Music is a universal language, one that can unite everyone through a love of rhythm, soul-stirring tunes and relatable lyrics. The Southern States of America is world-famous for being the birthplace of so many of the country’s greatest music genres and artists. Combined with the friendly Southern hospitality, there’s something so refreshing about the atmosphere of the South. Take a look at these three cities that are entrenched in America’s musical history in the Southern States. 

Nashville 

Nashville is not only a major city in the Southern States, but also a key player in America’s musical history. Widely known as a country music hot spot, its laidback vibe attracts travellers from all over the world. The fact that you can find live music almost anywhere in the city is so unique, ranging from blues to pop to rock (plus country, of course!).  

Grand Ole Opry
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Key places intwined with the music scene include the Ryman Auditorium and Grand Ole Opry. The Ryman Auditorium was built in 1892 and has seen many artists through its doors like Nat King Cole and Louis Armstrong, right through to the Foo Fighters and Diana Ross. A night at the Grand Ole Opry is an unforgettable experience, included on our Globus and Cosmos tours that overnight in Nashville. This weekly show is still recorded live on air after 90 years, guaranteed to get your toes tapping and your hands clapping along to the beat of one entertaining night!  

Honky Tonk Row, Nashville
Honky Tonk Row
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There are also places like RCA Studio B, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Honky Tonk Row that firmly put Nashville on the map as one of two music cities in America.  

Memphis 

The second music city in America is Memphis, with a strong background in blues, soul and rock’n’roll. Centred around Beale Street, a longstanding street that has played, and still does to this day, a pivotal role in creating outstanding musicians like B.B. King. Wander down the street, breathe in the history, and take your pick of live music at the various clubs and bars along the bright lights of Beale Street.  

Beale Street, Memphis
Beale Street
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Of course, it wouldn’t be a visit to Memphis without diving into the history of Elvis Presley and Graceland. Even if you aren’t a Presley fan, exploring his former house and grounds will give you an expansive view into his life and how successful his music career was.  

Graceland
Photo by @adrianadlopez on Instagram

To continue your history lesson on Memphis and musical icons in the Southern States, we would also recommend visiting the Stax Museum of American Soul Museum, the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and Sun Studio

New Orleans 

If you are a fan of gospel or jazz music, then New Orleans is the Southern city for you. Locals love to share their joy in creating beautiful sounds with travellers. Imagine witnessing a jazz funeral where music is used as way to heal – what an experience!  

New Orleans
Photo by @anadventureshared on Instagram

Some of the jazz greats from this soulful city are none other than Louis Armstrong and Harry Connick Jr., both legends of the music scene. Musical Legends Park and the New Orleans Jazz Museum will offer an insight into more of the jazz greats if you’re keen to dive into some musical history.  

A next level experience while in New Orleans is to attend a gospel brunch! One such place is the House of Blues in the renowned French Quarter, offering gospel brunches for well over ten years. Awaken your senses with soul-stirring music, all while enjoying some traditional New Orleans fare.  


Are you interested in learning more about America’s musical history in the Southern States? Then look no further than a Globus or Cosmos tour through this incredible part of America. 

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