“the world's only bona fide soul music museum”
What began as a tiny record store in an old movie theater at the corner of McLemore Avenue and College Street in Memphis, Tennessee, grew to become one of the most important music recording studios in the world.
When the modest Capitol Theater in the heart of Soulsville USA was transformed into Stax Records in 1959, it began launching the careers of unknowns who would become icons, cranking out a massive catalog of smash soul hits by the likes of Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, the Staple Singers, Wilson Pickett, Luther Ingram, Albert King, the Bar-Kays, Booker T. & the MG's, Johnnie Taylor, Rufus and Carla Thomas, and dozens of other artists whose influence remains vital in the music of today. On its many and varied labels, Stax Records also recorded such legends as Big Star, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Bill Cosby, Moms Mabley, and the Grammy-winning comedic genius Richard Pryor.
An excellent place to visit. There's a 20-minute or so video to start before you get to wander round a terrific collection of exhibits. There's a lot to read on wall-mounted info boards (some could do with updating, though), tons of studio equipment, and even Isaac Hayes' car!
Memphis has an incredible music history, and this is my favorite destination in the whole city. The Stax Museum is housed in the original recording studio/record shop, and you can see some awesome artifacts like Isaac Hayes' car or Booker T. Jones' keyboard all while learning about the amazing history and influence of the Stax record label. Some of the best music in the world came from Stax (sorry, Motown or Muscle Shoals), and this museum is an absolute must-visit if you're traveling through Memphis.
One of the most incredible displays of music history I've seen. The musicians who walked these halls and recorded here have had such an influence on the music we listen to today.
The video beforehand is so educational, and you'll learn so much walking through the halls.
Make sure to take a picture of Isaac Haye's gold car...it's stunning.
Awesome!!! Words cannot describe how rich in musical history Stax is. Musicians from Stax changed the music world. The exhibits and their attention to details were phenomenal. It is a must see for anyone visiting Memphis. My husband and I were impressed and feel this was one of our favorite spots. We will be back to visit again on our next trip to Memphis.
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Stax Museum of American Soul Music
- Tue - Sat: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Sun: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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