Read in browser
The Daily Memphian – Truth in place.
The To-Do List: A ‘solid gold’ party, a beautiful birthday and Elvis everywhere
Greg Damron works on sidewalk art of Elvis along Elvis Presley Boulevard during the Elvis Week 2021 Candlelight Vigil. Elvis Week 2022 kicks off Aug. 9 and runs through Aug. 17. (Brad Vest/Special to The Daily Memphian)

Greg Damron works on sidewalk art of Elvis along Elvis Presley Boulevard during the Elvis Week 2021 Candlelight Vigil. Elvis Week 2022 kicks off Aug. 9 and runs through Aug. 17. (Brad Vest/Special to The Daily Memphian)

Welcome back to The To-Do List, where Daily Memphian staffers suggest their favorite events and activities for the coming week. Want more ideas? Check out The Daily Memphian’s event calendar and feel free to submit your own events there, as well.

This week, hear music by Bruno Mars (but with lasers) at the Memphis Museum of Science and History, celebrate 10 years of Binghampton’s Carpenter Art Garden and dust off your boots for the “Gay Ole Opry” at Evergreen Theatre. Plus, G. Love (as in Special Sauce) is still making music and will play a show at Crosstown Theater. 

‘Solid Gold Soulsville’ at Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Thursday:

The Stax Museum of American Soul Music will host “Solid Gold Soulsville” in the museum’s parking lot on Aug. 4. (Courtesy Stax Museum American Soul Music)


This Stax Museum and Stax Music Academy event features a literal party in the (museum’s) parking lot, along with free museum admission. The parking lot party includes live music from the Stax Music Academy Alumni Band — 926, Stax Music Academy Rhythm Section and other local artists as well as food trucks, arts and crafts and school supply giveaways. Inside the museum, attendees can see the current exhibit “Love in the Club: Black Chicago Nightclub Photos by Michael Abramson.” The gallery has been set up to look like Chicago’s underground club scene. (Exhibit organizers say it’s also reminiscent of Memphis’ Club Paradise). 5-6:30 p.m. Free. 926 E. McLemore Ave. Click here to register for free. — Elle Perry

G. Love at Crosstown Theater, Thursday:

G. Love will perform with Will Sexton on Aug. 4 at Crosstown Theater. (Courtesy Crosstown Arts)

In 1994, I was the “new music director” of my college radio station when I opened the mail one day to find a 10-inch vinyl single of a new artist on a very old label. The song was “Blues Music;” the artist was G. Love & Special Sauce and the label was OKeh, associated primarily with early blues. G. Love was a white singer/guitarist from Philadelphia whose music was informed by blues and hip-hop. This was the time of artists such as Beck and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. It was a successful type. I would never have guessed that nearly 30 years later, G. Love would still be a going and popular concern. Love’s latest album is the brand new “Philadelphia Mississippi,” a reference less to the specific small town than to the two places that have most informed his music, and it features cameos from rappers (Schoolly D, Speech from Arrested Development) and a host of Mid-South-oriented blues artists (Christone Ingram, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Southern Avenue’s Tikyra Jackson). It also sounds fresher than I would have possibly imagined back in ’94. So here’s to G. Love’s unlikely longevity. Will Sexton opens. Doors at 7 p.m. Showtime 8 p.m. Tickets $20 to $25. See here for more info. — Chris Herrington 

‘The Dragnificent Variety Show: The Gay Ole Opry’ at Evergreen Theatre, Thursday-Saturday:

Drag performer Camille Collins will appear in “The Dragnificent Variety Show: The Gay Ole Opry” Aug. 4-6 at Evergreen Theatre. (Rick Bartl and
Kevin Thompson/Courtesy Friends of George’s)

The Friends of George’s never fail to entertain with their drag-themed variety shows and original plays. This time, they’re keeping it country with “The Gay Ole Opry” as drag performers, including Allysun Wunderland, Will Ryder, Camille Collins and Goldie Dee, perform classic country songs, sketch comedy skits and a game show segment. Shania Twain’s “Man, I Feel Like a Woman” will never be the same. Proceeds will benefit Choices: Memphis Center for Reproductive Health. Cocktails at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. $27. 1705 Poplar Ave. Click here for more information. — Bianca Phillips


‘Celebrating 10 Years of Carpenter Art Garden’ on Carpenter Street, Friday:

The Carpenter Art Garden celebrates 10 years with a party on Carpenter Street on Aug. 5. (Daily Memphian file)

In July 2012, a single blighted lot on Carpenter Street in Binghampton was transformed into an outdoor art classroom. A decade later, Carpenter Art Garden encompasses seven properties along the street, including that original lot, and offers free, year-round arts, education and vocational programs for kids. Carpenter Art Garden will celebrate a decade of serving Binghampton with a festival spread across all of their Carpenter Street properties, featuring art and food from Riko’s Kickin Chicken, as well as snacks prepared from vegetables grown on-site. Student artwork will be available for purchase with 70% of proceeds going directly to the artist and the rest benefiting the art garden’s programs. 4:30 to 7 p.m. $25 for general public and free to the garden’s students and families. 295 Carpenter St. Click here for more information. — Phillips

