.

And you’d do well too to run right through the Blues trail which covers Tennessee and Mississippi.

Rock it

Sweet home: Skynyrd

Here at the Grammy Museum Cleveland they are in the middle of a year of celebrating the Sounds of Southern Rock too until September 3.

And among the exhibits are Duane Allman’s and Dickey Betts’ Gibson guitars.

And that namecheck just allows me to show off, with me rocking Prince‘s guitars with a colleague strumming BB King‘s guitar Lucille.

Guitar men: In Mississippi

They were all called after her which all BB fans will know but I still like to remind everyone anyway.

And that as they say is a wrap for today.

So enjoy the awards next week and do get along to the museums and take in the Grammys Boomers.

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD

 

America, Countries, Music, UK

Hank Williams in Alabama

As with so much in life where my great hero Billy Connolly goes I will follow which means to Hank Williams in Alabama.

Billy oft tells the story of how he first got into the banjo, his great musical love.

And the start point of his legendary entertainment career.

The Barras street market in Glasgow might seem an unlikely place to discover a Country legend.

But then many of the best people (Billy and Bandanaman) grew up in these streets.

And it was on one such stall that Billy’s dad bought Hank’s I’m So Lonely I Could Cry which prompted Billy to buy a banjo.

Hank’s for the memories

Music man: Billy Connolly

Billy, whose television travelogues are among the best anywhere, takes us to Hank’s gravestone in his Tracks Across America.

And texts his children and gets a photograph to tell him he’s there. 

This year is a very special year for Hankophiles.

Hiram ‘Hank’ Williams was born on September 17 in Mount Olive, Alabama.

And Alabama naturally makes a big deal of their favourite son with a Hank Williams Trail.

It kicks off with a visit to his childhood home preserved as a museum in Georgiana, where he learned to play guitar from Black street musician Rufus “Tee-Tot” Payne. T

Then drive an hour north to Montgomery, where Hank moved in his teens, and pick up lunch as he did at Chris’s Hot Dogs.

Alabamaversary

Poster boy: Hank Williams

Visit Montgomery’s Hank Williams Museum to see his stage costumes, guitars, and the 1952 blue Cadillac in which he died, aged just 29.

You can pay your respects at his grave, like Billy did in homage to Hank Williams in Alabama.

In nearby Oakwood Cemetery, marked by a marble cowboy hat.

Of course, in a state where music is in the very air, there is always an anniversary.

Muscle memory

Memorial: Hank’s graveside

And April 23, 2023 marks the 60th anniversary of Rick Hall’s FAME studios in Muscle Shoals.

The studios have attracted artists from Alabamian Wilson Pickett, who recorded “Mustang Sally”, Aretha Franklin and Etta James to Alicia Keys.

A new behind-the-scenes tour takes visitors into Hall’s personal office and showcases his collection of instruments.

Respect: Aretha Franklin

Of course this being the Deep South then music is all around you so why not make an odyssey of it in neighbouring states.

And take in Tennessee and the best that Nashville, Memphis and Dollywood have to offer.

And Mississippi and its Blues trail and its Grammy Museum.

 

 

 

Africa, America, Countries, UK

Get Black History Month

He’s a bit of a forgotten Commander in Chief but he is the US President who did get Black History Month… he brought it to the masses

Gerald Ford officially recognised the programme in 1976, the bicentenary of the USA.

When he called on the public to: ‘seize the opportunity to honour the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavour throughout our history.’

Of course theirs is February to mark the birthday months of the Great Emancipator Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

Frederick the Great: Douglass

Ours in Britain is October and dates back to 1987 to mark 150 years of emancipation in the Caribbean.

Of course black history isn’t and shouldn’t be restricted to either February or October.

And while I’ve had to seek out black history myself around the world thankfully it is taught now in schools.

And, of course, it isn’t a black and white issue, these black icons should be everyone’s icons.

We share your dream

March on: Selma

Dr Martin Luther King: A leader for the ages and how we could do with his like today.

You can follow in Dr King’s footsteps throughout the Deep South from his birthplace of Atlanta, Georgia.

Through the bridge protest in Selma, Alabama to his final days in Memphis, Tennessee.

And his memorial in the unfinished statue in Washington DC, unfinished because it can’t be completed until the struggle is.

