Memphis  just looks better from the passenger window of a 1955 Cadillac. That’s as good a reason as any to call Tad Pierson for one of his American Dream Safari (901/527-8870, www.americandreamsafari.com ) tours of Memphis.
Pierson offers tours with a difference—he does not just do sightseeing, he promises experiences and memories for his guests. His tours include juke joints of Memphis , gospel churches, a Mississippi Delta day trip, a special tour for photographers, plus much more. Pierson really gets the unique appeal of Memphis , and he wants to share it with his guests.
Music fans should sign up for one of Sherman Wilmott’s Memphis Rock ’n Roll Tours (901/359-3102, http://shangrilaprojects.com ), customized musical tours of Memphis. He will pick you up at any Memphis hotel and then whisk you away to some of the city’s best- and least-known musical sites, such as the past and present locations of Memphis  recording studios, radio stations, record stores, and even musicians’ homes.
He is a fountain of music lore. If you have a special interest, speak up: Chances are that Sherman can fix you up. A former curator at the Stax museum  and publisher of the Kreature Comforts Low-Life Guide to Memphis, Sherman recently started a partnership with Wayne Jackson of the famed Memphis Horns, who will ride along on special tours and tell firsthand stories of Memphis’s  musical history.
Music-themed tours are also the specialty at Backbeat Tours (901/272-2328, www.backbeattours.com , $25–40). You will travel on a reconditioned 1959 transit bus and be serenaded by live musicians. Tours include the Memphis Mojo Tour, which takes you to Memphis music landmarks like Sun Studio  and the Stax Museum , and the Hound Dog tour, which follows in Elvis Presley’s Memphis footsteps.