‘Laser Bruno Mars’ at the Museum of Science & History, Friday:

Memphis Museum of Science & History presents a “Laser Bruno Mars” light show on Aug. 5. (Courtesy MoSH)

MoSH has brought back this series, and the next one up features the music of pop star Bruno Mars set to lasers. The museum hosts two shows each Friday in August in its Sharpe Planetarium. The set list includes favorites such as “24k Magic,” “Treasure,” “The Lazy Song,” “Versace On The Floor,” “Locked Out of Heaven,” “Grenade” and “That’s What I Like.” 7 and 8:30 p.m. (Doors at 6:30 p.m.) $13. 3050 Central Ave. Click here for more information and tickets. — Perry

Memphis Chicken & Beer Festival at Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium, Saturday:

The fourth annual Memphis Chicken & Beer Festival also includes live music. General admission will get you a souvenir tasting glass and more than 90 beverage samples. Food (including fried chicken) will be available to purchase. Designated driver admission includes a water bottle. The event is ages 21 and up and will occur rain or shine. 6 to 10 p.m. $20 to $40. 335 S. Hollywood St. Click here for more information and tickets. — Perry


The Beauty Shop 20th birthday celebration in Cooper-Young, Saturday:

Beauty Shop owner Karen Carrier (left) and chef Shay Widmer (right) will celebrate the restaurant’s 20-year anniversary on Aug. 6. (Mark Weber/The Daily Memphian)

Chef and restaurateur Karen Carrier is one of the true trailblazers in modern Memphis dining, and Cooper-Young’s Beauty Shop has long been her signature endeavor. The restaurant celebrates its 20th anniversary this weekend with a special menu, a street parade featuring the Lucky 7 Brass Band and a party at Carrier’s adjacent Bar DKDC featuring Memphis musicians Jack Oblivian and Harlan T. Bobo. Jennifer Biggs has more here. Street parade begins at 8 p.m., with the Bar DKDC show to follow. — Herrington

Bailey Bigger at Railgarten, Sunday:

Singer Bailey Bigger, shown here at her farm in Marion, Arkansas, will perform at Railgarten in a vinyl release show on Aug. 7. (Mark Weber/The Daily Memphian file)

Rising Memphis/Arkansas Americana artist Bailey Bigger first released her latest album, “Coyote Red,” in the spring, but celebrates the release’s vinyl debut this week at Railgarten. Recorded at late producer Jim Dickinson’s Zebra Ranch studio under the direction of fellow Arkansas native and Memphis singer-songwriter Mark Edgar Stuart, it’s an attractively homey record that showcases the texture of Bigger’s precociously burnished voice and intimate songwriting. Stuart will be in support at the show. 4 p.m. 2166 Central Ave. See here for more info. — Herrington

Elvis Week at Graceland (and various locations), August 9-17: 

Fans hold their candles high on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021, on Elvis Presley Boulevard during the Elvis Week 2021 candlelight vigil. Elvis Week begins on Aug. 9, and the candlelight vigil will be held on Aug. 15. (Brad Vest/The Daily Memphian file)

It’s that time again — when thousands of Elvis fans descend upon Memphis for a week of tribute concerts, Elvis movie screenings, exclusive tours and the obligatory candlelight vigil on Elvis’ death date (August 15). This year marks 45 years since The King’s passing, and Graceland is offering special tours around the property led by Priscilla Presley and Jerry Schilling throughout the week. The events kick off this Tuesday with a concert by 2011 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest winner Cody Ray Slaughter. On Wednesday, this year’s Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artists will compete in a semifinal (with the final showdown planned for Aug. 12). Other highlights include ‘All the King’s Men’ (a jam session with TCB Band members) on Aug. 13 and ‘Elvis Presley in Concert’ (on a big screen) on Aug. 16. Times, ticket prices and locations vary. See the full schedule of events here. — Phillips

Brad Birkedahl and his Big Band at Circuit Playhouse, Wednesday:

Brad Birkedahl throws out beads during the 2019 St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Beale St. He’ll play a special Elvis tribute show at Playhouse on the Square on Aug. 10. (Houston Cofield/Daily Memphian file)

Brad Birkedahl, who made a name for himself as the co-founder of the now-defunct rockabilly trio The Dempseys and now hosts an Elvis-themed podcast called “Memphis Flash,” will perform an Elvis tribute show at Playhouse on the Square during Elvis Week. It’s part of Playhouse’s efforts to get in on Elvis Week fun. Besides the concert, they’re also offering theater tours throughout the week, during which they’ll discuss Presley’s connection to the old Memphian Theater (where Circuit Playhouse stands now). Presley would buy out the Memphian Theater at night and hold midnight screenings of his favorite movies for his friends. Concert at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays, and tickets are $25. The Memphian Theater tours run from Aug. 10- 12 and Aug. 15-17, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 51 Cooper St. Click here for more information. — Phillips

View this article on our website

Support quality, local journalism and access exclusive content by becoming a subscriber at