Sweet Harriet

I’ll be back: Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman: And even before the film of her life Harriet was immortalised in song in Swing Low, Sweet Harriet.

And you thought it was an England rugby song…

No, she was coming for to carry me home (the black slaves of the Civil War era, that is).

And you can see how she did it at the Slave Haven in Memphis.

Rightly now she stands proud on pedestals in the modern-day Oo Es of Eh, and most poignantly in her home state of Maryland.

The long march

Song in our heart: Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela: Mandela’s status and reach marks him out as the only statesman icon of our age.

With nearly 300 locations named after the first post-Apartheid President of South Africa.

Of course there were those, take a bow Glasgow who would rename the street on which the SA embassy was after Mandela.

So correspondence would be delivered to Nelson Mandela Place.

Mandela rests for eternity in his native Eastern Cape in inland in Qunu where they still speak his gullet-clicking Xhosa language.

Redemption Song

One love: Bob Marley

Bob Marley: And while there are other deserving black legends of music none pioneered black political empowerment quite like the King of Reggae.

Marley emboldened black people through his musical message at a time when racism was institutionalised throughout the UK and the world.

Of course pilgrims pay homage to Bob in his native Caribbean at mases (concerts) like the One Love gog I attended at Barbados Crop Over.

But most especially in his native and much-referenced Kingston in Jamaica.

Sweet Mary

Angel: Mary Seacole

Mary Seacole: Much though still needs to be done to level up with those we put on a pedestal.

And it is instructive that when the British government set up their emergency hospitals during Covid they called them Nightingales.

After Florence, whose harsh matronly rule of the hospitals out in Crimea are now being revisited by historians.

While Jamaican-born Mary is only recently being studied in schools.

Flo, we should remember, also turned Mary away, probably on account of her race, but she went on to set up her own hospital.

But Flo gets her own museum and gentle Mary must make do with a reference in the London Museum.

All something then to explore as we get Black History Month.

 

America, Countries, Flying

Aer Lingus oh-high-oh to Cleveland

An old ‘un but a good ‘un, what’s hi in the middle and the same on either side, a riddle that came to mind as Ireland’s national airline announced Aer Lingus oh-high-oh to Cleveland.

Yes Cleveland on Lake Erie, and another word jumble here…

Rearrange the letters and you’ll get Eire.

It was meant to be then that Ireland and Cleveland should come together.

And Aer Lingus make the port its 13th direct American route and 15th North American stop.

So if you judge a city by its most famous citizens then Cleveland (population 383,331) punches way above its weight.

Cleveland roll call

Cleveland of the free: Ohio’s finest

Try this for a roll call of just some of its luminaries…

Paul Newman, Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, LeBron James, Joel Grey (the MC in Cabaret), Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch of the West), Debra Winger and Boz Scaggs among others.

Very rock’n’roll which is not surprising when you consider that Cleveland DJ Alan Freed popularised rock’n’roll in the early 50s which is why Ohio claims to be its birthplace.

King James: LeBron James

And, of course, you can’t visit without checking out their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame which is 40 years old next year.

And you know that that’s when life begins…

So it will too for those that are added to the 351 inductees from A-Z (Abba to ZZ Top). The Killers anyone?

Hall of Fame

The King and I: In Sun Studio, Memphis

Cleveland was chosen as the permanent home for the Hall of Fame three years later.

Leaving that great music city of the South Memphis smarting.

Although as home to the King they soon got over it.

Generally, the number of inductees each year ranges from about a half-dozen to a dozen.

Aer guitars

Berry good: Initial inductee Chuck Berry

The first inductees were:

Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, James Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke and the Everly Brothers.

While you’ll need to leave time too.

For the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Cleveland Orchestra and Playhouse Square.

Of course doubling back on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame again.

It’s informative to see that Joan Jett and Jefferson Airplane are both in it.

Aer Lingus oh-high-oh to Cleveland… they’re right at home.

 

 

 

 

Countries

Tomato catch-up in Nashville

They’d been waiting through Covid to finally have their tomato catch-up in Nashville last year.

You see it takes a lot to ground the Tennesseans, particularly on August 12 and 13 when it’s all about tomatoes.

And so if you like Warhol Campbell’s soup tins, or let’s hope a food fight, then The Tomato Art Fest is for you.

