May is here heralding the UK summertime - and right away it makes me think of the song 'Summertime' in which Ella Fitzgerald tells us that 'the livin' is easy'. And how good do those words and that music make you feel? Music is the sound track to our lives and, for most, brings back memories and shapes our mood. That song also makes me think about holidays, and with two UK Bank Holidays coming up on on 7 and 28 May, it's the perfect opportunity to take some time out over those long weekends to indulge in some holiday planning. The best holidays require a bit of effort in the planning stage, not least your long-haul escapes. Here are some ideas for the ideal music lover's holiday in the southern US states, the birthplace of jazz and Elvis, where it won't just be the music that moves you.

The southern US states are a great holiday destination for music fans - perfect to use your RCI weeks and points.

Long-haul holidays always require a bit of effort at the planning stage, though are worth it when you step off the plane to enjoy your holiday of a lifetime.

Looking at a map of some of the southern US states, song titles seem to jump off the page, just begging to be sung. I can’t help but notice a few of these towns and states have inspired rail-based songs, from the 'Chattanooga Choo Choo' by Glenn Miller and his band, to The Monkee’s 'Last Train to Clarksville', and Gladys Knight’s 'Midnight Train to Georgia'.

While on your RCI holiday to Memphis, visit Stax Records Studios where legends such as Otis Reading were signed.

Memphis-based Stax Records was home to the likes of Grammy Award-winners Otis Redding and Isaac Hayes back in the '60s, producing incredible music. These days, Angie Stone and Ben Harper among many others are signed to this legendary label. Start your musical adventure with a visit to the Stax Museum of American Soul Music.

Then there are the emotion-stirring melodies of 'Galveston' by Glen Campbell and Gene Pitney’s 'Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa'. I can literally lose myself in these moving lyrics just scouring the map. I’m sure you can spot many more! Of course, the rich musical history of some of these states goes far deeper than references to the sprawling train tracks criss-crossing the states and song-inspiring town names.

Holidays to Memphis wouldn't be the same without a trip to Sun Studios. Some of music's biggest hits were recorded here.

Sun Studio has had some incredible artists in its recording booth over the years including, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Ray Harris and Jerry Lee Lewis. It has also been used in many rock and roll films, including 'I Walk the Line', 'Great Balls of Fire' and 'Elvis'.

New Orleans, Louisiana

I defy anyone to hear the name New Orleans and not immediately think of jazz music - well, immediately after thinking about the delicious local food that is. The birthplace of jazz music, which was formed from a fusion of ragtime, Creole and Cuban influences, has an exciting and vivacious vibe.

The Big Easy is home to jazz music, so fans of that genre should consider a long-haul holiday here.

The Big Easy is well known as the birthplace of jazz music - and delicious food. Music is the city's heart and soul and you'll find jazz clubs, music shows and Cajun dancing everywhere.

The city offers the best of authentic live music venues and wonderful restaurants, hosting traditional cuisine, from Cajun to Creole, and pretty much anything else your taste buds desire. The people of New Orleans are happy to accommodate with a smile - it’s not called the Big Easy for nothing.

Although there is no definitive answer as to why it is called that in the first place, many believe it derives from how easy it was for struggling musicians to make money, either playing in venues or busking on the streets.

Buskers on the streets of New Orleans entertain locals and holidaymakers. It is party time, all the time, down Bourbon Street in the French Quarter.

The famous Chartres Street will always have talented buskers performing there. You'll often find visitors and locals alike dancing and singing along together.

There is an abundance of activities in New Orleans, not only the many museums, but the wide variety of ways to tour the city. Take a walking tour of the French Quarter and stroll along the famous Chartres Street, venture out on a swamp boat tour through the winding bayous, or immerse yourself in the times of Huckleberry Finn and enjoy a steam boat cruise. Not forgetting how the French Quarter comes alive, pretty much around the clock, with live music streaming from the open-fronted bars and restaurants. New Orleans really is a treat for all your senses.

The French Quarter is full of interesting architecture with a fusion of different influences. A pretty place to wander on holiday.

The French Quarter architecture gives an enchanting vibe. Blending Spanish, French, Creole and American styles together, with pretty balconies, stoops and porches, which are great for people watching and enjoying the outdoors.

New Orleans' French Quarter comes alive at night and is the perfect place to taste the local cuisine while on holiday.

The French Quarter comes alive at night with restaurants serving delicious Creole and Cajun cuisine. It is pretty much party time, all the time, in the famous Bourbon Street in the French Quarter.

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville is synonymous with music, so much so that it's hard to know where to start! From the iconic legends of Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton and Patsy Cline, to the modern day music makers such as The Kings of Leon, Paramore, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban, it is easy to see why Nashville has earned the name Music City.

