“Walking in Memphis” by Cher

Writer of “Walking in Memphis”, Marc Cohn is said to have gained inspiration to write the song after he visited Memphis, Tennessee in 1985. After a desperate time and what might be known as writer’s block, Marc decided to follow the advice of songwriter James Taylor, who explained in an interview that writer’s block could be overcome by visiting a place one has never been.

Cohn chose Memphis because he always wanted to go there as it was the very place most of his favorite music was birthed. His entire visit to the place and the experiences he had was captured in the song, “Walking in Memphis“.

The narrator mentions several sights, people and terms such as “Blue Suede Shoes”, a song recorded by Carl Perkins and later by Elvis Presley, Union Avenue and Graceland which happen to be Elvis’ home and burial ground, Beale Street, the Hollywood café and the Full Gospel tabernacle Church run by Reverend Al Green. The writer combined these sights and people poetically express his experience of the place. Cher released her version of this song in her 1995 album It’s a Man’s World.


“Walking in Memphis embodies the narrator’s experience in an extensive tour of Memphis, the city from which musical icons such as Elvis Presley, Al Green, and Isaac Hayes emerged.

Who wrote “Walking in Memphis”?

This iconic song was composed entirely by Grammy Award winning American musician Marc Cohn. Cohn released the song himself in 1991 to global success. Actually, it is the most important song of Cohn’s career.

Cher’s Cover

Cher’s version of “Walking in Memphis” is one of the most notable cover versions. It was released by Cher and her team in October of 1995 as a single from her “It’s a Man’s World” album.

The version released by Cher wasn’t as successful as Cohn’s. Upon its release, it failed to chart in the United States. However, it managed to enjoy a modest success in a number of European countries, including Britain. Here, it entered the UK Singles chart and made it to number 11 (peak position).

Other countries where it performed modestly well include the following countries:

  • Austria
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Poland
  • Scotland
  • Sweden

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