 

Take it as red: Tomatoes

And this is not just any old Tomato Fest.

They only hold the record for the highest number of tomato-dressed costumes.

You could say they crushed it.

Tammaty Wynette

It’s justified: Tammaty Wynette

And that you’d expect to hear Tammaty Wynette blaring out.

And maybe some tunes from adopted Tennessean Sheryl Crow, or Cherry Crowmato as she’s known on Toms weekend.

You can see Sheryl too first weekend of September for Americanafest.

That’s Labor Weekend which starts, of course, on a Friday.

She’s come a long way since hanging with Bill-Buddy and watching the sun come up over Santa Monica Boulevard.

And Cherry Crowmato

I’m winking about you: Sheryl Crow

Now she has her own ranch in Tennessee, complete with its own chapel, and has reinvented herself as a Country Gal.

Sheryl is the headline act for the Live on the Green free music festival.

And Coin, Moon Taxi, Yola (we’re listening) and more.

In truth, the music never stops in Nashville with the city boasting more music museums than anywhere else in the world.

You see it’s not only Country, though we wouldn’t mind if it was.

Music City

Nashville to your door: In Dublin

Most recently, the National Museum of African American Music opened its doors last year.

It claims to integrate history and interactive technology to tell the story of more than 50 genres and sub-genres inspired by African-American musicians.

Nearby is the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, while you can even get a studio tour at Historic RCA Studio B.

Breakthrough band: Nashville style

The storied Ryman Auditorium doubles during the day as a museum preserving the legacy of the iconic Mother Church and all the music performed there.

The Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum‘s exhibits take visitors on a tour of cities that greatly influenced music culture, featuring an interactive Grammy Museum Gallery.

The legends

Here’s Johnny: Johnny Cash

Of course, Nashville never forgets its legends and you can see them all at The Johnny Cash Museum and the Patsy Cline Museum as well as the Glen Campbell Museum.

Where naturally, in a nod to my old stomping ground in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, we’d sing Like a Greystones Cowboy.

While when you’re in The Gallery of Iconic Guitars at Belmont you’d naturally want to check out rare string instruments, and play some.

We have, down the road at Sun Studio in Memphis where we channelled our inner Elvis.

Nashville is a treat that awaits me, the good people of the city having wined, dined, entertained me in Dublin.

Before inviting me to a Nashville weekend in The Fair City’s O2 Arena.

And then a ticket to Music City which alas I was unable to take up… just reminding y’all.

And if I have to take a red fruit for my troubles, well I would.

So, here’s looking forward to a tomato catch-up in Nashville.

 
America, Countries, Music

Caught in a trap in Elvis’s wardrobe

Can you just help me leaving… I’m caught in a trap in Elvis’s wardrobe?

Anybody who has been to Graceland (and you should) will know that you can get lost.

In the warehouses that stock his jumpsuits and his planes, bikes and cars.

Or was that just me? And I must admit I had a suspicious mind about my party leaving me there on my own to get lost.

Movie masterpiece 

Jump to it: Late Elvis

We get glimpses of Graceland in the epic Baz Luhrmann biopic of Elvis which we sang all the way through at the cinema.

But what you can’t appreciate until you actually get there is just how homely and remarkably unremarkable it is.

Sure, we’ve heard of the Jungle Room, but it’s really just a man cave with some Seventies wildlife furnishings.

Scary stuff: The Jungle Room

While the dining room is a presentable front room where a family and their friends would feel comfortable.

It is here that Lisa Marie would say that Elvis would hold court in his hearty Deep South droll and they would all eat soul food.

The upstairs are roped off as that’s Priscilla, Lisa Marie’s and their family’s quarters.

Lisa Marie’s memories 

Seventies chic: Graceland

But Elvis’s only child leaves us with a lasting image of the King in an audio reveal in the house.

When she explains that they would hear Elvis before they saw him come down the stairs.

On account of his clinking jewellery.

  1. Butterfly collector: Elvis on stage

Elvis the icon, the superstar, of those jumpsuits and cars and planes, and guitars, pianos and platinum discs we already know.

But only in visiting Graceland and Memphis will you get an insight into Elvis’s home life and downtime.

