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Historic Beale Street in downtown Memphis is easily one of the hottest entertainment districts in the South, drawing people from across the world to experience its culture. Named after an unknown military hero in 1841, the two-mile stretch of road starting at the Mississippi River served as General Ulysses S. Grant's headquarters during the Civil War, hosted Vaudeville shows and Blues musicians, and took on an atmosphere of gambling, crime, and voodoo in the 1920s.After the city of Memphis bought nearly all the property along Beale Street in the 1970s, a commission was formed to revitalize the district. The first club reopened in 1983, paving the way for Beale Street to return to its old glory. It now attracts 6 million visitors annually and is home to numerous clubs, shops, and events including Blues City Cafe, BB King's Blues Club, Hard Rock Cafe, the Orpheum, W.C. Handy Park, and the Beale Street Music Festival. The iconic site, considered the birthplace of rock 'n' roll, continues to draw a variety of talent from across the world at its annual Beale Street Music Festival. It has also landed in several songs including Todd Agnew's "On a Corner in Memphis" and Joni Mitchell's "Furry Sings the Blues."
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