VIsiting Graceland was an interesting experience. I am not a lifelong Elvis fan – growing up, I remember my mom playing “Blue Hawaii” for me on the record player and gushing about how important he was to music (and how good looking he was). My own musical tastes never really crossed paths with the King except for some of his bigger hits. I was familiar with his music, yes – but it wasn’t until our visit to the Rock & Soul Museum in Memphis where I started to learn more about why his music was so special. Memphis was key in terms of integrating traditional black (soul, gospel) and white (country, bluegrass) music – and, through music, planting seeds of racial reconciliation in the US. While Elvis was not the first to combine black and white music influences, he was integral to the progression of rockabilly and eventually rock n’ roll music. Seeing his enormous effect on youth culture after WWII and the incredible mark he left on not only music but film culture was inspiring. I left Graceland with a much greater appreciation for Elvis and am looking forward to revisiting his earlier formative music.