Elvis’s Memphis

I’ll have what Elvis is having: Memphis diner

In the diner where he would come to eat his banana and peanut butter sandwiches.

And where he would leave his golf buggy outside.

There is still staff there who will say they met him and that they would exchange good wishes to each others’ families.

Where it began: In Sun Studio

You can visit to landmarks in Elvis’s life… Sun Studio where he cut That’s Alright Mamma, and Lansky Bros on Beale Street.

And they proudly proclaim they are Clothier to the King.

All of which you’ll see in its glory in the jumpsuit warehouse I’m happy to be stuck in.

Elvis’s legacy

We all will be received: In Graceland

Elvis Presley continues to bring colour to our lives 45 years after he died, aged only 42.

And you get stuck in a trap in Elvis’s wardrobe.

I’ll take that, particularly if his music is on a reel, and I’m in great Graceland in magical Memphis.

 

America, Asia, Canada, Caribbean, Countries, Europe, Food & Wine, Ireland, Oceania, UK

The ten homes of whisky

It’s the golden seal every country strives for, to be the home of something… so where are the ten homes of whisky?

You’d probably not to be surprised at the top five.

And so it’s more of a case of shuffling that pack to see who is tops.

The next five though is a bit more surprising.

So on this World Whisky Day join me for a distillery tour.

But do me a favour please, don’t ask about distilling or the mashing process.

It just holds us up on our way to the sampling.

Scotch Wahey

Fergie’s dram: Sir Alex’s bottle in his cabinet near Aberdeen

Scotland: And the reach of Scotch (just whisky in Scotland) became clear when the distillers held a whisky-tasting in Barbados.

Now we can blind you with science and stats… 44 bottles of whisky are exported from Scotland every year.

There are five designated whisky regions… Cambeltown, Highland, Lowland, Speyside and my own fave Islay.

They’re all heavenly and 

But my No.1 is Laphroaig. It’s so peaty, just like a bowl of water in an ashtray but stick with me here.

After all you have tried haggis.

United Nips of America

Mark of a whiskey drinker: Kentuckian Mark, Cath and Mum

USA: And, of course, when the Scots left home they took their whisky and its secrets with them.

And adapted it to the new world of America and went on to produce nectar such as Kentucky’s Woodford Reserve bourbon.

But US whiskey isn’t restricted to the Deep South… branch out to Oregon.

Where Westward Whiskey have released a reimagined single malt for World Whisky Day.

Green, malt and gold

The oul’ sod: The oldest distillery in the world

Ireland: And Teeling only made it into our Barbados tastings.

While Bushmills lays claim to being the oldest distillery in the world, established in 1608.

They were also responsible for the extra ‘e’, well the Irish are the masters of using two words when one will do, and more letters too.

Land of the Rising Suntory

Made in Japan: Suntory

Japan: Now this is a love story that drams are made of.

And is the result of a relationship between a Japanese chemistry student at Glasgow University Masataka Takaretsu and Jessie Roberta Cowan.

Masataka had been dispatched by the Settsu Shuzi liquor company.

A love Suntory if you will.

Maple leaf

We’re in the Club: Canadian Club

Canada: Right, we’re told that Canadian whisky has its origins not in its big Scottish diaspora.

But because the natives, the First Nations, got a taste for what they called the traders’ firewater.

It was a meld of rum and ‘high wine’ which developed into Canadian whisky, of which Canadian Club is the most recognised.

Sikh beatha

Basket of goods: Indians love their whisky

India: Or Sikh of life, my twist on the uisce beatha which is Gaelic for water of life and is what Scots call their favourite drink.

And long may the Indians keep up their love affair with whisky which they have been producing since 1948 since Amrut entered the market.

More than half of all whisky drinkers in the world come from India. 

Wizards of booze

Bonzer: Aussie whiskey

Australia: And we should have come to expect this with our ne’er-do-wells sent over there as convicts.

Specifically Tasmania is whisky haven with the best Aussie whiskies Sullivans Cove, the best Single Malt at the world awards, and Lark based there. 

A Swede whisky

That way, Sweden

Sweden: Now here’s something you don’t get at your local Ikea with your meatballs but should.

Mackmyra was Sweden‘s first distillery and the Swedes got it right first time, winning the First Edition Gold Award in 2013.

