The Savannah Theatre, which opened its doors in downtown Savannah in 1818, is one of the oldest of its kind still operating on the original site, according to Linda Harris, sales and marketing manager for the theater.
“Restored in the classic 1940s art-deco style, the theater is a draw for groups and many of our friends from Savannah who never miss a performance,” she said.
The venue hosts a variety of productions annually, including the Savannah Tenors, voices that blend music and comedy; “Country Star Revue,” a salute to the great country stars of the past 50 years; “Return to the ’50s,” a blast from the past with rock ’n’ roll classics; “The Beat Goes On,” a celebration of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s; and “A Christmas Tradition,” a musical and comedic performance.
The Knoxville Visitor Center is unlike any other, according to Kim Davis, communications manager for the Knoxville Tourism and Sports Corporation. “This is not a place where you grab a brochure and go. This is where you come to hear a live radio show, eat a scrumptious meal with local ingredients and peruse crafts from eastern Tennessee artists,” said Davis.
The center is home to WDVX studios, where groups gather to hear the “Blue Plate Special,” a live broadcast where bluegrass music and anything Americana is on the menu.
“Every Monday through Saturday from noon to one o’clock, the studio, home to one of the 10 oldest radio stations in the country, is the place to be in Knoxville,” said Davis. “Monday nights, Johnny’s Blue Grass Band, featuring two guitar builders/musicians, also hosts a jam here.
“We call Friday night Ferd’s Friday, because Ferd, a real character, performs with the Hackensaw Boys, a high-energy string band,” she said.
Knoxville boasts a major role in the roots of country music, and the Cradle of Country Music Walking Tour, a self-guided, one-hour stroll, highlights 19 landmarks that depict moments in time with stars like Dolly Parton and the Everly Brothers.
Groups may also want to schedule their visit around a performance at Knoxville’s Historic Tennessee Theatre or the 100-year-old Bijou Theatre, two venues that host a wide range of concerts.
Ground Zero Blues Club
A visit to a juke joint just may be mandatory when touring the Mississippi Delta. These humble establishments may have a weathered couch and a rusty refrigerator on the front porch — it’s all part of the charm — but it’s guaranteed, the best live blues are happening inside.
Although most of these joints are off the beaten pathgroups experience the best of juke joint atmosphere at Ground Zero, a club that opened with much fanfare in 2001 with co-owner Morgan Freeman. Located on Blues Alley in the heart of historic downtown Clarksdale, this white-washed warehouse attracts musicians who live in the area, including Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker.
Wednesday through Saturday, groups enjoy live music and traditional Southern fare, from catfish to barbecue. Although national acts occasionally appear, it’s the best of the local Delta blues musicians, from ages 19 to 95, who are typically onstage with guitars and harmonicas in hand.
Combine this music and culinary treat with a tour of the Delta Blues Museum, across the street. The museum, once a freight depot, is jammed with authentic artifacts, including Waters’ guitar, made from a plank of wood from his cabin and used on tour by ZZ Top.