In an obvious attempt to attract media attention, the website Smartertravel.com has designated Memphis as its number-one tourist destination for the month of April. But does Smartertravel's travel writer really want people to visit our city on the bluff? Although the article eventually mentions the city's rich musical history, the opening pitch is somewhat less than inviting: "Memphis is the largest city in Tennessee. And into the 1950s, it boasted the world's largest mule market." True enough, but hee haw!
According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, rockabilly — "a style of rock 'n' roll mixed with rowdy country music" — is making "an encore performance." In other words, Governor Mike Beebe signed legislation designating the stretch of U.S. 67 from Newport to Pocahontas as "Rock 'N' Roll Highway 67" in honor of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, and scores of other guitar-slinging greasers who once played the Arkansas roadhouse circuit. The bill's sponsor, Representative J.R. Roger, told the Gazette that he wanted to call 67 the "Rock 'N' Roll" highway instead of the rockabilly highway because "Arkansas people didn't want to be put into a group with hillbillies." Apparently, he didn't mind Arkansas people being put into a group of people who spell rock-and-roll with a big stupid N.
A tragedy is a tragedy no matter how bucolic the setting. Nevertheless, the Fly-Team agreed that after so many news stories about bloody murders and brutal beatings, it was almost a relief to see a headline on The Commercial Appeal's website reading, "Barn Burns in Germantown: Four horses escape injury, but the fate of hunting dogs is unknown." It's almost like living in Mayberry. Or the home of the world's biggest mule market.