The Isle of Tai

Gold standard: Taiwanese whiskey

Taiwan: You see what we’ve done there. Yes, Taiwan‘s connections with the West probably plays its part here.

Kavalan whiskey won the World’s Best Single Malt at the awards in 2015 and the island’s distillery produces 9 million bottles a year. 

Ja beauty

Dram busters: Germans on the whisky

Germany: Now some of us have ripped it up in Germany at the Oktoberfest where it’s lager obviously but also schnapps chasers.

The Germans though are open to everything and they have around 250 distilleries and around 130 of them are focused just on whisky production.

So, on this World Whisky Day a big Slainte to the ten homes of whisky.

 

 

 

 

Africa, Countries

Ghana this day

And the lesson is self-determination… Ghana this day.

Father Bobi, a proud Ghanain, is big about family as he preaches his message at the pulpit in North Berwick, east of Edinburgh.

And he begins March 6 with a shout-out to his West African country and his sister who shares her birthday with the national day.

This day in 1957 the British colony Gold Coast became Ghana (strong warrior king), the first sub-Saharan state to break free.

We’re naturally drawn here to countries asserting their own self-determination.

And celebrating with carnivals and parades.

In Ghana that’ll be from the capital of Accra on the scenic coastline of the Gulf of Guinea to the northern heritage-rich city of Tamale.

Local foods, such as the Ghanaian joll of rice (a spicy rice dish with meat and vegetables), serve as centrepieces in many homes.

The Ghanaian diaspora

Pride of Ghana: Father Bobi

Ghanaians have increasingly enriched our lives across the world.

From pulpits in Scottish seaside to metropolises London and Paris to the Caribbean.

Where the descendants of slaves have progressed their culture.

African tourism has, of course, expanded in the last thirty years.

With intrepid travellers seeking out still authentic parts of the world.

And for us students of history we will always explore the history and culture of a country.

Which in Ghana means seeking out the slave castles dotted along the coast.

Slavery history

Pioneers: With Issy and ‘George Washington’ in DC

Slavery history is not mawkish and we are in fact encouraged to keep their history alive.

It is our history too whether in Scotland where the tobacco lords became rich and the triangular traffic from Bristol and Liverpool.

Or in Tobago and Barbados, the only foreign outpost George Washington visited.

And in the city he gave his name to and the Great Liberator Frederick Douglass and his house looking down on the city.

And the inspiring African-American Smithsonian Museum in DC.

Then there is the Slave Haven Underground Railroad in Memphis Tennessee in the Deep South.

West Africa

The real Ghanaians: And a cat too

A trip to West Africa has long been on the radar to square the circle.

And reflect on the Original Sin shame of slavery.

One Ghanaian in particular will be flying his flag high today in my new town of North Berwick here in Scotland.

While millions there and around the world will join him too.

Should you be an intrepid traveller too you’ll naturally levitate towards the holiday firm of that name.

Intrepid will provide tailor-made trips.

From the horse’s mouth

Palm trees anyone? Ghana beaches

Often our interest in a country or region is piqued by word of mouth, from friends and family.

I can’t say I know Rick from Intrepid’s site.

But I am persuaded by his review of Benin, Togo and Ghana from 2020.

‘Usually I travel independently, but for destinations in which infrastructure challenges make solo travel prohibitively inefficient.

‘Intrepid is worth every penny for combining easy of travel with the very best of cultural educational opportunity.

‘Superb pre-trip information, guides, and selection of destinations.’

Thanks Rick, and I’ll also be having a word in Father Bobi’s ear.

My cup of tea

Stamp of approval: Independence Day

Over tea and biscuits which he has restored to the church hall.

Two years after he had to pull that post-Mass experience because of Covid.

Happy Ghana Day Father Bobi and all the Ghanaians.

Ghana this day.

 

 

 

Countries, Ireland, UK

Random Quacked Of Kindness Day

Where these things come from Heaven knows but where we’re going with this is a shout out to my old pal Julie Hastings who has reimagined it as a Random Quacked of Kindness Day.

And yes, you can have that one Julie.

Hastings Hotels supremo Julie and me share a very important interest…

We’re both quackers about rubber ducks.

And she was good enough both to host me at the group’s flagship Belfast hotels the Grand Central and the Europa.