The Johnny Cash museum houses some of the most important artifacts from his life and career.

Johnny Cash is one of the world's most successful stars, having sold more than 90 million records worldwide. The Johnny Cash museum houses some of the most important artifacts from his life and career.

Popular local fare and beverages include cayenne spiced hot chicken (and it really is HOT), fruit tea, Bourbon, and the curiously named Goo Goo Cluster; a disk-shaped mixture of marshmallow, nougat, caramel and peanuts, smothered in chocolate.

Top tip: The Goo Goo Shop can be found in Downtown Nashville, right next to the Johnny Cash Museum, so you may want to fuel yourself with a few sweet treats before embarking on a tour of the museum.

Holidays to Nashville must include a visit to the Goo Goo shop to try their famous Goo Goo Cluster.

While visiting the Johnny Cash Museum, you have to pop into the Goo Goo Shop to try its famous Goo Goo Cluster, a marshmallow, nougat and chocolate delight - delicious.

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is undoubtedly a must-see attraction in Nashville, however it is the Grand Ole Opry that actually tops the visitor lists as the number one place to visit in Nashville. With its unforgettable live shows and back-stage tours, you get a glimpse of what goes on behind the curtain.

Any holiday to Nashville would be incomplete without a visit to The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Any holiday in Nashville would be incomplete without a visit to The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Home to the world's biggest country music stars, there are exhibits of past and present stars and something for all ages here.

Catching a show at the Grand Ole Opry is a must while on holiday in Nashville. Performers have to be inducted into membership and it is classed as one of music's highest honours - on par with The Hall of Fame.

Memphis, Mississippi

Memphis sits on the border of Tennessee and Mississippi, and is the home of the world-famous attraction, Elvis’s Graceland. With many different tour options available, including wedding packages, Graceland is a magnet for Elvis fans the world over.

The palatial building and grounds showcase Elvis’s personal life in what was once his home. Inside the house itself, visitors get the opportunity to see up close many of his extravagant stage costumes and to browse around his iconic car collection.

Is there a more famous music landmark than Graceland? Fans of Elvis should definitely visit this wonderful place and pay their respects to The King of Rock and Roll.

Is there a more famous music landmark than Graceland? Fans of Elvis should definitely visit this wonderful place and pay their respects to The King of Rock 'n' Roll.

Away from Graceland, make a beeline for Beale Street in Downtown Memphis. The area is full of popular blues music clubs and restaurants, including the famous B.B. King’s Blues Club. For grub on the go, look out for the Memphis food trucks, parked up at farmers' markets or standing by the brewery taprooms, offering fresh fried shrimp, barbecued meats, burrito and tacos.

Any rhythm and blues fan has to pay a visit to B.B. King’s Blues Club.Their house bands feature some of the most talented musicians in the Mid-South

Any rhythm and blues fan has to pay a visit to B.B. King’s Blues Club. Its house bands feature some of the most talented musicians in the Mid-South - plus, the food is outstanding!

Live music, parades, events, restaurants and bars - Beale Street in Memphis is the place to be. Known as 'The Home of Blues', it will have you dancing and celebrating day and night.

Live music, parades, events, restaurants and bars - Beale Street in Memphis is the place to be. Known as 'The Home of Blues', it will have you dancing and celebrating day and night.

Why not walk off the calories on a historical walking tour of Memphis which includes the Lincoln American Tower and Calvary Episcopal Church. If walking isn’t your thing, the Main Street Trolley is a cheap way to tour the city, accompanied by some amusing stories from the helpful trolley drivers.

You can even take a music bus tour, led by a local musician, who offers up behind the scenes stories, entertaining with songs along the way - you may even feel inspired to take a turn on the tambourine yourself!

If you want to save your legs for dancing the night away, the Main Street Trolley is a cheap way to tour the city and take in the sights. Knowledgeable locals will be on hand to fill you in on all the history.

If you want to save your legs for dancing the night away, the Main Street Trolley is a cheap way to tour the city and take in the sights. Knowledgeable locals will be on hand to fill you in on all the history.

For jazz and blues music lovers, as RCI members you can choose from 71 resorts across the US southern states highlighted in this blog that are affiliated to the RCI Exchange Holiday network which could become your home away from home on your adventure stateside. Click on the button below to explore some of them.

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If you already own timeshare but don't feel that you are getting the best out of it by returning to your home resort year after year and not having more destination choice, in just a few simple steps you can become an RCI member and start seeing more of the world for yourself. Click on the button below to start your journey...

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