Trip Overview

B.B. King, Martin Luther King Jr. and Elvis Presley share Southern heritage and all that once came with it: trials, both physical and emotional. Segregation. A need, a want, to sing something about it.

The trials gave breath to blues like B.B.’s. Segregation sparked the U.S. civil rights movement and something in its highest-profile leader, MLK. Singing lured Elvis to black churches, black clubs and black radio, against the current of segregation, to create the barrier-breaking sound of rock-and-roll.

The beginnings of these three “kings,” as you’ll see in the birthplaces and towns you’ll visit in this itinerary, may be humble. The dreams are not. Prepare to follow these sons of the American South as they evolve into global icons.