Our guide this week: Tony Dyson was born in Memphis but has moved between there and Florida since he was a child. He worked for the city cutting grass but health problems led him to become homeless and he sells The Bridge to support his accommodation at a mission. “Right now I’m down but I’m trying to get back,” he says. Selling The Bridge is helping him save to buy a van so he can get back to work. “It’s going to get me where I’m going.”
When you’re walking in Memphis…
You can’t avoid the music in this city. It’s everywhere. You can hear music playing out of cars, you can hear music when you go to Beale Street, Elvis Presley Boulevard, everywhere you go. I like rhythm and blues, smooth jazz, a little country and western. I like a little bit of it all. I don’t differentiate between the music that came out of Stax Records and Sun Studio because as far as I’m concerned they all had a story to tell.
My favourite part of the city
They got a great old big park down there, Beale Street Landing, where the ships come in but we don’t get the great big old steamships. It’s not a fast river, it’s a steady little flow. And at Tom Lee Park we have what we call Memphis in May, a music festival down with a barbecue on the river.
Memphis on a budget
Over by the zoo they have a lot of concerts – and they’re free
You can sit out on the grass with a picnic basket and enjoy yourself. And then downtown on Beale Street at a place called Handy Park, they have a lot of free concerts down there. There’s an outside arena they set up and different bands come down and put concerts on.