But also to send me on some from her collection (I’ll come to the many names for a group of ducks in a minute, and it’s not that) after I’d suggested names for her latest novelty ducks.

The Duckess of Cornwall

Lor’, love a duck: Duck and Duchess of Cornwall

 

When Camilla was visiting… and I came up with the Duckess of Cornwall!

Now Julie rarely misses an opportunity to get her rubber ducks in a row.

And so has been gifting them at the company’s head Offices today at their offices at the side of Stormont Hotel.

It’s a great quacked of kindness in what has been deigned by someone somewhere Random Act of Kindness Day.

There have, of course, been too many to count across my Travels from our holiday providers, our dream makers.

Five friends

Hit the road Zach: My pal Zach from Mississippi

There has been the wonderful gesture from Zach at Visit Mississippi.

He only had a courier bring the mobile phone I had left in a hotel 100kms back, to Jackson, on the MLK50 odyssey in the Deep South.

The hotelier who sent up two bottles of wine and a fruit basket to my room on my Greek odyssey.

After I had bust in on an aged couple post-coitus in the Intercontinental Athenaeum in Athens after I had been given the wrong door pass at reception.

The whole town of Monaghan in Ireland who rearranged their weekends to accommodate us.

When we turned up a week early (I give The Scary One one job to do, one job to do!).

Monaghan mates: And Sherry got us a table

Bertha at reception in Switzerland (it’s a recurring theme) who waived my carelessness in leaving the shower running.

In my rush to join my group and catch the train in Interlaken.

All of which meant water dripped from the ceiling into the breakfast room.

And Julie, of course, who I have never admitted to but it is true.

That I was caught short and was sick on the carpet of her beloved Grand Central Hotel.

After one of her famous hospitable nights watching Van Morrison at the Europa and then following it up with a nightcap (or three) in the Crown Bar.

What’s a group of ducks then?

My ducks in a row: Murty Castles

Now I doubt whether I’ll ever reach the numbers in Julie’s rubber duck fleet, flock, company, diving, paddle, skein or wabbling.

And note to self, enough wabbling.

And on behalf of all of us, well done again Julie for your generosity on Random Quacked of Kindness Day.

Alas, every day cannot be so if you want to get your hands on one of the famous Hastings Ducks then you will have to book a room.

The duck will be free but the rest will be on the bill.

 

 

America, Countries, Sport

Walking in Vegas and Memphis

And WC Handy will still look down on him… Rainy Days and Songdays celebrates Tyson Fury as he goes Walking in Vegas and Memphis.

The Gypsy King has become as big a headliner in Vegas as Celine Dion, Elton John and The Osmonds (yes, really).

The World Heavyweight champion brought the house down when he adapted another American classic in the ring after defeating Deontay Wilder, who really ought to have had the home fans in the palm of his destructive hands.

Memphis history

That’s Handy: In Memphis

Now we’ll forgive Tyson for being disorientated.

And not quite knowing his surroundings after Wilder put him on the seat of his pants during the fight.

Because WC Handy was an Alabaman, who made his name in Memphis, Tennessee, as the Father of the Blues.

A couple of feet: Off of Beale

Tyson would be a thousand miles away though if he had touched down in the land of the Delta Blues.

The Delta being the juncture in the Mississippi.

Although we will give him his Beale (Avenue) in Las Vegas which we stumbled upon in Neon City.

Although the Beale which Marc Cohen was referring to was Beale Street in Memphis.

On the Strip

VIP: With the Rat Trap

Mind you Vegas can recreate anywhere in the world in their own image.

Head down the Strip and you will almost think you have been transported to Paris or ancient Egypt.

And an anecdote here to prove my point.

Jetlagged on my arrival in Vegas I laid down on my triple bed in The Palazzo in the afternoon.

And against my better judgment I fell asleep.

Only to be woken up by a call from our host Tryphavana to say the party was sitting down for dinner at the Venetian.

The Grand Canal

The one in.., Vegas

Wiping my eyes, still in sleepy mode, I passed by gondolas on the Grand Canal.

And walked through to the restaurant and an Italian feast.

Looking up I saw a fresco of the Creation of Adam.

Sure, Vegas can recreate the world in their own image.

So go ahead, me and Tyson Fury love Walking in Vegas and Memphis.