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Beale Street explained

Beale Street explained

"Well, old Beale Street, just like Broadway. That's what is was! Broadway in miniature. All the entertainment and everything to eat. All the sharp men, pretty girls. The works! It was right here."

"There were two types of culture, I guess you could say, on Beale Street. There we the sinners and there were the saved. You had your professional people, your doctors and business folk. Then you had those who worked to have some night life."

You're standing on the street where W.C. Handy wrote the first published blues; where Robert R. Church Sr., the South's first Black millionaire made his mark; where General Ulysses S. Grant had a Civil War headquarters and where he returned years later to speak as President; where President Dwight Eisenhower visited; where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. marched; where B.B. King and Elvis Presley got their starts.

As you walk down Beale Street you'll find illustrated panels like this one that tell a story of Beale in its heyday from the 1890s through 1960s. They feature the words and images of people who knew the streets firsthand and who helped create the legend that was Beale.